Champions League

Shadow cast over Istanbul celebration

2015-05-25 15:22
Steven Gerrard (AFP)

London - A gloomy shadow will hang over the proceedings at Merseyside on Monday evening as the Liverpool squad who staged a famous comeback in Istanbul to win the 2005 Champions League final hold a 10-year anniversary celebration.

Everyone connected with the club is in shock after a stunning 6-1 defeat by Stoke City in Sunday's final Premier League game of the season.

It was Liverpool's biggest loss since Tottenham beat them 7-2 in 1963 and came on a day when Steven Gerrard was hoping to say farewell to the club on a high.

Gerrard, captain of the team that beat AC Milan on penalties in Istanbul 10 years ago after trailing 3-0 at half-time, scored the only goal at Stoke but looked as embarrassed as his team mates when he walked off the pitch.

He is now leaving to join Los Angeles Galaxy in the United States after 17 years at Liverpool.

They never won the league title in that time, finishing second last season and dropping to sixth after Sunday's defeat.

Manager Brendan Rodgers has said he would resign if the club's American owners wanted him to following their review of the season.

"I still feel I have a lot to offer here," Rodgers, who was barracked by supporters at Stoke, told reporters.

It has been a difficult season from the start following last season's improvement. Leading scorer Luis Suarez left for Barcelona, and England striker Daniel Sturridge was injured for much of the campaign, finishing with only five goals.

Fellow England international Rickie Lambert fared even worse, scoring two league goals and Rodgers was the latest manager unable to bring the best out of Italian maverick Mario Balotelli.

Overall Liverpool's total dropped from 101 goals in 38 league games to 52, which is the first area Rodgers must address in the close-season - assuming he is given the chance.

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