Belfast Telegraph

Steven Gerrard: I tried my best to leave a final memory at Liverpool

By Carl Markham

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard admits he was desperate to give the Anfield faithful one final flourish to add to his extensive back-catalogue of exploits.

In reality there was little he could have done in the 3-1 defeat to Crystal Palace which would have come close to matching any of his magic moments already entwined in the club's great history.

The 34-year-old midfielder is a competitor right to the end but the fact he could not bend the match to his will, as he has done so many times before, suggests he has chosen the right time to seek a new challenge in Major League Soccer with Los Angeles Galaxy.

"I tried to give them everything I've got; I wanted to give them one last memory but it just didn't come," he said. "But I'm proud of what I've done and I just hope that they've all got memories to remember me by."

Those memories may well be all fans have to cling on to if Liverpool cannot find a way to cope with Gerrard's departure.

The club have lost great players before and have always replaced them but, for the first time in half a century, the side appear to be heading into next season without one genuine superstar.

Manager Brendan Rodgers acknowledges replacing Gerrard per se is impossible but somehow he and the transfer committee have to come up with a successful plan.

"I don't think there is that person who has come into the club who has given what he has done over the time," said the Reds boss.

"We will have to plot a way to improve in the summer and that is our challenge."

Crystal Palace's part in the day was almost lost amid all the dedicated pre-match soundtracks, mosaics and guard of honour but for them the occasion was all about taking three points and they did that with ruthless efficiency.

Adam Lallana's 26th-minute opener should have paved the way for the Gerrard procession but Jason Puncheon's brilliant free-kick just before half-time was reward for the visitors' first-half dominance.

That continued after the break as Wilfried Zaha scored with his first touch, albeit from an offside position, 23 seconds after coming off the bench and in added time Glenn Murray followed up his own rebounded penalty to complete a deserved victory.

The star of the show was Yannick Bolasie, who terrorised the Liverpool defence.

"He isn't the finished product by any stretch of the imagination," said manager Alan Pardew.

"This is a guy the top clubs might be looking at but he needs to get that end product sorted."

Belfast Telegraph


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