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Liverpool in the Steven Gerrard era: five more great performances


Jamie Carragher, right, says the highlight of his Liverpool career was winning the Champions League

Jamie Carragher, right, says the highlight of his Liverpool career was winning the Champions League


Jamie Carragher, right, says the highlight of his Liverpool career was winning the Champions League

Steven Gerrard has hailed Liverpool's 5-1 demolition of Arsenal as one of their best performances of his time. How does it compare to these five?

1. Liverpool 2 Roma 0 - March 2002

Liverpool's group in the 2001-02 Champions League was a feast of historic European pedigree: the Merseysiders were joined by Barcelona, Galatasaray and Roma in what we are contractually obliged to call a Group Of Death.

Liverpool qualified in style with a win over Roma. Against a side with the firepower of Gabriel Batistuta, Francesco Totti, Marco Delvecchio and Vicenzo Montella, a 21-year-old Steven Gerrard led a battling effort that nullified Roma's midfield and reduced their potent attack to near-spectators.

John Arne Riise was a danger down the left and Emile Heskey - no, really, stop laughing - threatened with his strength up front; he outmuscled the Roma central defenders all evening and headed in Danny Murphy's free kick to seal the win.


2. A.C. Milan 3 Liverpool 3 (2-3 on penalties) - May 2005

Come on, you know this one. To say Milan dominated the first half would be like saying England's recent Ashes tour didn't go exactly to plan.

The Italians led 3-0 and looked likely to rack up a massive score in the second half. It didn't quite work out like that. Gerrard scored a looping header to get one back for Liverpool and a minute later Vladimir Smicer's shot bobbled in front of the keeper and into the net.

Xabi Alonso missed a penalty in normal time but tapped in the rebound on 60 minutes and in the remaining hour of play Liverpool and Milan both came close to nicking winning goals. They didn't, but the heroics of Jerzy Dudek in the penalty shoot out secured Liverpool fifth European Cup.


3. Liverpool 4 Real Madrid 0 - March 2009

Depending on who you ask, this was either Real Madrid at their worst or Liverpool at their best.

The Spaniards had folded meekly at the Bernabéu a week previously and here Liverpool took full advantage of Madrid's lacklustre display.

Fernando Torres was the key player for Liverpool with a display of vim and verve. He roasted the Madrid defence with intelligent, fast running into the channels and dangerous shooting.

It was Torres who opened the scoring after just 15 minutes. Gabriel Heinze then conceded a penalty for handball and when Gerrard converted, Real metaphorically packed their bags and went home.

Gerrard scored again from Ryan Babel's cross to make it 3-0 in the second half and the party atmosphere at Anfield was complete when Dossena knocked it past the embattled Iker Casillas with two minutes to go.

4. Manchester United 1 Liverpool 4 - March 2009

Just four days after that Madrid victory, Liverpool and Torres were at it again and the Spaniard staked his claim to be the Premier League's best striker.

He harrassed Nemanja Vidic, leaving Manchester United's rock in defence torn and frayed.

This win revived what would ultimately prove a fruitless title challenge from Rafael Benítez's side, but fans would take some consolation from dealing out an utter humiliation to their greatest rivals (sorry, Everton).

United looked likely to pull clear at the top when Cristiano Ronaldo scored an early penalty, but shortly afterwards Torres scorched past Vidic to equalise.

In a bad-tempered match, Torres then drew a foul from Patrice Evra just before half time and Gerrard's penalty gave Liverpool the lead. Vidic's misery was almost complete when he earned a red card for a foul on Torres, then was entirely complete when Fabio Aurellio curled in the free kick.

A near-mirror of the win against Madrid was rounded off when once again Dossena chipped in the fourth goal in the dying minutes.

5. Tottenham 0 Liverpool 5 - December 2013

For Fernando Torres in 2009, read Luis Suárez in 2013, although the Uruguayan is close to eclipsing the achievements of the Spaniard on Merseyside.

When Suárez opened the scoring with his 16th goal of the season, he had at that point scored more Premier League goals than the entire Spurs squad.

His link-up play with Jordan Henderson was outstanding and proved a seasonal turning point for the maligned central midfielder; he volleyed in Liverpool's second to give them a 2-0 half time lead, but in truth such a scoreline heavily flattered Tottenham.

In the second half Spurs fell to pieces, panicked by Liverpool's quick, sharp first-time passes. Paulinho kicked Suárez in the chest and was sent off, and a flurry of late goals from Jon Flanagan, Suárez and Raheem Sterling not only sealed Andre Villas Boas' sacking but also established Liverpool as firm favourites to win the race for Champions League football next season over the Londoners.

Online Editors