Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard are concluding their English Premier League careers in different circumstances, but both star midfielders exited in style on Sunday, finding the net in their final appearances.
A faltering Liverpool lost at Stoke City in shocking fashion, as Geoff Cameron’s Potters hammered the Merseyside club 6-1, prompting manager Brendan Rodgers to say afterwards that “the supporters deserve an apology for that.”
But “Stevie G” gave LFC fans one small consolation as he ran down Rickie Lambert’s flick-on and stroked a clinical low finish past goalkeeper Asmir Begovic in the late going. The strike runs Gerrard’s career EPL total to 120 goals in 504 career appearances as he prepares to join the LA Galaxy this summer.
It was a brighter picture in Manchester, where Lampard – wearing the captain’s armband on the day – started and scored the opener as City defeated Southampton 2-0 to cap their second-place finish in the EPL.
The midfielder’s razor-sharp finish (his 177th Premier League goal in 609 appearances) of a James Milner cross may cheer up New York City FC fans eager to see Lampard boost their team’s sputtering attack when he finally joins up with the Yankee Stadium side in July.
Gerrard and Lampard were even on the minds of EPL champions Chelsea FC, who hoisted the 2014/15 trophy after their defeat of Sunderland at Stamford Bridge.
“What Stevie and Lamps have done in the Premier League has been phenomenal. The pair of them are absolute legends,” said Blues captain John Terry, a longtime England teammate of both men, as he fielded a question about whether he too might someday continue his career in North America.
“I’m privileged to play with them, and against Stevie, obviously. So I wish them well.”