Gerrard and Gonzalez strike as LFC Legends beat Celtic at Anfield

Match reportGerrard and Gonzalez strike as LFC Legends beat Celtic at Anfield

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By Chris Shaw at Anfield

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Steven Gerrard and Mark Gonzalez were the goalscorers as Liverpool FC Legends beat Celtic Legends 2-0 at Anfield on Saturday.

Free highlights: LFC Legends 2-0 Celtic Legends

A host of former Reds returned for the LFC Foundation charity fixture, which was presented by AXA Health and brought to you in association with Forever Reds.

Gerrard dispatched a penalty in trademark style seven minutes before the end of a first half that Celtic had enjoyed the better of for long periods.

Gonzalez increased the advantage for Sir Kenny Dalglish’s side within a minute of the second period kicking off and that scoreline held true despite multiple chances at both ends as legs tired.

It was a perfect result on a day when that mattered least of all, with vital funds raised for the work and community programmes of LFC Foundation and its partner charities.

  • All proceeds raised from the event will support a range of LFC Foundation's and partner charities' programmes. Fans can make a donation via liverpoolfc.com/donate.

There was a cagey beginning to the contest, with Celtic perhaps getting into their passing rhythm more swiftly than the home side.

Clear chances were absent, however, as Ross Wallace thumped a long-range effort wide of goal and Sander Westerveld gloved away a more accurate drive from a similar distance by Stiliyan Petrov.

Liverpool were forced into a double change due to injuries in between those opposition attempts – Momo Sissoko and Fabio Aurelio replaced the unable-to-continue Salif Diao and Bjorn Tore Kvarme.

Gonzalez soon came off the bench, too, but the Reds were struggling to provide usable service to their front two of Gerrard and Dirk Kuyt – and Celtic then threatened twice in quick succession.

Wallace’s angled delivery into the area was headed off target by Robbie Keane – representing the visitors before switching colours in the second half – and then Westerveld had to rush from his line to thwart Emilio Izaguirre’s attempted dink finish after an incisive one-two.

At the other end, Artur Boruc was relatively comfortable in tipping over a rising hit from Gonzalez, but the Celtic stopper would soon be picking the ball out of his net.

Martin Skrtel stepped forward to win possession in midfield and carried it into the penalty area, where he was scythed down by Darren O’Dea’s challenge.

Naturally, Gerrard assumed responsibility from 12 yards and provided the home fans with exactly what they wished for, stroking in the kick to break the deadlock and secure a half-time lead.

That advantage was doubled in a matter of seconds when play resumed.

Djibril Cisse, one of four new faces deployed by Dalglish for the second half, slid a pass in behind the Celtic defence for Gonzalez on the left, who beat his final marker and rolled a low effort in off the near post.

In response, Niall McGinn concerned Jerzy Dudek with a 20-yarder that the Pole shovelled away, and O’Dea’s flicked header past Dudek from close range was ruled out by an offside flag.

Ragnar Klavan had crept into an increasingly offensive role along the left during the encounter and he could have scored after darting forward to meet Cisse’s diagonal into the area – but nodded wide.

The defender then knocked the ball into his own net from the next Celtic attack, though he and Liverpool received a reprieve by virtue of another offside call.

Keane, now wearing red, was denied a Kop-end strike by the goalkeeper following a neat exchange of passes with Luis Garcia to create space, though Dalglish’s LFC Legends had done enough to mark their Anfield return with victory.

LFC Legends: Westerveld (Dudek, 46), Kvarme (Aurelio, 15), Hyypia, Skrtel, Klavan, Vignal (Garcia, 46 (Gonzalez, 84)), Diao (Sissoko, 14 (Keane, 74)), Adam (Riera, 46), McManaman (Gonzalez, 25 (McAllister, 80)), Gerrard, Kuyt (Cisse, 46).

  • All proceeds raised from the event will support a range of LFC Foundation's and partner charities' programmes. Fans can make a donation via liverpoolfc.com/donate.
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