I’ve missed games like that, admits Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard
Steven Gerrard was thrilled to grab the winner against Man City as Liverpool took a 1-0 lead from the Carling Cup first leg
Steven Gerrard was delighted to cap his return to regular first-team football with a goal against Manchester City in the first leg of their Carling Cup semi-final on Wednesday.
The Liverpool skipper scored a 13th-minute penalty after Stefan Savic fouled Daniel Agger, marking the 31-year-old’s third goal in four games since returning from an ankle injury.
“It’s nice to be back,” said Gerrard. “I feel like a footballer again – I’ve had a difficult year.
“It’s games like this that I’ve missed, games like this I’ve been patient for and worked so hard to get back for.
“I got the winning goal, but it was all about the team. We defended superbly from back to front. We weren’t effective in the second half, we know that, but we were playing one of the big powers in the world and sometimes you’ve got to do the ugly stuff.
“We’ve done that – maybe the pretty stuff will come at Anfield in two weeks’ time.”
Liverpool were impressive in the first half as the visitors pegged back a weakened Manchester City side, with Andy Carroll spurning a chance to open the scoring early on before Gerrard converted his penalty.
After the break, Kenny Dalglish’s side defended deep and City were finally able to manufacture a number of chances, with James Milner missing the best opportunity when he failed to keep his shot down after good work from Micah Richards.
Gerrard praised Liverpool’s gritty performance but warned his team-mates not to get complacent ahead of the second leg at Anfield in a fortnight.
“It was a great performance,” he added. “That’s what we wanted to do – come here, try and get a clean sheet and a goal.
“There is no way this tie is over. We know we’re in for a very tough match in two weeks’ time, so the job is half done.
“The tie is finely balanced and it’s set up for a cracking match at Anfield. I thought we were the better side in the first half and they were the better side in the second half, but there is still 90 minutes to play.
“I am sure it will be a cracker at Anfield. It’s only advantage us, it’s still not over.”