FeatureThe goals and the greats of Anfield's legends matches
If history is anything to go by, you can be certain of goals when the next LFC Foundation legends charity match takes place at Anfield next month.
Liverpool FC Legends host Manchester United in the second leg of the Legends of the North contest on Saturday September 24, holding a 3-1 lead from the first game.
The not-to-be-missed encounter – brought to you with Forever Reds, the official LFC former players association – will be the fifth of its kind to be played at the Reds’ stadium and follows four contests packed with special moments and dramatic goals.
Along the way, millions of pounds have been raised to support LFC Foundation and its charity partners, helping to deliver vital funds for community programmes at home and abroad.
Here, we take a look back at the four previous editions of the fixture…
Liverpool 4-3 Real Madrid – 2017
Inside Anfield: LFC Legends 4-3 Real Madrid
The inaugural LFC Foundation legends charity match at Anfield brought together a host of famous names from two of Europe’s most successful clubs.
And they served up exactly the kind of treat the capacity crowd was hoping for, trading seven goals as the home side held on to a memorable victory.
With Steven Gerrard back to represent the club two years on from the end of his historic, 17-year spell in the first team, the midfielder was in talismanic form.
He created goals for Michael Owen and John Aldridge and, after Robbie Fowler had tucked away a penalty, Gerrard delivered a crowd-pleasing Kop-end finish to put Liverpool 4-0 up.
Real’s class showed as they mounted a late comeback, including a clinical strike by former Reds man Fernando Morientes, but the hosts took the win.
Liverpool 5-5 Bayern Munich – 2018
Highlights: LFC Legends 5-5 Bayern Munich
The second instalment in the LFC Foundation charity match series remains the most prolific to date as Liverpool and Bayern Munich shared 10 goals, eight of which were racked up in the first half.
An early three-goal lead – gained through efforts from Dirk Kuyt, Owen and Fowler – looked to have set the Reds on course for another home victory, but the Germans responded to edge ahead 4-3.
There was still time for Liverpool to restore parity before the interval, aided by a slice of luck as Fowler’s curling free-kick took a heavy deflection and found the net.
Xabi Alonso was among those rolling back the years at Anfield on this occasion, featuring alongside Gerrard in the Reds’ midfield for the opening 45 minutes.
The Spaniard swapped teams at the break and fired a set-piece finish home to put Bayern ahead once more, but Bjorn Tore Kvarme rifled a rising shot in at the Kop end to grab a late draw.
Liverpool 3-2 AC Milan – 2019
Inside Anfield: LFC Legends 3-2 Milan Glorie
Liverpool did not quite need a repeat of the miraculous scenes at the 2005 Champions League final when AC Milan’s legends visited Anfield – but they did need Gerrard once again.
Star names were scattered across the teamsheets for the third edition of the LFC Foundation event, with the away side treating supporters to seeing the likes of Cafu, Kaka and Andrea Pirlo strut their stuff.
The Reds moved 2-0 ahead courtesy of fine finishes by Fowler and Djibril Cisse but Pirlo dispatched a typically sumptuous free-kick and Giuseppe Pancaro then produced a fabulous long-ranger to bring the away outfit back on terms.
The last word, however, went to Gerrard.
With moments left to play, he took possession, shifted the ball twice at the edge of the Milan penalty area and then threaded a precise 20-yard hit inside the left post in front of his adoring Kop, providing a perfect sign-off for another special day.
Liverpool 1-2 Barcelona – 2022
Highlights: LFC Legends 1-2 Barça Legends
A much-anticipated fourth Anfield legends fixture, with Barcelona the high-class opposition, was delayed for two years as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
When the game could finally be played, back in March this year, supporters’ wait was worthwhile as another stellar line-up of Reds greats took on Rivaldo, Javier Saviola and co.
Gerrard stroked in a 14th-minute penalty to give Liverpool an advantage, but the hosts were to suffer their first home defeat as a legends team.
Giovanni broke the offside trap to slot in an equaliser shortly before half-time and Barça completed their turnaround early in the second half as Rivaldo emphatically placed a spot-kick into the top corner.