Steven Gerrard's Five-Step Guide To Scoring Last-Minute, Match-Winning Screamers

Liverpool legend explains magic behind his many amazing goals...

His track record is nothing short of incredible; it is those magical, match-winning moments that live longest in the memory of football fans, and is one of the main reasons so many, not just in Liverpool, not even just in England, but across Europe and beyond believe him to be one of the best midfielders in the world.

After all, in terms of match-winning moments, not even Frank Lampard's extraordinary and consistent goal return has manifested itself in as impressive and memorable a fashion as his.

Kaka, for all his skills and silverware, arguably hasn't won as many matches with individual moments of magic as much as him, either. Iniesta produced just one such moment last season, and we saw what an iconic moment that became in the course of the year.

The list is endless, but none of them, despite their many other skills, seem to have produced the quite simply unbelievable individual results Steven Gerrard has.

There must be something to it - so UK sat down with the Liverpool skipper to talk through the tricks to his trade secret.

It turns out, it comes down to five factors - all of which, the man himself had plenty to say about, and many strolls down memory lane to take...


It seems obvious enough, Stevie himself admits it can be decided in a fraction of a second: "It’s about the circumstances and you just have to keep practising your techniques during training and really knuckle down. Sometimes balls come at you so fast – you just don’t have time to think.

"The goal I scored against Olympiakos in the Champions League is a good example. As the ball dropped towards me it was spinning and I thought the shot was going to end up in the stands when I got my boot to it. But somehow I caught it sweetly and it flew in. It’s definitely one of the best goals I have ever scored.

"I was delighted to get the goal. Not because of the glory but for the rest of the team for the hard work we’d put in that night – especially in the closing stages."


There is something to be said of any great striker - and a rare select few of great midfielders - who always are where they need to be to score those all-important, match-winning strikes: "It is always a challenge to find space during a match, but it doesn’t get easier as the game goes on because players are generally very fit nowadays.

"A good example is when we played West Ham in the FA Cup final. I was dead on my feet and when the ball came up for me I just thought I’d give it everything I had left.

"To be honest I surprised myself with how much I got behind it because I thought my tank was empty.

"Saying that, I also like the first goal I scored that afternoon a lot because it was a team goal. I might have put the finishing touch to it but it was a great build up.

"Another example is when we played Real Madrid last season. Ryan Babel made a great run down the left and cut it back as I was sprinting into the box. I diverted it towards the goal on the half volley and it just went in. Again, it’s just instinctive and as a professional footballer you keep practising and always look to improve in every area.

"The game against Real was my 100th appearance in Europe, but I’m not one to dwell on statistics or the goal. The most important thing was to win the game and reach the quarter-finals.

"Real just couldn’t live with us playing like that, we just capitalised on every loose ball and the team was brilliant from start to finish.

"Again, I can remember playing against PSV in Holland and Steve Finnan does some brilliant work with Javier Mascherano and Finn’s pointing to exactly where he wants the return pass played - his cross is just inch perfect.

"There are better players than me in the air at Liverpool but I knew where I was and where the goalkeeper was, and the ball was played just brilliantly and I got my forehead on it and it was 1-0.

"You train and play with players week in, week out, and you just develop an understanding."


This is one factor in which Gerrard holds no doubt of the significance whatsoever: "A good example of the difference bottle can make is our Champions League tie against Arsenal at Anfield.

"We had a penalty, yes, but if I’d missed? I didn’t even want to think about that.

"I had already made up my mind about where I was putting it as the ref awarded the spot-kick and just concentrated on getting the best contact on the ball that I possibly could. That was enough to put us back in the driving seat.

"You just have to think positive. I’ve scored some penalties in my time and I just go for them."


Gerrard doesn't believe luck to be as telling a factor as many believe:. "You do need the rub of the green here and there, but I’d say it’s somewhere in-between.

"The thing is, you don’t get anything in football, or in any other profession, without a great deal of hard work and we’ve got to remember that. Football can be a cruel game and at times the opposition get the luck, but we have to do our part and really knuckle down.

"The difficult thing is that I’ve set a high standard for myself and people expect great performances week in and week out. That’s good, because I’d rather play my football with expectation around me, than not.

"But, if I fall a little bit below that level, people are very quick to say negative things. But at times things do go against you and you have to just remain calm and pick yourself up again.

"Experience is very important because it enables you to get back to basics and believe me, I’m my own worst critic.

"My target for this season is the same as it is before the start of every season: get into double figures. And to get to double figures you need a lot more than just luck.

"As a midfielder I’m always looking to get into double figures, that’s the minimum expected for a player in my position.

"To get to the next level you’re looking at about 15 and over a season if you want to be classed as a top Premier League midfielder."


What many forget is that the young, industrious and slightly less strike-happy Steven Gerrard was a player whose very future at the highest level was under threat from persistent injuries.

Those were problems he has battled admirably to overcome, showing that some things - including injuries - really do go beyond good or bad luck, into good or bad discipline and determination.

"To be able to play 50 or 60 games a season, you need to be able to stay fit for long enough. When I was younger, not being able to play 50 or 60 games used to really get me down and I used to doubt whether I’d be able to stay fit," recalls Gerrard. "But those days are thankfully long gone now. Over the last few years, everything’s come together and I feel really good.

"I have a routine that I’ve got to follow before and after games and in the week. But to be honest with you, I need to keep at it.

"I’ve got to do a special programme in the gym during the week and the physios have to drag me to do it. But it’s important and I know it’s helped me get to where I am and I’ll keep at it. It's all about putting the hard work in."

So, that's all it takes? A five-step guide to glory? Not quite. Steven Gerrard also wears the new Predator Power Swerve football boot - which is said to give eight per cent extra swerve and control. Developed by none other than Zinedine Zidane, after ending his career in the 2006 World Cup final, the Adidas innovation team has created this unique for world class footballers.

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