Steven Gerrard: 5 great Liverpool moments

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Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard is set to return to starting action this weekend against Manchester United - seven months after a groin injury put the England international on the sidelines.

Three substitute appearances whet the appetite of Reds fans before the international break, and the midfielder's sense of timing could not be better as Sir Alex Ferguson prepares to bring the 19-time English champions to Anfield.

The match will provide Gerrard with an opportunity to etch his name further into Liverpool folklore, and whilst his place as a club legend is already assured, a performance to remember against the Red Devils would add to some great moments enjoyed over the past 13 years as a professional on Merseyside.

In honour of the player's return, GiveMeFootball looks back at his five greatest moments in a Reds shirt - but have we got it right?

1: AC Milan 3 - 3 Liverpool
(Liv win 3-2 on pens)
Champions League Final
25th May, 2005

In one of the greatest European finals ever seen, Liverpool came back from the brink to claim an unlikely victory against the Italian giants in Istanbul, Turkey.

3-0 down at half-time, captain Gerrard lifted his side with a header early in the second period before Vladimir Smicer pulled it back to a one-goal deficit.

Gerrard was poised to equalise before being pulled down in the box, and Xabi Alonso slotted a rebound from his saved penalty to tie the scores after seven minutes of madness.

Jerzy Dudek saved Andriy Shevchenko's crucial penalty in the shoot-out to secure a famous win for Liverpool, leaving Gerrard to raise the trophy.


2: Liverpool 3 - 3 West Ham United
(Liv win 3-1 on pens)
FA Cup Final
13th May, 2006

An individual performance to match, and arguably even better the one in Turkey, Gerrard rescued Liverpool once again with a moment of magic in injury-time at the Millennium Stadium.

Losing 2-1 and 3-2, Gerrard twice equalised for Rafael Benitez's side, the later a stunning long-range drive past Shaka Hislop just moments after being grounded with cramp.

Gerrard scored a subsequent spot-kick during the shoot-out, whilst Pepe Reina denied Bobby Zamora, Paul Konchesky and Anton Ferdinand to secure victory in one of the great cup finals.

3: Liverpool 3 - 1 Olympiakos
Champions League Group Stage
8th December, 2004

When Gerrard struck four minutes from time on a cold, dark night at Anfield, few would have predicted that it would lead to that famous win in Istanbul.

Needing to win by two goals, the Reds looked out of the competition when Rivaldo gave the visiting Greek side a 1-0 first-half lead with his 26th minute free-kick.

Substitutes Florent Sinama Pongolle and Neil Mellor gave Benitez's side a chance during the second period, and captain Gerrard crashed home a stunning half-volley with four minutes remaining to send Liverpool into the knockout stages.

"That was one of the best goals I have scored, I caught it sweet, I haven't caught one like that for ages. It was a massive night for me and the team," he said post-match.

4. Liverpool 2 - 0 Manchester United
Premier League
31st March, 2001

With Gerrard's reputation growing fast, the midfielder produced a virtuoso performance against United to secure his first win against their bitter rivals at Anfield.

His thunderous strike past Fabian Barthez opened the scoring in a 2-0 win, as the Reds secured their first double against the Red Devils in 22 years.

It proved to be a memorable year for the Reds under Gerard Houllier, and Gerrard was instrumental in the League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup treble, starting 50 matches in all competitions.

5. Liverpool 4 - 1 Sheffield Wednesday
Premier League
5th December, 1999

Gerrard admitted in a 2008 interview that his first handful of appearances for the Reds were heavily affected by nerves.

The midfielder made his debut in November 1998, and made 13 appearances in his debut season for the club. A red card against Everton at the start of the 1999 campaign was another negative sign for the then teenager, but his performance against the Owls was when Gerrard came of age.

A performance described by the BBC as 'a mature display capped by a superb solo goal', Gerrard scored for the first time as a Red in the win, and gave a glimpse of the future standing-in for the injured Jamie Redknapp.

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