LFC Legends v Bayern Munich: Match blog
The story from Anfield as Liverpool FC Legends faced Bayern Munich in a special charity match to raise funds for the LFC Foundation.
A 21-man squad of Reds greats played out a 5-5 thriller against the visitors, with Kuyt, Owen, Fowler (two) and Kvarme the goalscorers for the home team.
Liverpool Legends 5-5 Bayern Munich
What a game!
Just the two goals in the second half to add to the eight in the first, but the Reds were not to be denied and Kvarme's Kop-end equaliser ensures a draw at Anfield.
Gerrard can't believe it. The midfielder thinks he has won it with another strike from 20 yards that is destined for the top corner until the 'keeper stretches to claw it onto the woodwork.
Liverpool put the ball in the net on the follow-up but the linesman flags for offside.
A late equaliser and from an unlikely source.
Yet another Reds attack down the right ends with the ball coming out to the edge of the area and the defender whacks it into the top corner to square the score with minutes remaining. Superb.
Riise returns to the pitch in place of Aldridge.
... almost the moment!
Carragher pushes forward and sends in a ball to the box that Gerrard chests and hits on the volley as he turns - just over the crossbar from the No.8. What a goal it would have been.
Stevie hasn't given this one up. A nicely-weighted cross from the right flank is met by Smicer surging into the box and the Czech is unfortunate to see his header carry wide of the goal.
Smicer back on for McAllister.
Garcia takes a driven Gerrard pass first time on the volley. Brilliant technique from the Spaniard but the attempt flies harmlessly off target.
How has he missed?
As the Reds commit men forward, Misimovic runs clean through and rounds James to his left, but takes too long over the finish, allowing defenders to cover, and sweeps it wide of the far post via a deflection.
A brief cameo for Rush as he replaces himself with Aldridge.
ALONSO (FOR BAYERN)!
Anfield doesn't quite know how to react...
A Bayern free-kick bang on the edge of the box, in the centre, is made for the midfielder and he takes advantage with a firm finish into the right corner.
The tempo has dropped notably in this second half but there is still plenty of time to find a winner.
This man, perhaps...
McAllister replaces Hamann.
The boss has seen enough... time to send himself on.
Rush and Babb on, Smicer and Riise off.
Liverpool produce a lovely flowing move involving Gerrard, Garcia and Smicer but Kuyt can't cap it off when he strikes on the angle from the right channel - the Dutchman finds the side-netting.
The pressure is wholly coming from Liverpool at present and Garcia's head is in his hands as his attempt to knock in Smicer's diagonal pass instead sends the ball looping over the frame of the goal.
Three more changes ordered by Rush.
On come James, Kvarme and Berger - replacing Dudek, McAteer and McManaman.
McAteer puts in a delightful delivery from the right, on a sixpence for the rising Agger in the middle, whose header is inches too high to nestle underneath the crossbar.
The Kop is desperate for a Gerrard goal and he tries again with a bobbling drive from 25 yards that is calmly stopped low to his right by the goalkeeper.
Almost a sensational goal from Gerrard, who weaved his way into the area and a shooting position with a lovely dummy around the oncoming defender but had his side-footer blocked at the expense of a corner.
And we're back under way, with Liverpool attacking towards the Kop end now...
Three changes for the Reds ahead of the second half...
Garcia, Hamann and Smicer on.
Fowler and Owen off.
Alonso switches to the Bayern side.
Liverpool Legends 4-4 Bayern Munich
What a half of Legends football. The Reds led by three, trailed by one and go into the break with the score level again. Kuyt, Owen and Fowler (two) with the goals for the home team.
We're level again at Anfield. The captain claims control of a promising free-kick situation and benefits from a deflection off the wall to see his clip sail past Butt and into the back of the net.
Good effort from Fowler, who was picked out by Owen, but his cushioned header towards the top right corner drifted narrowly the wrong side of the post.
The latter then breaks free to collect a Gerrard dink forward but is blocked out by Butt before he can finish.
Not one for the Alonso scrapbook, this.
The Spaniard was sweeping up inside his own area and tried to send a pass out to the right-back, but Zickler was in the way and immediately directed a strike into the gaping net.
This could end up any score.
The Reds force a scramble around the Bayern box and Owen eventually flicks Fowler's cross against the crossbar. Unlucky.
Bayern complete their comeback.
Toni's dummy invites Ze Roberto to weigh up his options and he chooses to tee up Sergio for a curling finish from 20 yards around the reach of Dudek.
Close! Riise meets a dipping ball with the ambition of a trademark left-footed blast - he doesn't get the perfect contact but the bounce takes it to Kuyt, whose header on the turn is acrobatically tipped over by Butt.
Game on, suddenly...
Bayern have woken up and once again they make the most of time and space in Reds territory, on this occasion Sergio the provider with a knock towards the back post that Zickler converts.
Response from the visitors.
They exchange a series of passes to quickly bring the ball from back to front and Ze Roberto is afforded too much time to pick out Toni in the area for a precise, lofted header over Dudek.
What a start this is. Again Liverpool do the damage along the right flank and Kuyt's bouncing cross into the box reaches an unmarked Fowler. The No.9's chest control delicately guides the ball over the line.
Bayern have their first real opportunity and it comes to Toni, who finds space in the area to the left of Dudek's goal and hits one towards the near post that the 2005 Champions League hero parries away.
