18 Mar 2014

'He's better than me' - Steven Gerrard admits he 'couldn't match' midfield legend's ability at...

Despite the feeble rationalisations from legions of LFC fans, the self-evident truth is that Daniel Sturridge dived to win a penalty against Man United on Sunday. The evidence is damning, but justice was summarily done, however, when Reds captain Steven Gerrard missed the resulting penalty, which stopped him from becoming the first LFC player in 77 years to score a hat-trick at Old Trafford. Despite the miss, Gerrard is clearly a supreme penalty-taker, but he acknowledges that one of Anfield's legends of the past is superior in that department.

Jan Molby scored a hat-trick of penalties against Coventry City during the 1986-7 season, and speaking to BBC Sport after United game, Gerrard mused:

"Jan's hat-trick [against Coventry] was the first ever game that I went to see, and Jan [scored] three penalties.

"Jan's a better penalty taker than me. Unfortunately I couldn't match him. I was confident I was going to score it but I was very pleased I got the two important ones"

Is Gerrard right about Molby being a 'better penalty taker'? Let's look at the facts:


* Total Penalties Taken: 49
* Scored: 40
* Missed: 9
* Success Rate: 81.6%


* Total Penalties Taken: 45
* Scored: 42
* Missed: 3
* Success Rate: 93.3%

As Gerrard suggests, Molby is clearly the superior penalty taker, but both pale in comparison to LFC goalscoring legend John Aldridge, who achieved a success rate of 95% during his time at Anfield.

Sadly for Aldo, his one missed penalty (against Wimbledon in the 1988 FA Cup Final) remains one of the most famous penalty misses in British football history.

When Gerrard stepped up to take the third penalty against on Sunday, I secretly hoped he'd try a Pirlo special, which would've really added insult to injury. Alas, it wasn't to be.

Gerrard has scored eleven goals this season, and NINE of them have come from the penalty spot. Just imagine if Luis Suarez was LFC's designated penalty-taker - he could potentially be on 36 goals for the season right now (!)



  1. i was hoping too gerrard would just chip the ball in the center cause De Gea was 100% going to gerrards right
    Sturridge dived, and it was shameful, if that hadn't happened we would have still won the game, but the dive does put a bad taste to the victory.
    Hope we don't slip up at cardiff.

  2. Exaxtly jaimie, especially if you consider that suarez won over 50% of our penalties ;)

  3. I think that most Liverpool fans acknowledge that Sturridge dived, they just don't go on about it. While it wasn't a positive thing it also wasn't pivotal.

  4. I disagree that justice was done. It still should have been a penalty even if Sturridge hadn't gone down. Vidic slid into him and Sturridge had to hurdle the legs to get away. Vidic intended to impede the player and by the rules of the game that's a foul. Sturridge ensured the penalty was given and I'm fully agreed that he appears to dive, but I can't see any reasonable argument that it shouldn't have been a penalty.

  5. ok JK, DS went down a little to easy, LS could have any maybe could have and should have went down in the 1st half - IMO justice was done...now please get behind the team and bloody stop nit picking at an OUTSTANDING Liverpool season!!!

  6. i think it was the acting that really made it bad. try to hurdle and keep your feet but throwing the body through the air like he was shoot in back was a bit ridiculous. maybe if players hurdle and then stumble and maybe keep their feet or end up sliding there wouldn't be such a harsh reaction and would still indicate impeded progress to the ref. i don't know bit of a catch 22 there. Personally i was waxed from behind and was able to jump off my front leg and land but i mostly did that to prevent my head from getting ripped off from the other defender coming in trying to make a clearance, even though it was a penalty the ref didn't call because "i kept my feet". my first thought was vidic is a idiot for going to ground, but after seeing the replay sturridge made the most of it.

  7. Sturridge dived, yes shameful.

    But people are ignoring that it didn't affect the game. Penalty was missed. Besides, Fellaini and Carrick foul on Suarez and Sturridge respectively is ignored by media and fans. Also, Rooney purposely jumped on Skrtel to get a penalty and that is equivalent to diving IMO. Why not discuss that?

  8. Sturridge dived ? Yes, now it's time to stop defending this with what if.
    The point of this article is about gerrard's accuracy on penalty whichi is more than honorable.

    And what is becoming clear with the players being in position to gain penalty is how offensive is our team and how we seems to easily get in the penalty area ! If we can continue to be strong defensively it bodes well for the future.

  9. Agree - with the way we play now with our players running at defences and hungry to get in the box Suarez , Sturr and Sterling are going to win loads of pens and put refs under a lot of pressure to make the correct calls etc. Controversy will follow as is seen here ...... Did they dive , should they have stayed on feet , did the ref get it right etc. etc. ? and one thing is certain the opposition will always dispute the ref's decision . Just as well we have a reliable pen taker in Stevie cos we are going to need him in the future !

  10. Adam, Vidic didn't intent to impede the player, he wanted to win the ball. Why would he intentionally attempt to concede and consequently get himself sent off?

    It would not have been a penalty even if Sturridge remained on his feet because there was absolutely no contact between the two players. The old sniper hit Sturridge, he shot to the ground after he had passed Vidic. Look at the footage again and you can see the delay between Vidic going in and Sturridge taking a step forward and then letting himself go down.

    This isn't relevant to what we discussed yesterday where there is minimal contact or a foul actually happened. There was no contact, so Sturridge has to simulate it.

  11. SG is not cocky or over confident which is partly why he is the player he is. He was never going to chip the ball down the middle.

  12. Sorry Pete, you and I will always be on different sides of stuff like this I think. I just can't agree with that. Part of what I consistently say about this is that I don't think it's OK that defenders can lunge in front of players and if the intended victim is quick enough to get out of the way that somehow makes it an OK tackle. It was never an OK tackle. You can't just slide in on a player like that and miss the ball and then claim you did nothing wrong. I don't agree with the point of view that if there ends up being no contact that it's not a foul. If I take a swing at you but you're quick enough to get out of the way that doesn't mean what I tried to do was OK.

    I'm not talking about the dive here. Sturridge dived. It's dishonest and not what anyone wants to see in football. I'm not defending the dive. But I won't agree with anyone else defending the tackle. It's clumsy and stupid and he gets no where near the ball. He also does it in the box. He immediately puts his hands up, as if he's not just tried to tackle the player and everything is OK, likely pleading his innocence because he knows he's just done something absurdly stupid. Best case scenario he's managed to make Sturridge miss a step and put him off his run onto the ball. He's attempted to tackle the player in a careless manner and according to the written rules of the game that's a foul, contact or not.

  13. It shouldn't have been a penalty, it was missed, justice was done. Just as justice was done by the fact that we beat them anyway.

  14. Because nothing you said changes the fact that Sturridge dived.

  15. In case it sounds like I'm just making this up then read Graham Poll's take on the penalty. He agrees that Vidic "does not actually trip the striker but still impedes his progress and the penalty is correct". That doesn't mean GP is right and everyone else is wrong, end of discussion, it just means that it's not completely off the wall to think the penalty decision was a good one. That's all I'm saying in this instance. Sturridge's dive is extremely dodgy, I don't disagree with that at all.