You can’t say that wasn’t fun. Liverpool’s annual legends charity match, the only good thing to come from the March international break, was another winner. The match, hosted, as usual, at Anfield, featured many legends and fan favorites from Liverpool years gone by.
From player-manager Ian Rush to captain to Robbie Fowler to goal scorer Dirk Kuyt, this match always entertains for the nostalgia alone. But this year the game against their Bayern Munich Legends counterparts also brought with it bags and bags of jammy goals.
The fun — and Liverpool’s offense — kicked off quickly with Michael Owen finding Dirk Kuyt for the Reds’ first of the afternoon after only six minutes. Owen went from assister to goal scorer next when he bundled in a simple tap-in off of goalkeeper Jorg Butt’s mistake.
God Himself, Robbie Fowler, managed Liverpool’s third unanswered goal in the first twenty minutes of play, getting on the end of Kuyt’s cross and using his belly to get the ball across the line. I refuse to make the obvious joke out of respect for Our Lord and Saviour, but feel free to make it inside of your own heads.
That’s when things started getting a little reverse Istanbul-y for the Reds. First Toni Luca pulled one back for Bayern with a header that went right over Jerzy Dudek’s out-stretched hands. Moments later, it was some bad defending that allowed Alexander Zickler to get on the end of Paulo Sergio’s cross and score the second header in two minutes for the German powerhouses.
By the half-hour mark, things were all level at Anfield, with Paulo Sergio getting a third past Jerzy Dudek and nullifying Liverpool’s dominate early lead.
Three minutes later, Bayern Munich double agent Xabi Alonso, then playing for Liverpool, forgot what side he was on and sent an ill-advised cross-penalty-box pass straight to the head of Zickler. Poor Dudek allowed the fourth goal into the back of his net in 33 minutes of play.
But it was Fowler, of course, who saved Liverpool’s blushes right before half-time, scoring a deflected free kick and returning the Reds level. Phew. So that was only the eight goals before half-time then. Fans certainly got their money’s worth for 45 minutes of entertainment in that first half.
The second half saw the action wind down a bit — if you could call what those 50-ish year old men were doing before ‘wound up’.
72 minutes in and Liverpool found themselves behind again, this time to Alonso scoring for the right team. Decked out in his Bayern kit, the Spainard converted a free kick after Daniel Agger got called for a foul.
Steven Gerrard, our fearless captain, tried to take the reins in the last 20 minutes to save the match for Liverpool. He came close several times — the most impressive of which was a volleyed shot that went just wide of the goal. It missed the mark, but man, that would have turned back the clock a decade had it gone in.
Liverpool’s surprise hero of the night ended up being Bjorn Kvarme, who crushed an absolute stunner into the back of the net at 82 minutes gone to get Liverpool level at 5-5. Best goal of the night, and the perfect encapsulation of why these games are always such fun every year.
In the end, the two teams shared the spoils, but as always, the real winner was the LFC Foundation.