Sunderland manager Gustavo Poyet has claimed that Liverpool left their “special” player Steven Gerrard on the bench in their clash on Saturday.
Gerrard’s continued place in the Liverpool first team has been under debate in recent months.
Despite contributing heavily to the Anfield club’s title charge in the later stages of last season, he was also somewhat responsible for the ultimate failure of that quest.
Gerrard infamously slipped against Chelsea, giving them the opportunity to grab a lead that Liverpool could never take away from them, and Brendan Rodgers’ side ultimately lost that game 2-0.
Had Liverpool managed a draw in that game and then not collapsed against Crystal Palace while chasing a huge goal difference busting win, they would have won the title.
However, Poyet himself says that Sunderland did significant preparation on how to deal with Gerrard, and were surprised to see such a special player left on the bench for the game.
“We watched on video, Gerrard playing in front of the back four and Gerrard playing off the front,” Poyet said.
“Then he wasn’t playing. So I suppose a few players in there said ‘yeah, well done gaffer’ — all that video for no reason. But it’s good — you play against a top team, one of those players is special, you show your team, and he doesn’t play.”