With Liverpool struggling throughout the first half against a very determined Manchester United side, Brendan Rodgers decided to put Steven Gerrard on the pitch in place of an injured Adam Lallana. It seemed a logical idea, giving Liverpool their captain's experience and drive to beat United as they chased the match.
The whistle to start the second half blew, and 50 seconds later it was all over.
Gerrard dished out a hard tackle on Juan Mata, then appeared to stamp on Ander Herrera, and that was all referee Martin Atkinson needed to see to pull out his red card. Just like that, Liverpool were down a man, and Manchester United had all the momentum. Liverpool would fight back well in the half, but they couldn't find a second goal as they slumped to a defeat.
Now Gerrard is taking responsibility for what he's done. "I think the decision was right," Gerrard told reporters after the match. "I've let my teammates and the manager down today, and even more importantly let all of the supporters down.
"I take full responsibility for my action. I've tried to jump his tackle when I've seen his studs and I've reacted wrong."
"Reacted wrong" is certainly one way of putting things, after finding himself planting his studs in Herrera's leg, but Gerrard definitely regrets what happened, and putting his team in the lurch with so much of a vital match left to go. "I've been in the game long enough to know when you do something like that...especially with the timing of the game - 45 to play with a great opportunity to get back into the game. I take full responsibility for it.
"I've come to speak to apologise to everyone in the dressing room and all of the supporters all over the place because I take full responsibility for today's result."
Gerrard will be out at least three games for his red card, with away matches at Arsenal and in the FA Cup against Blackburn, then a home match against Newcastle next up on the schedule. It would have been good to have him on the bench and available for those matches, but now Brendan Rodgers will have to do without him for another stretch. This is a big disappointment for club and fans as Gerrard's Liverpool career winds down.