ROBERTO Firmino’s thunderous half-volley to secure all three points away at Stoke prompted wild celebrations from the Liverpool supporters, the players and the man himself — whipping his shirt off and launching it up in the air in front of a flare-lit away end.
It’s the seventh time in the last four seasons that the Brazilian has been booked for an overzealous response to scoring, having repeatedly threatened to remove his shirt in celebration and even doing so before the ball had crossed the line at Selhurst Park back in October.
Everybody loves a boss celebration, don’t they? Whether it be acrobatic, using props or just an absolute let-off. Here are 10 others that will stick in the memory of Reds.
Rushie And Barnes Sink The Blues: Liverpool 3 Everton 2 – May 20, 1989
IAN Rush spins and puts the ball in the corner against Everton in the FA Cup final (let’s be honest, this already has everything you need right here). He wheels away arms aloft and turns towards his team-mates. As John Barnes approaches, Rushie’s hands do little circles. Barnes runs towards him on tiptoes. Rush leaps into Barnesy’s arms. The look on his face. You can’t see Barnesy’s smile but my god can you imagine it.
This was the defining celebration of my childhood, really. It’s the one I always remember, my celebratory equivalent of “it’s there”. Exuberant but a tiny little bit cool. The little steps of Barnes. The spin of the hands from Rush because all he really wants to do is jump on Barnes but he needs to give it a bit of abracadabra, he needs to give it a bit of the big stage.
I love how happy they are. You should always be that happy to score a goal, at any level, always that happy to score a goal for Liverpool. That happy to make that many people happy and that happy to make Barnes happy. That’s magic.
Gerrard’s Camera Kiss: Manchester United 1 Liverpool 4 – March 14, 2009
IMAGINE you were that camera.
Experiencing life through a lens. Isolated in the corner at Old Trafford. Watching Steven Gerrard from afar, but never paid any attention to. So lonely. Then the penalty comes…
“I’m in the corner, watching you kick it, woooah…
“I’m right over here, why can’t see you see me, woooah…”
On that sun-kissed spring day in 2009, you film him wheel away in celebration having slotted Liverpool’s second…
“I watch him grabbing the crest on his chest and caress it with his lips. Out of nowhere, he locks eyes with my lens and plants his lips on my screen. Suddenly I’m in focus — everything seemed clearer and life is in HD.
“I know he has a wife, I know it’s not right. I zoom and shutter — I’m fully charged. While I’d been turned on before, it wasn’t like this…”
Reina’s Run Up: Liverpool 2 Manchester United 0 – October 25, 2009
UP against it and on their worst run of form since 1987, Liverpool faced an in-form Manchester United at Anfield needing a result.
One-nil against Alex Ferguson’s United is never a safe scoreline and Reds had seen this film before countless times, the pressure was unbearable for even the strongest of Kopites.
When the board went up for six minutes the outcome was inevitable, a goal was surely coming. And as the game entered the 96th minute, it did.
David N’Gog came up with a finish that belied the absolute chaos around him, calmly sliding the ball into the corner of the net to make the game safe.
N’Gog turns around to celebrate with his team-mates and ends up having to catch a flying Pepe Reina, who had sprinted the full length of the pitch, reaching him in the corner of The Kop before anyone else can get near. If a goalie has ever covered so much distance in so little time I’d like to see it.
As a celebration that fitted a moment it was pitch perfect and said everything about the toughness and character of that Liverpool side, one fuelled by adversity and filled with character.
One that wanted to offer everyone out, and invariably came out on top.
Suarez Takes A Dive: Everton 2 Liverpool 2 – October 28, 2012
DAVID Moyes: “I would (be concerned about Luis Suarez) because I think he has got history.
“But I am not the referee, I am not the one that (makes decisions). But I tell you what — it will turn the supporters away from football if they think players are conning their way to results.”
This celebration wasn’t just in the post, it was delivered first class right in front of the pale grid of Taff’s Tavern’s favourite son.
