English Premiership

Palace spoil Gerrard's Anfield farewell

2015-05-16 20:36
Steven Gerrard (Supplied)
Steven Gerrard (Supplied)

Liverpool - Long-serving Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard bade an underwhelming farewell to Anfield on Saturday as his side lost 3-1 to Crystal Palace in his final home game for the club.

After almost 17 years of service, 709 appearances, 185 goals and 10 trophies, the 34-year-old midfielder had hoped to sign off on a winning note before joining the Los Angeles Galaxy in July.

But although Adam Lallana put Liverpool ahead, goals from Jason Puncheon and substitutes Wilfried Zaha and Glenn Murray ruined the script as Palace ended a four-game losing streak and claimed a first league win at Anfield since 1991.

The defeat ended Liverpool's slim mathematical hope of Champions League qualification ahead of their final game at Stoke City, but that was of minor concern on a day that belonged to their beloved, home-grown captain.

Several former Liverpool greats were among the 44 673 people in attendance, as well as ex-manager Gerard Houllier, who handed an 18-year-old Gerrard his debut as a substitute against Blackburn Rovers in November 1998.

Players from both sides formed a guard of honour as Gerrard took to the pitch accompanied by his daughters Lourdes, Lexie and Lilly-Ella, while fans in the Kop and Centenary Stand formed mosaics in his honour.

Predictably, with Liverpool realistically unable to qualify for the Champions League and Palace long safe from relegation, the sense of occasion diminished the moment the match began.

Palace's fans, meanwhile, seized an opportunity to remind the man of the hour of the only title to have eluded him during his distinguished Anfield career, chanting: "Have you ever seen Gerrard win the league?"

But after 26 minutes a miscued pass by former Liverpool full-back Martin Kelly put Scott Dann in trouble and Lallana pounced to run through and calmly lift a shot past Wayne Hennessey.

It was not the cue for Liverpool to take control, however, with Joe Ledley, Yannick Bolasie and Lee Chung-yong all squandering chances for Palace, while Simon Mignolet got down well to parry a deflected shot from Puncheon.

Shortly before half-time Puncheon equalised, whipping a fine 20-yard free-kick into the bottom-right corner after Emre Can had been booked for felling Bolasie.

Jordon Ibe, twice, Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson shot wide for Liverpool early in the second half, only for Zaha to give Palace the lead on the hour.

A matter of seconds after replacing Lee, the former Manchester United winger ghosted in at the back post to sweep home a low cross from Bolasie, despite appearing to be offside.

Gerrard had scored in his previous two games and with manager Brendan Rodgers moving him further forward, he had chances to equalise, testing Hennessey with a low shot and curling a free-kick over the bar.

But after Bolasie had hit the bar, Palace won a penalty despite Lucas Leiva's trip on Zaha occurring outside the box and although Mignolet parried Murray's spot-kick, he scored at the second attempt.


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

23 October 2016
Manchester City v Southampton, Etihad Stadium 14:30
Chelsea v Manchester United, Stamford Bridge 17:00
29 October 2016
Sunderland v Arsenal, Stadium of Light 13:30
Manchester United v Burnley, Old Trafford 16:00
Middlesbrough v Bournemouth, Riverside Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City, The Hawthorns 16:00
Watford v Hull City, Vicarage Road 16:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City, White Hart Lane 16:00
Crystal Palace v Liverpool, Selhurst Park 18:30
30 October 2016
Everton v West Ham United, Goodison Park 15:30
Southampton v Chelsea, St. Mary's Stadium 18:00
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Will Jose Mourinho lead Manchester United to the English Premiership title in 2016/17?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.