Steven Gerrard gave his impassioned, and ultimately terribly worded, ‘we’re not letting this go’ speech at his Liverpool eight years ago today.
It is not the first time in recent years that Manchester City and Liverpool have battled for the title, and although the rivalry, considered the best in English football history, has truly reached another level in the past four recent years, it dates back as far as 2014.
Then there were just five league games left in their season when the Reds hosted rivals City at Anfield, with Manuel Pellegrini’s side four points behind Brendan Rodgers and Chelsea’s side between the two sides, at two behind the leaders.
A victory for the hosts would surely put them within easy reach of their first league title in 24 years, and the first since the start of the Premier League.
Raheem Sterling and Martin Skrtel put the Reds 2-0 up in the first half hour before City returned in the second half. David Silva put the visitors back in the game before Glen Johnson scored an unfortunate own goal.
With just 12 minutes remaining, Philippe Coutinho struck, following Vincent Kompany’s poor clearance, to give Liverpool all three points and a seven-point lead over City, knowing that three wins in their last four games would be enough to the title.
Captain Gerrard gathered his teammates for a speech which the television camera managed to get in the middle. Inspiring his team, the midfielder shouted over the cheers of the crowd “We’re not letting this fucking slip. We’re not letting this fucking slip. We’re moving on!”
Those words were meant to rally his teammates in an inspiring throaty cry for a final push towards a league title that had lasted over two decades.
The captain inspired his teammates and Liverpool supporters in a huge show of togetherness and passion, or at least that’s what he might have hoped the moment would be remembered for.
Unfortunately for Gerrard, he really couldn’t have chosen his words much worse, in one of the most incredible foreshadowings in the history of the sport.
Liverpool won their next game, against Norwich City, while Pellegrini’s side dropped points in a 2-2 draw at home to Sunderland in midweek.
All of this meant that Rodgers’ side could all but win the title if they beat fellow title hunters Chelsea at home, with just three games of the season remaining.
The Blues won the match 2-0, with Willian completing the scoring in added time late in the game as Chelsea escaped from a Liverpool corner.
More agony was to come for Gerrard and his teammates eight days later when they faced Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, with their title hopes still alive.
Liverpool took a 3-0 lead in the 53rd minute, after goals from Joe Allen, Luis Suarez and an own goal from Damien Delaney, before the moment known as Crystanbul.
Palace came back to draw 3-3 with three goals in nine minutes, Delaney grabbed the first before a brace from Dwight Gayle and Liverpool lost the title to City by just two points!
It would take the club another six years to finally break their title drought, with Jurgen Klopp’s side lifting the trophy after beating City to the title by a mammoth 18 points.
This time things are likely to go back to the wire, and no one at Anfield will talk about slipping until the end of the season in May.