Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard looked devastated this afternoon as he explained where it all went wrong with his missed penalty. First of all, he said sorry: "I’d like to apologise to everyone at the football club – the fans, the players for not scoring the penalty. It wasn’t my day. I’m blaming myself for Liverpool not picking up three points today. I should have won the game for Liverpool."
Gerrard missed a penalty on the same weekend last season, also against London opposition. Last year’s penalty was in a 0-0 draw against Fulham. What happened this year? "I decided to go for power," said Gerrard. "I kept my head down as I ran to the ball. The lads have told me their goalkeeper went early so if I’d looked at him I would have been able to pass the ball in. I didn’t see him move so I went for power and I sliced it."
Edwin Van Der Sar saved the spot-kick last season, as Gerrard remembers: "The last time I took a penalty I went for placement and missed so that’s why I went for power this time. I think that’s the end of me on penalties from now on.
Gerrard had a "goal" ruled off for offside and hit the post. Ending the game with cramp after his week off with injury, he was really unhappy: "I could have won it from open play as well with a shot which hit the post, but it just wasn’t my day today. I hope to get the chance to make amends over the remaining games of the season." Was there a pause in that last sentence – after the word amends? Some members of the media might see it – as if he nearly ended the sentence there.
If Liverpool had performed all season the way they did today they may well have been playing for something more than fourth place: "We dominated the last ten minutes of the first half and all of the second so it’s really disappointing not to get the three points."
Gerrard said last season that he wants Liverpool to be performing at
the top level and winning trophies. Maybe if he does think he’s at
fault he’ll make sure he stays behind to make amends into next season.