And just like that, it's two.
Kuyt drives through the middle of the park with the ball and spreads it out to Gerrard on the right wing. He pings in a cross towards the centre in search of Owen and, after Butt fumbled the ball somehow, the Englishman was left free to convert yards out.
It has been coming, even at this stage, and the No.18 has his goal on returning to Anfield.
Patient approach work sees the ball moved left to Owen and the striker's pinpoint cross from the corner of the area finds a queue of players - with Kuyt at the front to direct a cool header into the opposite corner.
Great chance for Owen as he collects another delivery from the right hand side, but his shot from close range is blocked by Tarnat.
Couple of early touches for Kuyt out on the right flank and one cross from the Dutchman into the middle is just too strong for Gerrard to control on the run.
At the other end, Carragher uses his strength to outmuscle Zickler as he tries to surge into the box from the right channel.
Michael Owen kicks off for Liverpool and away we go...
The two teams are out on the pitch and You'll Never Walk Alone is under way...
Here we go...
The Legends are out warming up in front of the Kop at the moment - and entertaining the fans filing into the stadium in the process. Big cheers greet each successful strike, with the loudest reserved for Gerrard and Kuyt. Not long to go now..
Inside the dressing room...
Brings back some good memories seeing these shirts hanging up in the Anfield dressing room once again.
And in opposition…
Going to be a tough test for the LFC Legends…
Bayern XI: Butt, Lizarazu, Demichelis, Ze Roberto, Tarnat, Matthaus, Makaay, Zickler, Sergio, Toni, Elber.
Subs: Zimmermann, Van Buyten, Pflugler, Witezcek, Gospodarek, Alonso, Ottl, Sternkopf, Misimovic.
So, the teamsheet is finally in and it confirms an exciting line-up for the Liverpool Legends – and Steven Gerrard reunited with Xabi Alonso in midfield. Dirk Kuyt also makes his debut for the ex-Reds.
Liverpool Legends: Dudek, McAteer, Carragher, Agger, Riise, Alonso, Gerrard, McManaman, Kuyt, Fowler, Owen.
Subs: Rush, Aldridge, Smicer, Berger, Babb, James, Kvarme, Garcia, McAllister, Hamman.
The build-up begins...
Our live coverage at Anfield is now under way - click here for all of the details on how to tune in.
Alonso and Gerrard adorn the memento matchday programme...
A crucial cause
Today's match is, of course, all about raising important funds for the LFC Foundation, the club's official charity - to support its range of programmes and partnerships which aim to create life-changing opportunities for children and young people.
Visit the Foundation website for more information.
Fans watching the match live on our global Facebook page will be able to use the new LIVE Donate feature to make a direct donation to the LFC Foundation during our coverage.
'We're going to fall out!'
This clip is well worth a watch, too. Fowler and Kuyt try their hand at commentary on the Legends' 4-3 victory over Real Madrid a year ago...
The Legends squad began to gather in Liverpool on Friday, with many heading off for a round of golf and a catch-up following their media duties in the morning.
They'll regroup again ahead of kick-off, when player-manager Ian Rush will deliver a team-talk to his side before the short journey to Anfield.
The Reds' all-time record goalscorer has a lot of quality to choose a starting XI from - and we'll confirm who makes the team at 1.45pm GMT.
Three of the participating LFC Legends warmed up for the game by taking on our 60-second volley challenge - with varying degrees of success.
McManaman v Owen v McAteer...
Last time out
Last year's Legends match at Anfield had everything. Seven goals, a win for the Reds, a Kop-end strike for Gerrard, and much more. Refresh your memory of that meeting with Real Madrid below...
Dirk 'desperate' to play at Anfield
We get the impression Kuyt is keen on as much game time as possible this afternoon...
"Anfield has changed a bit in the last few years. I was at the stadium last year. I'm really looking forward to being on the pitch and seeing how it is. I have been back a few times since I left Liverpool, to watch a few games. I was invited to Stevie's match a couple of years ago but I was injured, so I'm desperate to play on Saturday."
Not too Xabi
The ever popular Alonso is set to play 45 minutes for each of his former clubs today. Classy as always.
And before the game, the Spaniard took up an amusing task - to describe his fellow LFC Legends, and other players he teamed up with for the Reds, through... emojis!
Take a look below...
How about this for a squad?!
1 – Jerzy Dudek
1 – David James
3 – Bjorn Tore Kvarme
4 – Jason McAteer
5 – Daniel Agger
6 – Phil Babb
6 – John Arne Riise
7 – Steve McManaman
8 – John Aldridge
8 – Steven Gerrard
9 – Ian Rush (player-manager)
9 – Robbie Fowler (captain)
10 – Luis Garcia
10 – Michael Owen
11 – Vladimir Smicer
14 – Xabi Alonso
15 – Patrik Berger
16 – Dietmar Hamann
18 – Dirk Kuyt
21 – Gary McAllister
23 – Jamie Carragher
The wait is over
The day is finally here. The LFC Legends are back at Anfield.
Agger, Alonso, Fowler, Garcia, Gerrard, Kuyt, Rush - and many more - will be back 'home' for a special charity match against Bayern Munich.
As well as our free broadcast of the game, which kicks off at 3pm GMT, we'll bring you updates, photos, videos and more from the stadium here in our live match blog.
Sit back and enjoy it.