Gerrard’s Farewell Match Ends In Defeat For Liverpool

Liverpool failed to give Steven Gerrard a victorious farewell to Anfield on Saturday as Crystal Palace emerged worthy winners on an emotion-charged occasion.
Gerrard was making his final appearance at Anfield before making his move to Major League Soccer with LA Galaxy, and Liverpool supporters gathered at the stadium hours before kick-off to pay tribute to their iconic captain.
Palace, however, were in no mood to indulge the celebrations and after Adam Lallana put Liverpool ahead, Jason Puncheon equalised on the stroke of half-time before substitutes Wilfried Zaha and Glenn Murray wrapped up the win.
The game itself was almost reduced to a footnote as far as Liverpool were concerned, but in a strangely low-key 90 minutes, this performance graphically illustrated the work that needs to be done by manager Brendan Rodgers once Gerrard has departed after next weekend’s final game of the season at Stoke City.
After the formalities of the final whistle were completed, Gerrard went down the tunnel before re-emerging to a prolonged, deserved ovation where he was greeted by former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier, the man who made him Liverpool captain, before receiving a presentation from the club.
Gerrard then addressed Liverpool’s fans before joining his team-mates on a lap of honour and then leaving the Anfield turf for the final time after a 17-year career that has brought the Champions League victory against AC Milan that he inspired in Istanbul in 2005, as well as the UEFA Cup, two FA Cups and three League Cup triumphs.
The Premier League title may have eluded him but as he walked around Anfield it was only the good times Liverpool fans remembered, and he has given them plenty of those with his 185 goals stretched out across a glittering career.
Now Rodgers faces the Herculean task of replacing the 34-year-old, who has been a symbol of the club since he made his debut in 1998.
The game itself almost assumed the status of a sideshow as the shadow of Gerrard’s farewell understandably loomed over the entire occasion.
Anfield’s DJ set the tone with a pre-match playlist that was a musical tribute to Gerrard, from David Bowie’s “Heroes” to the REM tune “The End Of The World As We Know It”.

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