‘I decided to beat the traffic’: Steven Gerrard admits he left Anfield EARLY during Liverpool’s win against Barcelona as he couldn’t ‘cope’ with seeing late winner from visitors
- Liverpool beat Barcelona in Champions League semi-final through Divock Origi
- Ex-captain Steven Gerrard was at game but left before late winner due to nerves
- The Rangers boss admitted he could not handle watching the final few minutes
Steven Gerrard revealed he had to sneak out of Anfield as his nerves threatened to give way while Liverpool’s comeback kings mounted their stunning rescue act against Barcelona.
Gerrard took daughter Lourdes back to his old stomping ground to watch Jurgen Klopp’s side recover a three-goal deficit as they swept into the Champions League final with a daring recovery.
Divock Origi struck the winner with 10 minutes to go after his early goal and a Georginio Wijnaldum double had drawn the tie level.
Steven Gerrard left Liverpool’s Champions League win over Barcelona due to his nerves
former Liverpool captain attended with daughter Lourdes and posed with Kenny Dalglish (r)
But the tension-filled final stages as the Reds clung on to a 4-0 home triumph was too much for the former Liverpool skipper to handle, so he made his excuses and left.
However, the game served as a reminder of the nights of passion the Gers manager has experienced already in his first year in charge in Glasgow and has now fired his desire to get Ibrox rocking again next season.
‘My nerves the other night at Anfield were difficult to control,’ confessed Liverpool’s 2005 Champions League-winning skipper.
‘I had to leave before the end once it was 4-0. I had my seven-year-old daughter with me and I used that as an excuse to go, saying she had school the next day.
‘But really it was more about my nerves – God knows what the players were going through. I don’t think I’d have been able to cope with seeing either Coutinho, Suarez or Messi break my heart.
‘So I decided to beat the traffic and get out of there before it went wrong.
Divock Origi struck late on in the club’s comeback from 3-0 down to win 4-3 on aggregate
‘It’s different being a manager in those circumstances because you prepare yourself for big games. You get yourself fired up.
‘But as a fan, you go relaxed then all of a sudden a dream starts brewing and you think ‘wow’. On Tuesday when it went 1-0, I was thinking, ‘If we get one more this is game on’ – then it came…
‘But the longer it went, there was just too many quality players on the pitch so I had to get out.
‘The emotion and the passion I saw at Anfield is very similar to what you get at Ibrox.
‘As a fan an ex-player, Tuesday was probably the best atmosphere I’ve seen at Anfield. It took me back to Chelsea when we scored the Luis Garcia goal, to Olympiakos – the big games I experienced myself.
‘It also took me back to the Old Firm atmosphere here in December, the last 15 minutes against Rapid Vienna here in the Europa League.
‘I hope as manager of this club I experience more big nights like that as Ibrox, alongside Anfield, is a special arena for football and it’s mine and the players’ responsibility to give these fans some good times.
‘Being at Anfield reminded me of how special it would be to give these fans some success.’