Steven Gerrard’s likely final appearance for Liverpool against Manchester United ended in ignominy after he was shown a red card less than a minute after coming on at halftime. With Liverpool trailing 1-0 from Juan Mata’s first-half goal, Gerrard was brought on by manager Brendan Rodgers during the interval to try and give the Merseysiders a way back into what was a crucial contest.
Instead, the long-time Liverpool skipper left his side a man down in extraordinary circumstances. The 34-year-old had already put in a firm challenge on Juan Mata before he stamped on the leg of Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera. Referee Martin Atkinson had no hesitation in sending Gerrard off, with still just over 30 seconds were on the clock in the second half.
Gerrard had been the subject of much discussion in the buildup to the match, with his return to fitness giving Rodgers a major selection headache. But the Liverpool boss had been keen to talk up the professionalism of a man who has been a talisman for the club for so many years, despite Gerrard having signed a contract with LA Galaxy to end his association with Liverpool this summer. A defeat for Liverpool on Sunday would leave them five points behind their great rivals in the battle for the final Champions League spot.
Watch the sending off below, and see full match highlights here.