Thirteen minutes in, Suarez picks up the ball on the right of the Everton area and smashes it towards goal, taking a deflection off lifelong Kopite Leighton Baines to give Liverpool the lead.
Suarez, with no interest in celebrating with his team-mates, has something else in mind and is off towards the dugouts.
It’s a bit early to embrace Brendan Rodgers, isn’t it? Not really his thing anyway, ‘ang on a sec…
He’s took a fucking massive dive in front of the Everton dugout and Moyes hasn’t got a fucking clue how to react, caught between being absolutely furious and not wanting to acknowledge that he’s just been made an absolute cunt of. Again.
Carra Does ‘The Studge’: Fulham 1 Liverpool 3 – May 12, 2013
IT was one of those celebrations of a game, when everything just seems to culminate.
The last away game of the season — the penultimate game. The hope that good things are to come next season, despite the almost annual Luis Suarez suspension lingering after his bite on Branislav Ivanovic.
January signings Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge had both shown all the signs that they were going to slot right into Rodgers’ Liverpool side with ease. Particularly the latter.
The Sturridge arms that were once so familiar, once a source of such joy for Reds everywhere, on full display on a spring Sunday afternoon at Craven Cottage.
A Sturridge hat-trick. Jamie Carragher, who was set for his 737th and final appearance in a red shirt the following week. A lesson in the art of ‘the arms’.
Not sure Carra really mastered it but it didn’t matter. It was a great moment all the same.
Bring back the arms, Danny lad.
Flanagan’s Trouser Trouble: Tottenham Hotspur 0 Liverpool 5 – December 15, 2013
“IT’S IN! BY FLANAGAN! A FANTASTIC FINISH BY THE YOUNG DEFENDER.”
The 2013-14 season was a mad season. A brilliant one. Liverpool were the best team in the country.
Gerrard, Sturridge, Suarez, Raheem Sterling.
Remember that? Remember when Flanno was the best full-back in Europe? Great days. Remember when he achieved full-on sexual arousal ‘cause he bagged at White Hart Lane? The best.
The Scouser ghosted in at the back post and absolutely blasted one in off the underside of the bar to put Brendan Rodgers’ tricky Reds four goals to the good, and it’s safe to say he couldn’t hide his elation.
Smothered immediately by a euphoric Luis Suarez — to whom I’m certain this was not an alien concept (you’re not convincing me that he couldn’t have switched the lights off from his bed the night he scored four against Norwich).
Andre Villas-Boas, perched like an impeccably dressed owl on the touchline, had the perfect view… “Oh fuck off, even Flanagan has scored. And he’s got a fucking stalk-on!”
Liverpool up to second in the table, Kenny Dalglish wearing a beaming smile in the stands and a massive stiffy in Flanno’s bills.
Stevie Shirt Off: Fulham 2 Liverpool 3 – February 12, 2014
GERRARD’S top whirling around his head. Not a celebration; a signifier. Gerrard knew how to celebrate a goal.
Marcelo Bielsa said: “There are 36 different forms of communicating through a pass.” Gerrard had 37 forms of communicating through a goal celebration.
This was number 26. The Bat Signal. We’re trying to win the league here, lads. Get on board.
When he is 34 years old Gerrard doesn’t take his top off and swirl it round his head giving it the biggest of big ones in some chase for fourth. Been there and done that. Gerrard takes his top off and swirls it around his head to tell you that the Reds are coming up the hill, boys.
After scoring nine against Everton and Arsenal back-to-back at home, Liverpool still had a scary number of non-believers and simultaneously Liverpool needed to get a win against Fulham. For all the pressure the side brought to bear, it took Gerrard until the last minute to score the penalty that gave Liverpool the points.
It felt huge. It was huge. Get on board.
Suarez Through The Legs: Manchester United 0 Liverpool 3 – March 16, 2014
THIS might not be the most aesthetically pleasing celebration, but the strange manner in which Suarez appears between Martin Skrtel’s outstretched legs, very much summed up the mood at Old Trafford on that afternoon.
