Everton defeat could be more humiliating for Liverpool than infamous Gerrard slip

April 27, 2014. A date etched permanently into the minds of all Liverpool supporters, and equally those who love to taunt the Merseyside club for their dramatic failure to lift the 2013/14 Premier League trophy.

Unbeaten in 16 games as they welcomed Chelsea to Anfield, Liverpool were five points clear at the top of the table. They’d seen off title rivals Manchester City just two games prior, and were serious contenders for silverware.

That was until Steven Gerrard slipped just before half-time, allowing Demba Ba to race through on goal unhindered and slot past a stranded Simon Mignolet to hand Chelsea the lead. Love it or loathe it, the midfielder’s misfortune has become one of football’s most iconic moments – resurfacing on social media whenever the Reds loosen their grasp on silverware.

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Manchester City went on to win the Premier League that season, with Liverpool letting a three-goal lead crumble against Crystal Palace in the penultimate game of the season and settling for a draw against the Eagles.

Three days shy of ten years on, Liverpool fans are left lamenting another moment that they know will be used to ridicule them for years to come. A tense three-way title fight, also consisting of Arsenal and Manchester City, looked set to come down to the wire.

Having played a day earlier than Liverpool, Arsenal held pole position. Mikel Arteta’s Gunners were three points clear of the Reds, with Manchester City a further point behind – albeit with two games in hand over their opponents.

Liverpool would look to move level on points with Arsenal as they made the short trip across the city to Goodison Park – home of historic rivals, Everton. The Toffees would love nothing more than to see the Reds let their grasp on the title loosen again… except perhaps playing a crucial role in that happening.

When Jarrad Branthwaite slammed home in the first half and Dominic Calvert-Lewin added the second after the break, a chorus of ‘You lost the league at Goodison Park’ rang out from the home fans. They’d built a fervent atmosphere; the result of recording their first home win over Liverpool since 2010, perhaps.

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This was not an individual mistake from the club captain, as had been the case in 2014, but Wednesday’s defeat at Goodison Park has every chance of becoming more humiliating than that infamous slip nonetheless.

When Jürgen Klopp announced his decision to step away from Liverpool in January, fans were keen to see out the German on a high. Throughout his nine-year tenure, the former Borussia Dortmund boss had become more than a manager – he’d become a symbol of the city itself, an honorary Liverpudlian that truly understood what it meant to be a Merseysider.

But little by little, silverware has slipped away. Defeat by historic rivals Manchester United in the quarterfinals of the Emirates FA Cup was the first sign of struggle, though hopes of a Premier League and UEFA Europa League double lived on.

Defeat against Atalanta left a weight on the shoulders of every Liverpool player. The Premier League was rendered their only chance of seeing their most successful manager in recent history out with the farewell he deserves – and yet, at the home of their nearest rivals, even that lay in tatters.

Jürgen Klopp’s departure was always going to force a rebuild at Liverpool. The German has become the glue that holds one of the world’s strongest sides together, a jigsaw of talent with every piece intricately slotting into place.

But for Liverpool fans, it appears that the jigsaw has fallen apart, just a few weeks too early.

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