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Thursday, May 30, 2024

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Barcelona legends come out victorious against Liverpool legends thanks to a Rivaldo penalty

Whilst the blazing sun kissed a filling Anfield the Liverpool legends came out to an even warmer round of applause from the crowd that down the years have adored them kicking a ball on this hallowed turf.

The Barcelona legends also got a very good reception and so they should as all of this event was for such a good cause raising funds for the LFC foundation as well as the The Owen McVeigh Foundation, Right to Play, Forever Reds and the Barça Foundation.

Some of the all time favourites to pull on a red shirt, the cult heroes, the Champions League greats and then arguably the greatest to be apart of this historic club; Steven Gerrard.

He was smashing them in like he had never been away, like he has not been on the sidelines managing one of the biggest sides in the country; Aston Villa.

The man did not look fazed as ball after ball flew into the top corner, unfortunately the same could not be said for Dirk Kuyt.

The Liverpool legends warming up

All the players soon went back into the dressing rooms with another round of applause with the likes of Egdar Davids and Rivaldo on the Barcelona side.

As You Spin Me Round was booming from the speakers it was announced that kick-off would be delayed for 15 minutes, another 15 minutes for everyone to soak in the atmosphere on this special day.

Then the players came out to a superb reception, as expected.

What followed was a rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone which was goose bump worthy.

To see these players back on this pitch taking in the anthem they will have heard hundreds of times, it was like they had never been away.

They loved it and Anfield loved it even more.

In the opening minutes Luis Garcia had a great chance to send Anfield crazy but his shot was blocked on the edge of the box after Gerrard won the ball back, surprise surprise.

The biggest cheer of the day came in the fourth minute as Jamie Carragher stretched and ended up on his backside to keep a loose pass in play.

Carragher laughed as the rest of Anfield shared a little chuckle with one of their local legends.

A not so rapid counter attack led to the first goal as Gerrard was tripped in the penalty area.

Of course he was the one who stepped up and slotted the penalty away with ease, like he has done 46 times before in the red kit.

A few minutes later in the 20th minute Sami Hyypia had a header cleared off the line then in the second phase of the corner the ball fell to Gerrard and with the crowd shouting shoot he obliged from a ludicrous angle for it to go just wide.

Shortly after he was played through on goal and he attempted to chip the Barcelona legends goalkeeper Jesus Angoy without succeeding however it did hurt Angoy who fell to the floor with a full Anfield laughing at his anguish.

Thankfully he was ok to carry on.

It was vital that he did as he produced a fabulous finger tip save to deny Dirk Kuyt an audacious chipped effort on the edge of the box, it was safe to say Angoy was loving being the playful villain.

Egdar Davids, one of the all time greats, leaving the field for Barcelona

In a strange turn of events the last few minutes of the first half ended up with Carragher Cruyff turning his man in his own corner.

One of the three Barcelona number 10’s on the field ending up equalising with about a minute to spare in the first half as Giovanni got in behind Liverpool’s back five and slotted the ball home past Sander Westerveld.

The half-time whistle went after a wonderful opening 45 minutes.

Barcelona kicked off the second half and we were off again with a host of changes however the one man who stayed on was captain Steven Gerrard

It was another penalty which turned the game on its head and this time it was another all time great who scored it.

Brazilian legend Rivaldo buried his spot kick into the top left hand corner and not long after came off for Luis Garcia who was on the Liverpool legends side in the first half.

The legends in red came very close to finding an immediate response as Gerrard had an effort fly not far over the bar then a minute later just before the hour mark, Milan Baros had a sitter miraculously cleared off the line.

Xavier Guzman, Barcelona’s substitute goalkeeper, was trying his best to upstage Angoy from the first half as he made a stunning save to roll back the years to keep his side infront.

With 20 minutes remaining Luis Garcia nearly wrapped it up for Barcelona as his pace benefitted him in a foot race with Jason McAteer but he dragged his effort just wide.

The game was opening up with legs getting tired, understandably, hence why some players who played the first half started to come back on.

One of of them was the tireless Dirk Kuyt.

He got straight into the action with his shot heading goal bound before another vital block from the Barcelona defence stopped him from getting his goal.

Jerzey Dudek, wobbly legs himself, was in goal for Liverpool in the second half and he was called into action on several occasions to stop The Catalans from scoring anymore and it was thanks to him that the score stayed to only 2-1.

Gerrard though nearly had something to say about that score line as in the last moments of the game he tried to rescue Liverpool once again with a curling effort but it was parried away by Guzman.

That was the last bit of action, victory for Barcelona legends.

An even game which captured the hearts of supporters around Anfield as it was more than a pleasure to watch all of these legends kick a ball once more after their illustrious careers and of course it is all for a wonderful cause.

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