(Reuters) – Steven Gerrard said the unfortunate slip that effectively ended Liverpool’s Premier League title hopes in the 2013-14 season still haunts him and the pain is unlikely to ease even if Juergen Klopp’s team deliver the trophy this year.
The former Liverpool captain famously lost his footing and possession five years ago allowing Demba Ba to score as Chelsea dented Liverpool’s push for the title with a 2-0 win in a season when Manchester City ended up champions.
Liverpool are on 70 points and trail City by one point with nine games to go this season and Gerrard hoped his boyhood club would hold their nerve to end their 29-year title drought for the sake of their supporters.
“This wound has been open since my experience. I’m not sure it’ll close because I can’t change that experience,” Gerrard, who left Liverpool in 2015 after 17 years at the Merseyside club, told the British media.
“It doesn’t affect how I feel (about Liverpool) now. I look at a squad of players, some of whom I’m still friends with. I see a support that gave me absolutely everything from the terraces and around the world.
“I just hope for their sake, and mine as a supporter, that come the end of the competition they are victorious. But it won’t make me or my wound feel any different.”
Gerrard hailed the efforts of Klopp in making Liverpool genuine title contenders and said the team could be proud even if they eventually lost out to champions City.
“Certain people will see it as failure but that is football and opinions. Juergen has taken the squad forward giant strides. He’s doing everything he can,” Gerrard, who currently manages Scottish side Rangers, added.
“Sometimes in football, if someone beats you to it, you have to hold your hands up and say the better team won.
“I hope that’s not the case but I don’t think you can be too critical if you have been fantastic yourself and have done ever so well to be in it in the first place.”
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Nick Mulvenney)