Football: Anfield legend Steven Gerrard's best moments

Liverpool's Steven Gerrard reacts after Manchester United's third goal during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford in Manchester, northern England on Dec 14, 2014. Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard is set to make the shock ann
Liverpool's Steven Gerrard reacts after Manchester United's third goal during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford in Manchester, northern England on Dec 14, 2014. Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard is set to make the shock announcement that he will leave his boyhood club at the end of the season, according to reports on Thursday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard is set to make the shock announcement that he will leave his boyhood club at the end of the season, according to reports on Thursday.

Gerrard's Anfield future has been the subject of speculation for several months, amid a loss of form and talk that he is not suited to the slick passing style preached by manager Brendon Rodgers.

Nevertheless, Reds fans will fondly remember him for his leadership and all-action displays over the years. He has won every title possible except the Premier League and scored 180 goals over 695 games. He is still the only player to have scored in the finals of the English FA Cup, the League Cup, the Uefa Cup and the Champions League.

Here is a recap of some of the best moments of Gerrard's Anfield career.

March 2001: 1st strike against Manchester United

The future skipper scored his first goal against Liverpool's fiercest rivals in a league match, and it was a goal to savour. He latched onto a sweet layoff from striker Robbie Fowler and drilled a powerful 30-yard strike beyond the outstretched Fabien Barthez. The Reds went on to win the match 2-0, completing a league double over United for the first time in 22 years.

Gerrard would go on to score eight more against United as a Red, four of which came from the penalty spot.


Oct 2003: The captaincy

Manager Gerard Houllier appointed Gerrard captain when he was just 23 years old, replacing experienced defender Sami Hyppia. Houllier said: "I think Stevie has certain leadership qualities which I spotted very early in his career."

Gerrard led his team out in for the first time in an Uefa Cup first-round tie against Slovenia's Olimpija Ljubljana, where they eased to a 3-0 victory.


Dec 2004: Last-grasp winner against Olympiakos

Liverpool went into their final Champions League group match in the 2004/2005 season needing a win against the visiting Greek side. An early free-kick by Rivaldo meant Liverpool needed three goals to go through to the knock-out stages. The Reds' Florent Sinama-Pongolle and Neil Mellor pulled the hosts back with a goal each, and with just minutes to play, Gerrard unleashed a stunning 25-yard half-volley that sent Anfield wild with delight.


May 2005: Istanbul

GPstevie0201

One of the most memorable Champions League finals ever. Up against favourites AC Milan, which featured club legend Paolo Maldini and ace strikers Hernan Crespo and Andriy Shevchenko, Liverpool found themselves outplayed and down 3-0 at half time.

But Gerrard's leadership was on full display as he began the fight-back with a precise headed goal. The Reds went on to equalise in the space of six minutes. No further goals were scored and Liverpool went on to win on penalties.


May 2006 - West Ham FA Cup final

Such was Gerrard's influence on this match, that it is often referred to as the Gerrard Final.

Liverpool started the match as favourites, but found themselves down 2-0 after just 30 minutes. They clawed their way back to 2-2 in the second half with a Gerrard close-range volley, but West Ham regained the lead again through left back Paul Konchesky. With just minutes to go, Gerrard collected a loose ball in midfield and unleashed a stunning long-range strike that took the game to extra time. Liverpool went on to win on spot-kicks, with Gerrard among three Reds who converted.


March 2012 - Merseyside derby hat-trick

GPgerrard0201

Gerrard scored all the goals in a resounding 3-0 victory over their Merseyside rivals Everton. It was the first hat-trick in a Merseyside derby since Ian Rush in 1982.

The result capped a perfect night for the Reds skipper and ensured that Kenny Dalglish's side came out on top on David Moyes' 10th anniversary as Everton boss.


Sources: www.liverpoolfc.com, FA Cup YouTube Channel, BBC Sport, bleacherreport.com

jalmsab@sph.com.sg


HAVE YOUR SAY

<a href="http://www.straitstimes.com/%3Ca%20href%3D"http://polldaddy.com/poll/8555836/">http://polldaddy.com/poll/8555836/">Should Gerrard stay at Liverpool beyond this season?</a>