Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Gerrard eyes Mourinho scalp

19 January 2015, 08:59

Manchester - Steven Gerrard's quest for a golden send-off as Liverpool captain reaches a pivotal juncture on Tuesday when his side host Chelsea in the first leg of their League Cup semi-final.

Gerrard could yet end his final Liverpool season with three pieces of silverware, and having inspired his team to a 2-1 win at AFC Wimbledon in the FA Cup, he now turns his attention to England's other domestic cup.

Seventeen points off the pace in the league, Liverpool host second-tier Bolton Wanderers in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday and will tackle Besiktas in the Europa League next month.

The League Cup is a competition that Gerrard has won on three previous occasions, in 2001, 2003 and 2012, and he was left out of Saturday's 2-0 win at Aston Villa to keep him fresh for the visit of Jose Mourinho's side.

With the days of his Liverpool career shortening, Gerrard is learning to pick his battles, and Mourinho is an adversary who has caused the 34-year-old more pain than most.

Tuesday's game will rekindle memories of the 2005 League Cup final in Cardiff, when Liverpool were leading 1-0 until a headed own goal by Gerrard allowed Chelsea to equalise in the 79th minute.

Mourinho was sent to the stands for shushing Liverpool's fans as he celebrated the goal, but Chelsea went on to win 3-2 in extra time, giving the posturing Portuguese his first trophy in English football.

Also read Liverpool winger joins UAE club

It was Mourinho, meanwhile, who was to be seen striding down the Anfield touchline and punching his chest last April after the 2-0 win, founded upon Gerrard's infamous slip, that heralded Liverpool's title collapse.

While last season's heartbreak cast a shadow over the opening months of Liverpool's campaign, there have been stirrings of a revival in recent weeks.

Brendan Rodgers's side have lost only once in 14 matches in all competitions, with a haul of 13 points from a possible 15 that has regalvanized their bid for a Champions League place.

"We obviously had a bump in the road in the early part of the season," Rodgers said.

"But in this period, the team is performing at a good level -- defensively strong and playing some wonderful football. It's pleasing, but we have to keep improving."

Liverpool's journey in the competition already has a whiff of romance, following an epic 14-13 penalty shootout win over Middlesbrough in round one and a late comeback against Swansea City in round two.

But the road to Wembley is barred by Chelsea, who looked back to their imposing best in a classy 5-0 demolition of Swansea on Saturday and who have not lost at Liverpool since May 2012.

The breezy win at Swansea enabled Chelsea to preserve their place at the league summit and allowed Mourinho to withdraw Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas and Willian early with a view to the trip to Merseyside.

Costa scored twice at the Liberty Stadium, taking his tally for the league campaign to 17, and with Oscar also claiming a double, it has given Mourinho renewed belief his side can challenge for honours on four fronts.

Also read Chelsea trash Swansea

"Our next game is always the biggest game," said Mourinho, who also won the League Cup with Chelsea in 2007.

"We have that game on Tuesday and the Capital One Cup becomes the most important competition. It's as simple as that."

Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was once again on the bench at Swansea following a finger injury, and having gone three games without conceding a goal, his deputy Petr Cech will hope to continue between the posts.

As well as Gerrard, Liverpool will also hope to recall Adam Lallana, who has returned to training ahead of schedule following a thigh injury.

The return leg takes place on January 27, with the winner going on to play either Tottenham Hotspur or third-tier Sheffield United in the final.

Fixtures (19:45 GMT)


Liverpool v Chelsea


Tottenham Hotspur v Sheffield United



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...