Imagine you’re a 8-year-old kid on Merseyside, living and breathing the game of football. Now someone tells you that your 10-year-old cousin has died after going to watch your local team, all due to a stadium disaster that dominates the headlines.
Something very close to that happened to Steven Gerrard, and it’s one of the reasons he was overcome with emotion after Liverpool defeated Manchester City on Sunday to cement its status as Premier League title favorites at a game where the Hillsborough 96 were honored.
From the BBC:
“The reason I was so emotional was because of when this game fell,” said the 33-year-old.
“I’m speaking on behalf of everyone when I say the win was dedicated to the victims and families of Hillsborough.”
Gerrard was speaking ahead of Tuesday’s planned memorial to honor the Hillsborough 96, at which both Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers and Everton manager Roberto Martinez are slated to speak. Gerrard, the Liverpool captain, lost his 10-year-old cousin Jon-Paul Gilhooley in the disaster.
His autobiography ends with the note, “I play for Jon-Paul.”
“[My reaction] wasn’t just because it was a big match in our season, it was because this week is always about more than football for everyone associated with Liverpool,” he said.
“All the squad will be present at the service to pay our respects as we should.”
It’s sure to be a sobering event, one that reminds many of their humanity just as Gerrard did on Sunday at Anfield.
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Here he comes.
When Henrikh Mkhitaryan signed for Manchester United in the summer big things were expected.
It’s taken him a while to settle but now the Armenian playmaker has scored his first goal for United with a stunning superb solo effort against Zorya Luhansk on Thursday in the UEFA Europa League.
Watch the video below to see Mkhitaryan put United 1-0 up.
What a goal.
You truly have to see this a few times to believe it is possible.
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Stunning footage from a game between National Vatera and Makedonikos Kozanis in Greece’s four-tier last weekend has emerged as Kozanis striker Thanasis Takidis goes clean through on goal, gets one yard out but then somehow delays his shot and is blocked on the line by a defender, then the ball gets away from him.
Watch the clip above to see probably the worst miss you will ever see.
I mean, come on man…
YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) Japanese champion Kashima Antlers beat Auckland City of New Zealand 2-1 in the opening game of the Club World Cup on Thursday.
[ MORE: Ranking the PL superstars ]
Kim Dae-wook headed Auckland ahead five minutes after half time, but substitute Shuhei Akasaki equalized for the J-League champions in the 67th minute.
Fellow sub Mu Kanazaki then completed the comeback in the 88th, heading home from close range after Shoma Doi nodded a deep Shuto Yamamoto cross from the left back.
Kashima advanced to a quarterfinal against African champion Mamelodi Sundowns in Osaka on Sunday.
The winner of that game will face Copa Libertadores winner Atletico Nacional in the semifinal Wednesday. European powerhouse Real Madrid also enters the tournament from the semifinal stage.
The use of video replays was available during the match but there were no official reviews. The technology is there to be used only for correcting clear errors in game-changing decisions.
Week 15 of the Premier League season has arrived with Manchester United hosting Tottenham, Liverpool welcoming West Ham and Leicester City and Manchester City clashing at the King Power Stadium.
[ STREAM: Every PL game live, here ]
With some intense relegation battles between Swansea City and Sunderland and Hull City and Crystal Palace, there is plenty on the line as the festive season really starts to heat up.
Below are previews, score predictions and everything else you need to know about all 10 games this weekend.
Chelsea vs. West Brom
Leicester City vs. Manchester City
Manchester United vs. Tottenham Hotspur
Liverpool vs. West Ham
Arsenal vs. Stoke City
Southampton vs. Middlesbrough
Swansea City vs. Sunderland
Watford vs. Everton
Hull vs. Crystal Palace
Burnley vs. Bournemouth