by Luqman Liaqat (@LUQY_1992)
My dream day at the Anfield Road End was significantly another red man known as Stevie G’s special salutation.
Even the kid from next door had no hope of controlling his excitement, up at 7am what could be more evident of his love for Liverpool Football Club. Our Liverpool Football Club crew was up and running on the motorway by 10am, all loaded with bags full of food except for the strong body’s keeping a fast.
During the journey, everyone was mentioning Stevie G’s accolades at the mighty Reds most notably the strike in the dying moments in 2005 Champions League versus the same opponents (Olympiacos FC) sharing this magical memory with ‘Captain Fantastic’.
Imran and Zaheer were recalling all the matches which were taken over by the one and only Steven Gerrard. Singing, mimicking the famous Anfield songs topped our agenda on the way to Liverpool, Imran and Zaheer’s sons’ yelled lyrics of anything coming to memory.
Once passing through the Shankly Gates with my father reality rushed my brain ‘You’re here for your first Anfield game’, these words never controlled the mind on my previous empty ground tour.
When ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ began ringing through the stadium it was one of most emotional feelings I have ever experienced was on the lips of not me but my father who has indescribable hatred for the sport of Football.
All the tributes paid to the Liverpool superstar and the pictures taken with his family were all forgotten about when the referee whistled for the match to begin.
Liverpool had complete dominance on the pitch, must importantly two legends of the club made substitute appearances, the recently-retired Jamie Carragher and weary-looking Robbie Fowler.
The unlikeliest goal scorer was on hand to give the Reds the lead, Joe Allen, when new-comer Iago Aspas dragged a shot across the face of goal the which the Welshmen finished from close-range in front of my very eyes.
Mid-way into first half the home team were now creating opportunities at ease, Aspas had a shot saved by the opposition keeper’s legs and Glen Johnson drove the ball past the post after breaking in from the right wing.
Raheem Sterling – heavily involved in the opening goal – made a mazy run early in the second half proceedings lobbing a shot just inches past the post.
However, the vital goal came moment later, when Jordan Henderson was through on goal and at that second everyone at Anfield was on their feet screaming ‘shoot, shoot, shoot’ on the top of their voices and the midfielder chipped the ball over the keeper into the back of the net making it 2-0.
Rodgers sent on Luis Suarez to a positive reception from all of us loyal Reds supporters, he was involved instantly linking up with new signing Luis Alberto and the all-ready Anfield favourite Philippe Coutinho.
Throughout the game, all Liverpool players attempted balls through to Steven Gerrard for him to cap off a perfect day but it wasn’t to be the goal scoring game he wanted but nevertheless a day to savour for everyone at Anfield.
The final act of the celebration was Gerrard walking around the ground with the media gathering for interviews and chants from the crowd which must have erupted over Anfield that afternoon.