Steven Gerrard proved he can still light up Anfield as he scored on his return to the famous stadium, but it was not enough to prevent his team from slipping to a 2-1 defeat against Barcelona Legends in a charity game to raise money for the LFC Foundation on Saturday.
Lining up alongside a host of former team-mates including Jamie Carragher and Dirk Kuyt, it did not take long for Gerrard to make an impact as he earned the home side a penalty when he was brought down by Edmilson.
There was no doubting who would take the spot-kick, and Gerrard duly converted from 12 yards to put Liverpool in front in the 14th minute.
Steven Gerrard was seen talking to Jamie Carragher ahead of kick-off at Anfield on Saturday
Gerrard made his mark on the game early on by scoring from the penalty spot
He saluted the crowd as he celebrated his goal with his team-mates, including Glen Johnson
Gerrard then went close to extending Liverpool’s lead himself with an effort from a tight angle, but his shot flew narrowly wide.
Gradually, Barcelona grew into the game, and they hit back just before the interval to level matters.
Brazilian forward Giovanni was played through on goal, and he kept his cool to finish past Sander Westerveld.
Former Liverpool full-back Jose Enrique appeared to be pleased to be back at Anfield
Luis Garcia was also enjoying being back in the dressing room with his former team-mates
Liverpool made 10 changes at the break, but one man returned for the second half – Gerrard.
He could do little to stop Barcelona taking the lead in the opening stages of the second half, though.
Giovanni was in the thick of the action again, this time enticing a foul out of Phil Babb inside the box.
Rivaldo scored the winning goal from the penalty spot, placing his shot in the top corner
He celebrated his strike casually as Barcelona completed the turnaround at Anfield
His fellow countryman and one-time Ballon d’Or winner Rivaldo stepped up and made no mistake to hand the Spanish giants the lead.
Liverpool tried to respond as substitute Stewart Downing and Kuyt went close, but they could not find a way through Barcelona’s defence.
Gerrard remained on the pitch until the end as the hosts hoped he could inspire them to a trademark comeback, and he even tried his luck with one last shot in added time.
It was not to be, though, as Liverpool fell just short, yet even a loss couldn’t dampen the spirits on Merseyside as the crowd were treated to an entertaining afternoon of football with a number of club heroes taking to the pitch for a good cause.