Steven Gerrard may be Aston Villa’s new manager, but the Liverpool legend is red through and through.
From the time he donned his first kit for Whiston Juniors, the proud Scouser dreamed of playing for his childhood club and lived it famously.
Gerrard has made a solid Premier League return after leaving Rangers to take charge of Aston Villa
The same cannot be said of Ronaldo who joined United this summer from Juventus
One of the prerequisites for playing for, and possibly becoming captain of Liverpool, is to set the tone in big games, especially against fierce rivals Manchester United.
For decades the battle to be the best dog in English football has been fought in the North West, with Gerrard often leading the charge for Liverpool and it was never so evident in a particularly fiery game at Anfield in March 2007.
At the time, United were set to reclaim their place at the top of English football as they faced Chelsea for the Premier League title and needed to get maximum points.
Still, they rarely seemed to trouble the home side, who managed to calm emerging superstar Ronaldo with two authoritative tackles from Gerrard on the young Portuguese superstar.
Gerrard was never afraid to step on it, especially against United
In the 44th minute, just before half-time, Gerrard legally mowed down the winger to stop a United counterattack before the break that left Ronaldo in a heap on the floor.
Barely eight minutes into the second half, the England midfielder repeated the feat, this time following Ronaldo across the pitch before knocking him down with a well-executed slide tackle.
The derby was characteristically fiery, with Wayne Rooney leaving the pitch with blood gushing from a leg injury and Paul Scholes seeing red late for attempting to punch Xabi Alonso.
Still, it was United who won that day, with John O’Shea coming off the bench to slap home after Pepe Reina knocked down a free kick in the Irishman’s way.
Carragher and Rooney collide at Anfield
The England striker left the pitch with a grazed leg
But United ended the game with 10 men after an enraged Scholes tried to punch Alonso
Fast forward 15 years and Gerrard is hoping to inflict more pain on Ronaldo, who is struggling on his return to Old Trafford.
The 36-year-old will be hoping to lead the Red Devils to the FA Cup fourth round at Villa Park – a game you can hear live on talkSPORT – with Gerrard in the opposition dugout in hopes of making it again. law.
Bet of the day
BETFAIR – Bet £ 10 on football, get £ 60 – CLAIM OFFER
888Sport – Bet £ 10 Get £ 30 + £ 10 Casino Bonus – CLAIM HERE
Betfair: Place £ 10 bet on football (January 7-15), min. odds 1/5 (1.2) – get £ 60 in free bets. The £ 40 free bets will be awarded after the qualifying bet has been settled and the £ 20 free bet the following day. Only card deposits will be eligible, Apple Pay is not valid on this promotion. The T & Cs apply. 18+ begambleaware.org
888Sport: New customers only. Minimum deposit of £ 10 • A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £ 10 • Minimum odds 1/2 (1.5) • Free bets are credited upon settlement of the qualifying bet and expire after 7 days • The casino bonus must be claimed within 7 days • To withdraw the associated bonus / winnings, wager the bonus amount x40 within 14 days • The casino bonus expires after 60 days • Withdrawal restrictions and terms and conditions full apply 18+ begambleaware.org