Liverpool were having fun. They were messing around, joking among themselves in the home of the old enemy. The Uruguayan’s finish made it 3-0, making Manchester United’s slump under Moyes even worse and strengthening Liverpool’s title challenge. Our big Slovakian and our number seven frolicking in front of the crowd embody a stress-free time to be a Red when it seemed the title was in our grasp.
Benteke Breaks Klopp’s Bins: Norwich 4 Liverpool 5 – January 23, 2016
THIS was a game that encapsulated Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool side.
A game which contained some of the things we like and things we almost certainly dislike about the Reds (a 55-45 split in favour of what we like).
First came the disappointment. Liverpool, having gone in for a half-time bollocking a goal down, concede just eight minutes into the second half. Three-one down away to Norwich City.
Then, the show of great determination and character to come back and take the lead through James Milner. Fifteen minutes to see out the result.
Sebastien Bassong (of all people) smashes it into the bottom corner from the edge of the area. Klopp absolutely fuming. Rightly so. Sake, Reds.
The Canaries think they’ve managed to snatch a point. Emre Can swings it in. It isn’t cleared, Adam Lallana emerges and smacks it into the ground, it leaps off the turf and into the top corner.
Tops off. About 47 red shirts run towards Klopp, who is running back towards them. A mass of bodies. Christian Benteke lands a clothesline straight to the manager’s specs. The German wasn’t arsed. Nobody was.
These Reds. The maddest lads around.
Lovren’s Lift Off: Liverpool 4 Borussia Dortmund 3 – April 14, 2016
I LOVE an unlikely hero. I love a late winner. I love a victory when it had looked dead and buried. So Dejan Lovren against Dortmund ticks a lot of boxes for me.
The season before Liverpool had gone out of the Europa League thanks to Lovren blamming a penalty over the bar at Besiktas. Fourteen months later he capped a remarkable comeback, both for the team that night and his own Liverpool career generally, by heading one into The Kop end in stoppage time.
The release was unreal. Degsy two foots an imaginary detractor and then jumps into The Kop. His team-mates jump on top of him, including the subs and an injured Can. The cameras are desperately trying to keep up but are all over the place as footballers crash into them. Klopp is in the main stand. Scarfs are slung through the air. Tops off. Or in my case on The Pink, everything off. What a celebration.
Pics: David Rawcliffe-Propaganda Photo
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Ace. Love these, especially the Rushie one. A bit of an obvious one but I have to go for Xabi in Istanbul. First, to conquer the obvious nerves and actually kick the ball, then to be quick enough to slam in the rebound, but the look on his face – half ecstasy, half disbelief, like his mug was drawn at that exact moment by one of the Italian masters. Then he’s throttled by Baros, and even though it should be an unceremonious hauling to the turf, somehow there’s something graceful about it.
Plus: Ronnie Whelan versus Portsmouth in the FA Cup semi-final. The ground was obviously shaking so much the camera couldn’t even locate Ronnie, and it seems like he and the rest of the team couldn’t, at that exact moment, locate their collective marbles. It was brilliant.
Fowler, 1st minute, Middlesbrough, Home, December, McMananan, check’s watch.
Fowler, Everton, 99, Home, White Line, Twice.
Fowler, Aston Villa, 30 Yard rocket, 5 Minutes In, Advertising Hoarding. Gone.
John Arne Riise brought out the six pack before they banned the shirt off celebration. Wasn’t a bookable offence for the best part of two seasons, before the misers brought the yellow card back in.
Two that always sticks out for me:
Mascherano’s only goal against Reading, where he acts like everyone in the main stand bet against him to score. That passion was a big part of what made him so good, and it came pouring out that day. Speaking of passion, my next vote is Rickie Lambert scoring the clincher at Villa Park. The whole Lambert affair was a bit Make-a-Wish foundation as it turned out, but it would take a heart of stone to begrudge him that moment. When every outfield player got involved in the mass pile-on with the travelling fans it showed the rest of the team were just as pleased for him. Lucas trying to crowd surf to the top tier was a particular highlight.