Former Rangers manager Steven Gerrard saw his first managerial return to Anfield ruined as Aston Villa succumbed to a Mohammed Salah penalty in the Premier League encounter.
Much has been made of Gerrard’s return to the ground where he established himself and his Villa team ran Liverpool close in the narrow 1-0 defeat.
Although the Anfield side dominated possession throughout and had the better clear-cut chances, the visitors remained stubborn until Tyrone Mings pulled down Salah in the box in the second half and after a quick VAR check, the penalty stood.
No surprises as the Egyptian talisman fired the ball into the bottom corner of the goal and Liverpool never relinquished the lead.
Villa look a different team under the former Rangers boss and three wins out of four prior to the Anfield clash certainly constituted an excellent start.
The Liverpool faithful gave him a hero’s reception as he walked out the tunnel before the match and rightly so.
Steven Gerrard returns to Anfield for the first time since he left the club in 2015 to a massive reception 👏 pic.twitter.com/0psxdUC1hA
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) December 11, 2021
Although it stung when the Englishman left Rangers suddenly to take the Villa job in November, there are still sections of the supporters who want to see him do well and go on to work his way towards the Liverpool job.
Rangers wasted no time in appointing a successor, as Giovanni van Bronckhorst became the 17th permanent manager in the Ibrox sides history.
After the two clubs’ recent results, it looks like both teams have been reinvigorated by the managerial changes.
With van Bronckhorst winning four out of his first five matches in charge and still unbeaten, a new era has begun at Rangers.