Steven Gerrard’s red card, as it happened: What Stevie G was thinking during his 48-second cameo

Steven Gerrard started today’s “massive clash” between Liverpool and Manchester United on the bench. It was a little bit sad because today’s encounter, barring a spectacular loan move back to Anfield, marked the Liverpool captain’s final “massive clash” against the Reds’ longtime rivals. At the end of the season, Gerrard will be joining up with Major League Soccer’s LA Galaxy.

Gerrard got to spend the first half watching United dominate his favorite club, but that changed at halftime, when a first half injury forced Adam Lallana off. At the second half whistle, Gerrard had his opportunity. Unfortunately, that opportunity lasted about 33 seconds, as his famed anger-enthusiasm resulted in a swift red card from referee Martin Atkinson. Turns out, Gerrard’s experience in “massive clashes” was of little assistance to his team.

So what could have made the Liverpool legend lose his head so quickly? We have some answers. Here’s a breakdown of Gerrard’s thought process during his 30-something-second magical cameo.

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1. Second half starts

Gerrard’s thoughts: “Here we go! Let’s play with some urgency, lads. Let’s string a few passes together and get stuck in on some tackles. I will be the engine.”

Gerrard’s sub-thoughts: “Choo choo!” *train sounds*

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2. First time on the ball in space

Gerrard’s thoughts: “Come on, Stevie. Ping that ball out to the wing. Come on, Emre. Stevie G is back at Anfield.”

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3. Getting the ball back

Gerrard’s thoughts: “This is going over your head, lad. STEVIEEEEEE GEEEEEEE! I’ve only been on the pitch for 23 seconds and I’m already buzzing.”

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4. His first challenge

Gerrard’s thoughts: “STEVIEEEEEE GEEEEE GETTING STUCK IN! Mata’s not going to come into our house — into MY house — and try to reestablish his credibility. Not while Stevie G’s on the field.”

Gerrard’s sub-thoughts: “I can’t breathe. All this talk of Stevie G being past it has put a lot of pressure on me to show that I’ve still got it. I’m a little out of my comfort zone. To be honest, it’s actually not bad for my legend to be injured or on the sideline. Then people can remember me as a great player – somebody who can change a game. But now I have to change the game. I hope I don’t get sent off. That would not be good. I can’t let the lads down.”

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5. Starting to see red

Gerrard’s thoughts: “Took care of that Mata fella. Oh, there’s Ander Herrera. Goodbye, Ander Herrera.”

Gerrard’s sub-thoughts: “Breathe, Stevie. Breathe.”

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6. Instinctive violence

Gerrard’s thoughts: “Ah, come on. F*** off. I barely touched him. Get up. This is England for f***s sake.”

Gerrard’s sub-thoughs: “F*** me. I hope I didn’t let the lads down. On second thought, if I get a yellow, I can claim injustice and say what I would’ve done if I hadn’t been given such an early yellow. I hope children aren’t watching this.”

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8. Accusations

Gerrard’s thoughts: “Act cool, Stevie. Oh no. Shit. Oh no. I didn’t do it, Martin [Atkinson]. Look at him. He’s from Spain, you know. Obviously he’s faking.”

Gerrard’s sub-thoughts: “I totally did it. I let Jamie Carragher down. And the lads. Who’s going to mentor Jordan Henderson?”

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9. Denial

Gerrard’s thoughts: “Is that for me or for Wayne? Should I tackle Wayne right now?”

Gerrard’s sub-thoughts: “I saw pictures in the papers of Wayne at a school reading books with kids. I didn’t know Wayne could read. He’s definitely not reading this situation well because I’m about to smash him. Get away, Wayne. I can’t control myself.”

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10. Acceptance

Gerrard’s thoughts: “I can’t believe this. It was for me. I let the lads down. But at least I brought urgency and purpose. Hopefully they talk about that.”

Gerrard’s sub-thoughts: “Pele’s in the stands. Shit.”