On the eve of yet another Merseyside Derby, the 221st in its history, we at Soccerlens thought it prudent to pull focus onto one its best performers of recent times. Liverpool captain, Steven Gerrard will be playing in his 28th derby to date, and after a string of stunning performances, it is clear why he is so crucial to the Liverpool cause.
The Reds have never lost a match against bitter rivals, Everton, when Gerrard has scored. Quite a statistic; it is one that stretches through eight games between 2001 and 2012. He has always led the club superbly, and has racked up over 450 games in his 15 years at the club. Still going strong at 33, Gerrard will once more be one to watch in the early kick-off on Saturday at Goodison Park.
Here is a five-strong selection of goals from Liverpool icon, Steven Gerrard, vs. Everton:
1. 15th September 2001, Everton 1-3 Liverpool, Premier League
Gerrard’s first goal against the Toffees was a beauty. With the Reds trailing 1-0 to a Kevin Campbell strike in the first five minutes, Gerrard picked the ball up on the edge of the box, drove past a despairing challenge, and rifled an angled drive in the top corner.
Cue impassioned celebrations from the then 21-year-old midfielder; it was a sign of great things to come for the future England captain.
2. 19th January 2009, Liverpool 1-1 Everton, FA Cup Fourth Round
It was Steven Gerrard to the rescue once again for Liverpool in this FA Cup fourth-round tie at Anfield. Trailing to a Jolean Lescott header from a 27th minute corner; Gerrard was on hand to grab the crucial equaliser just before the hour. A brilliant piece of individual skill from Fernando Torres set Gerrard on his way, and his stinging shot somehow beat keeper Tim Howard at his near post.
The draw saw the two sides face up in a replay a week later; a match won by David Moyes’ Everton, with Gerrard poignantly going off injured early in the first half.
3. 31st March 2012, Liverpool 3-0 Everton, Premier League
In this, Gerrard’s 400th appearance for the club, the Liverpool stalwart gave his best performance to date in a Merseyside Derby. Bagging a hat trick, he consigned Everton to their heaviest derby defeat for nine years, and made it a day to remember for Liverpool fans across the globe.
His first goal was a controlled dink after a goalmouth scramble featuring Martin Kelly and Luis Suarez. A cool head and a calm finish from the Liverpool skipper; who had much more to give on the night…
4. 31st March 2012, Liverpool 3-0 Everton, Premier League
Gerrard’s second effort was vastly different from his first. With Suarez dancing his way into the Everton box from the right, all appeared to be fizzling out; that was until Gerrard took over with a thunderous shot into the roof of the net, leaving Howard on his knees.
5.31st March 2012, Liverpool 3-0 Everton, Premier League
The killer blow from Liverpool came once more from Gerrard, with his hat trick completed courtesy of another storming effort into the top of the Everton net. Interchanging passes with Suarez, Gerrard was given a chance on a plate; a chance which he duly buried, sending Liverpool fans euphoric.
A modest Gerrard praised the result and his teammates after the game; but with a deserved man-of-the-match award under his belt, Liverpool certainly owed their leader and inspiration a great deal.
What do you think? Will Gerrard be the difference on Saturday?