Liverpool fans give legend Steven Gerrard a standing ovation on his first return to Anfield
Steven Gerrard was given a hero welcome to Anfiled after his return as a Aston Villa manager.
The former Reds captain was back at Anfield for the first time since leaving in 2015 following 17 years as a senior player having come through the club’s youth system and appearing over 700 times for the Reds.
Gerrard was an inspirational figure for Reds fans having helped the club win the Champions League in 2005 and as he made his way onto the pitch he was greeted with huge applause from all corners of the stadium.
Banners were also held in tribute, with one reading ‘Red for Life.’
The Villa boss opted to remain as professional as possible in his new role as Villa boss, responding with a deadpan fans and polite applause back to the fans from the touchline before taking his place in the Villa dugout.
Before the game, Gerrard’s former boss and current Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admitted that all the adulation for the former midfielder would be fully deserved as he prepared to lock horns with the 41-year-old on the touchline.
‘We have a football game here,’ Klopp told Sky Sports. ‘When Stevie steps out everything he will get will be deserved. I’m fine with that.
‘But the team wont think about it. He’s one of the best ever but we face him as a manager. Thank god he is not playing – that is the best news!’