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Liverpool’s Gerrard draws inspiration from past glories ahead of Zenit tie

Steven Gerrard hopes Liverpool can secure a heroic comeback against Zenit to rival past victories over Chelsea and Olympiakos

The Sport Review staff
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Steven Gerrard won the Uefa Cup with Liverpool in 2001Photo: Back Page Images

steven gerrard

Steven Gerrard is hoping Liverpool can emulate their past European exploits against Chelsea at Anfield when the Reds face Zenit St Petersburg on Thursday night.

Brendan Rodgers’s side are faced with the challenge of overturning a two-goal deficit from the first leg, with Zenit duo Hulk and Sergei Semak securing a comfortable 2-0 win in Russia last week.

Liverpool have an impressive record of winning European ties in the second leg at Anfield in the Champions League and Europa League over the past decade.

In particular, Gerrard remembers the 2005 semi-final which saw Luis Garcia score a controversial goal against the Blues en route to Liverpool winning their fifth European Cup in Istanbul.

“The one that sticks out to me is the Chelsea game,” said the 32-year-old. “I know the fans try and get into the ground early to create an atmosphere.

“But against Chelsea in 2005, about 45 minutes before that game, as we were going out to do our warm-up, the noise was deafening and you could feel the ground shaking.

“If I had to pick-out one performance from our supporters, it would be that night.

“If we can get anywhere close against Zenit, then their players are going to find it very difficult to play against us on Thursday night.”

Gerrard, who made his 600th Liverpool appearance in November, also recalled their emotional 2-0 win against Roma in 2002 before his memorable strike in 3-1 victory over Olympiakos in a crunch final group game in 2005.

And the Reds skipper hopes his side can triumph against Zenit to add another victory to the catalogue of European nights at Anfield.

“There’s also Olympiakos and if you look even further back, the Roma game when we had to turn that round. Hopefully Zenit can join that list of comebacks,” he added.

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