Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has spent his entire career with his hometown club. He's won just about everything in that time, but never the Premier League title. With a 3-2 win over Man City in which Gerrard was a driving force, Liverpool took a big step towards that first league title in 24 years before the emotions of the day proved overwhelming.
The entire weekend in English football has been filled with tributes to the 96 victims of the Hillsborough tragedy as the 25th anniversary of the crush that occured at the 1989 FA Cup semifinal between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. Nowhere were the emotions of those tributes more powerful than at Anfield and the Liverpool players carried that to a 2-0 halftime lead. After a shambolic first-half, Man City recovered and scored twice in a five minutes span around the hour mark, but a failed clearance attempt from captain Vincent Kompany set up Philippe Coutinho for the winner in the 78th minute.
Though Liverpool's Jordan Henderson was sent off during added time, giving him an automatic three-match ban that will keep him out of what could be an even more important match against Chelsea, when the final whistle blew the Anfield erupted as it relived the distant memory of domestic-league glory. The mix of sporting victory and human loss, of joy and pride overflowed for Gerrard, who looked to the sky with his eyes tightly shut to hold back the tears as he embraced his teammates.
Gerrard then led a huddle of players, giving a fiery and inspirational speech. When asked by a reporter what he said in that huddle, he replied, "None of your business."
There's still work to be done if Liverpool are going to win the title this season and Gerrard made it clear that he knows that. But regardless of what happens next, this was a memorable day for Liverpool and a beautiful moment for football.
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