It is one of the most infamous moments in Premier League history. It’s April 2014, Liverpool are top of the table, and up against Chelsea in a crucial top-of-the-table clash. It’s the end of the first half and scores are tied; enter Steven Gerrard.
Of course, we all know what happened. Mamadou Sakho sends a harmless sideways pass to Gerrard, but instead of controlling it, he decides to do his best ‘Dancing on Ice’ impression and promptly slips over. Demba Ba gleefully pounces, taking the ball into the Liverpool box and calmly slotting it away. The rest, as they say, is history.
Liverpool lost the title (and ultimately Raheem Sterling) to Man City. Luis Suarez was so badly affected, that he’s forced to process his trauma the only way he knew how; by reverting to cannibalism and noshing on Giorgio Chiellini’s shoulder at the World Cup. Daniel Sturridge never really recovered and is now best known for his wave celebration – which went from viral trend in 2014 to daggy nightclub dance move.
Worst of all, that man Steven Gerrard retired, having never won a league title. Remembered not for the trophies he won, but for the one he let slip (excuse the pun) through his fingers.
But what if it never happened? What if Liverpool hadn’t ballsed it up? Or better yet, what if Ba, instead of scoring, had himself tripped over those gangly giraffe legs of his, thereby saving Gerrard from humiliation?
Cast your mind back; it’s May 2014- but this time, Liverpool are anointed league champions. Scousers everywhere celebrate their first title in decades. Raheem Sterling, having won the league, decides he’d rather stay than move to the soulless Etihad Stadium chasing
In desperation, Man City promptly pay 40 million quid to re-sign Scott Sinclair. Sergio Aguero forces a move to Real Madrid, and with the proceeds, City buys Andy Carroll for 35 million- who’s still a flop in any timeline.
On the managerial front, Brendan Rodgers never leaves and is hailed as the second coming of Bill Shankly. A certain Pep Guardiola is so intimidated by Rodgers’ dominant tactics, that he decides to stay in Germany for his guaranteed yearly league title.
Jurgen Klopp now suffers at Dortmund, his little ‘Gegenpressing’ experiment is widely ridiculed, and shortly after he’s out of a job, soon to be found running a hipster antique shop.
Liverpool goes on to dominate the Premier League for the rest of the decade. Ultimately, they become the next great dynasty, filling the void left by Fergie’s United.
Most important of all, our man Steven Gerrard retires as a Premier League winner; remembered not for one split second of infamy- but for a career worth of magical moments.