Steven Gerrard didn’t exactly enjoy a dream return to Anfield on Saturday night.
The Liverpool legend made his first trip to the iconic stadium that cheered his name for so long as a manager, leading out his Aston Villa side for a festive clash in the Premier League.
In the end, true to Villa’s strong start to life under Gerrard, the Midlands club gave a good account of themselves and certainly weren’t humiliated in what turned out to be a 1-0 defeat.
Gerrard’s Anfield return
Liverpool are the highest scorers in the Premier League this season, but didn’t have it all their way as Villa’s defence stood firm against the Reds for great swathes of the battle on Merseyside.
In fact, the hosts’ winner didn’t come from open play but rather a penalty as Mohamed Salah fired past Emiliano Martinez having been brought to the ground by Tyrone Mings.
And despite Villa’s best efforts to claw back an equaliser in the dying minutes, Liverpool ultimately got the better of their former captain to maintain their course in the Premier League title race.
Gerrard after the game
However, if anything, that made it all the more intriguing as to what Gerrard would be like in front of the press during his post-match interviews.
Besides, we can’t be alone in feeling something fundamentally bizarre about the sight of Gerrard doing his best to ensure that Liverpool lose at Anfield. It’s hard to get your head around, right?
But rest assured that Gerrard remained completely professional in front of the eyes of the world, even saying that he cared more about the reception of the Villa fans than his former admirers.
Gerrard burns Owen
That being said, by far the finest moment that came from Gerrard’s post-match press duties actually came when Michael Owen asked his old teammate about what it was like returning to Anfield.
When Owen admitted that he used to hate coming back to Liverpool’s famous ground, Gerrard brilliantly quipped: “If I played for Man U I’d hate coming back too!” Check out the video below:
— Faisal abuljadayel (@faisalLFC) December 11, 2021
Take a bow, Stevie, take a bow.
Owen’s relationship with Liverpool fans
It’s fair to say that Owen isn’t the most loved of players on Merseyside despite undoubtedly being one of the best goalscorers that Liverpool have produced in the Premier League era.
But there are more than a few Kopites who haven’t forgiven Owen for making the move to bitter rivals Manchester United in 2009, duly winning the Premier League title in the following season.
And with said transfer owing to more than a couple of negative reactions whenever Owen returns to Anfield, it’s no wonder that Gerrard couldn’t resist producing the amusing reply to his good pal.
After all, even in a world where Villa had won 10-0 at Anfield, it’s safe to say that Gerrard still would have gotten a better reception than Owen ever would have.