Steven Gerrard explains Celtic celebration as ex-Rangers boss pelted by objects during Liverpool charity match
The ex-Ibrox manager had to dodge bottles and other objects thrown by Celtic supporters after celebrating his goal at Anfield on Saturday.
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Steven Gerrard has explained the reason behind his decision to celebrate in front of Celtic fans after scoring a penalty for his old club Liverpool in a charity match at Anfield on Saturday.
The former Rangers boss, who was the subject of incessant boos during the game, sent Hoops goalkeeper Artur Boruc the wrong way by slotting his spot-kick low into the bottom right-hand corner in front of a 4,000-strong travelling Celtic support after 37 minutes.
Liverpool’s star-studded line-up, containing the likes of Dirk Kuyt, Steve McManaman, Jamie Carragher and coached by Sir Kenny Dalglish, ran out 2-0 winners courtesy of Gerrard’s goal and a further strike from Mark Gonzalez.
But it was the Reds legend who stole the limelight and drew the loudest cheer on his return to Merseyside - the venue he graced for more than 17 years as a professional - as he coolly converted from 12-yards before proceeding to celebrate jubuliantly in front of the packed Celtic end.
As he raced towards the corner flag to savour the moment, the 42-year-old had to dodge several missiles thrown by Hoops fans as he punched the air with delight before stewards and team-mates helped to clear the pitch of the debris.
Gerrard, who denied Celtic a tenth SPFL title in a row in 2021, admitted post-match he couldn’t resist aiming a cheeky dig at the Hoops fans following years of stick from the stands during his time in Glasgow.
Quizzed about his celebration and the penalty incident itself, Gerrard told Liverpool TV: “It was a definite penalty. Martin Skrtel was excellent bursting through like he does, like a marauding midfielder. It was an absolute stonewall penalty. There was only one take from there, and that was me, unfortunately.
“In front of the Celtic fans, little bit of pressure, I waited for him (the goalkeeper) to go. You have to milk it. I’ve had so much stick off of them so they can have a bit back. There you go.”
The ex-England international, who scored 186 goals for his hometown club before a brief stint in America with LA Galaxy towards the end of his playing career, stepped into his first managerial role at Ibrox in the summer of 2018. He left Rangers after three-and-a-half years to join Aston Villa but was sacked by the Premier League club after just 11 months in charge.
He has since been mainly doing punditry work and was recently unveiled as part of Channel 4’s main line-up for the broadcaster’s coverage of England games.
Gerrard was not the only high profile figure who laced his boots back up for the fundraiser match. The Celtic line-up, managed by Paul Lambert, was captained by Stiliyan Petrov and also included former stars Joe Ledley, Mikael Lustig and Norwegian icon Harald Brattbakk. Republic of Ireland hero Robbie Keane played 45 minutes for both teams.
Both clubs joined forces pre-match for a rendition of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ and a significant amount of funds were raised for the Liverpool and Celtic Foundations and associated partner charities.