Captain Fantastic is still as important to Liverpool as ever

At 33 years of age, Steven Gerrard is still as influential for Liverpool as he was in his prime.

"Lovely cushioned header... to Gerrrardddddddddddd! What a hit son, what a hit!"

Takes you back, doesn't it? The famous line Andy Gray delivered in commentary when Steven Gerrard put Liverpool 3-1 up against Olympiakos and took them into the next round of a Champions League competition they would go on to win in 2005.

Everything about the legendary England midfielder is encapsulated in those short phrases. When the chips are down, Gerrard will usually produce something magic.

And even though we see less of the 40-yard screamers and 70-yard runs today, Gerrard is still as important to Liverpool as ever.

Ryan Giggs is still going strong for Manchester United at 40, while Paul Scholes came out of retirement to help the same club at 37.

Liverpool skipper Gerrard, it seems, is of the same mould.

Against Hull City on Sunday, a few isolated moments demonstrated that the 33-year-old is still doing everything he can for his side after all these years.

First, he curled a sublime free kick into the back of the net to put the Reds on level terms before, moments later, making a goal-line clearance to keep his side level.

That is Gerrard in a nutshell: an attacking threat and the last line of defence - all at the same time.

The fact that Liverpool lost 3-1 to the Tigers was more to do with collective effort than any faults of Gerrard and the England veteran represented everything that was good about his side's performance.

Still sweating as much as ever, the 33-year-old has not lost any of the work-rate or appetite that saw him rise to the top. And his impact this season may have more to do with Liverpool's end-of-season position than many critics will realise.

In fact, if you see a lovely cushioned header any time soon, do not be surprised to see Gerrard on the end of it, wrapping his irresistible right foot around the ball and sending Liverpool fans into ecstasy once again.

image: © ruairadhG

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