Steven Gerrard failing to control a simple pass from Mamadou Sakho in midfield and then slipping while trying to retrieve the ball on Sunday may have shocked Liverpool fans all over the world, but there was one man at Anfield who was waiting for exactly that to happen.
Demba Ba needed no second invitation and once he had taken the ball in his stride, he marched on and eventually slotted it home past Simon Mignolet just before half time. It was 1-0 then in the Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool, and Willian would eventually find the net again late in the second half to wrap up a 2-0 win for the Blues.
Gerrard has been one of the key players for Brendan Rodgers’ side this season and has reinvented himself in his new contained midfield role, yet still scoring 13 goals and providing nine assists in 32 league appearances. However, the 33-year-old England international captain is not immune to mistakes, just as he illustrated on Sunday.
On the other hand, Ba has come in from the cold and has scored some crucial goals over the past month or so to maintain Chelsea’s hopes of winning a trophy this season.
The Senegal international was at the right place at the right time against Paris Saint-Germain to score the goal that would secure Chelsea’s place in the Champions League semi-finals. Five days later the 28-year-old found the net against Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium in the Premier League for a 1-0 victory. And then on Sunday he put Liverpool on their way to just their second league defeat at Anfield this season.
As Ba has now revealed, he knew all along that Liverpool would make a mistake. He was just waiting for them to make one, and when Gerrard slipped up, he stepped in and took advantage of the Reds captain’s misery.
‘I was waiting for a mistake, it wasn't a surprise’, the Daily Star quotes him as saying. ‘We knew we weren't going to get many chances. You have to keep going, you have to keep doing gambling and fortunately the mistake came. I didn't think about it, that's why I scored. If I'd thought about it I would have missed the chance’.
Ba’s days at Chelsea may be numbered, but the former Newcastle United striker can still be key to helping manager Jose Mourinho taste silverware success in his first season back in England.