MX23RW : Monday, June 24 14:29:08| >> :600:3956103:3956103:
May 7, 2019 at 8pm UK at ​Anfield
Attendance: 55,212
Liverpool
4-0
Barcelona
Origi (7', 79'), Wijnaldum (54', 56')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Steven Gerrard: 'I left before the end of Liverpool's win over Barcelona'

Gerrard: 'I left before the end of Liverpool's win over Barcelona'
© Reuters
The Rangers boss could not bear to watch the final moments as his old team defeated Barcelona to reach the final.

Steven Gerrard revealed he had to sneak out of Anfield as his nerves threatened to give way while Liverpool’s comeback kings mounted their stunning rescue act against Barcelona.

But the Rangers boss plans to soak up every minute as he looks to give the Ibrox faithful the same kind of thrill ride his old club experienced on Tuesday night.

Gerrard took daughter Lourdes back to his old stomping ground to watch Jurgen Klopp’s side recover a three-goal deficit as they swept into the Champions League final with a daring recovery.

But the tension-filled final stages as the Reds clung on to a 4-0 triumph was too much for the former Liverpool skipper to handle, so he made his excuses and left.

However, the game served as a reminder of the nights of passion the Gers manager has experienced already in his first year in charge in Glasgow and has now fired his desire to get Ibrox rocking again next season.

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“My nerves the other night at Anfield were difficult to control,” confessed Liverpool’s 2005 Champions League-winning skipper.

“I had to leave before the end once it was 4-0. I had my seven-year-old daughter with me and I used that as an excuse to go, saying she had school the next day.

“But really it was more about my nerves – God knows what the players were going through. I don’t think I’d have been able to cope with seeing either Coutinho, Suarez or Messi break my heart.

“So I decided to beat the traffic and get out of there before it went wrong.

“It’s different being a manager in those circumstances because you prepare yourself for big games. You get yourself fired up.

“But as a fan, you go relaxed then all of a sudden a dream starts brewing and you think ‘wow’. On Tuesday when it went 1-0, I was thinking, ‘If we get one more this is game on’ – then it came…

“But the longer it went, there was just too many quality players on the pitch so I had to get out.

“The emotion and the passion I saw at Anfield is very similar to what you get at Ibrox.

“As a fan an ex-player, Tuesday was probably the best atmosphere I’ve seen at Anfield. It took me back to Chelsea when we scored the Luis Garcia goal, to Olympiakos – the big games I experienced myself.

“It also took me back to the Old Firm atmosphere here in December, the last 15 minutes against Rapid Vienna here in the Europa League.

“I hope as manager of this club I experience more big nights like that as Ibrox, alongside Anfield, is a special arena for football and it’s mine and the players’ responsibility to give these fans some good times.

“Being at Anfield reminded me of how special it would be to give these fans some success.”

Gerrard’s team can give the Light Blues faithful one last cheer this season when they take on Celtic in Sunday’s final Old Firm derby.

And he hopes his players will be fuelled by what they witnessed this week as Tottenham joined his old side in the Madrid final with their own stunning fightback against Ajax.

“What a performance from Spurs too,” said Gerrard. “To see the reaction from Mauricio Pochettino shows what football means to everyone.

Ryan Jack (right) struck the winner for Rangers as they beat Celtic they last time the Hoops visited Ibrox
Ryan Jack, right, struck the winner for Rangers as they beat Celtic the last time the Hoops visited Ibrox (Andrew Milligan/PA)

“I’ve had to swing back into Rangers mode quickly and my priority is to get this team ready for a big Old Firm at the weekend.

“But if players are looking for motivation and inspiration, then hopefully they watched those two games because it was absolutely brilliant.”

Rangers will not be signing Edson Mexer from Rennes after the defender joined Ligue 1 rivals Bordeaux on Thursday night.

Gerrard was pictured with the Mozambique international in France last week, sparking a flurry of reports claiming he was on his way to Ibrox.

But while Gerrard admitted he was a fan of the player, Mexer signed a four-year deal with Bordeaux.

Rennes defender Edson Mexer was linked with a move to Rangers
Rennes defender Edson Mexer was linked with a move to Rangers (Nick Potts/PA)

A statement from Rennes said: “Stade Rennais FC confirms the signing of Edson Mexer with the Girondins de Bordeaux for the next four seasons. The club warmly thanks the player and wishes him the best for the rest of his career.”

Gerrard also confirmed his side would not be giving bitter rivals Celtic a guard of honour this weekend.

“The club have made a decision on that and decided there won’t be a guard of honour, so my thoughts are irrelevant,” he said.

“I will follow what I’m told to do by the people in charge of the club.”


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