Eriksson manages Liverpool to victory in legends charity match


Sven-Goran Eriksson realised his lifelong dream to manage Liverpool at Anfield as he took charge of the club for a charity legends game against Ajax on an emotional day in Merseyside.

The former England manager, who is a boyhood Liverpool fan, revealed his terminal cancer diagnosis in January, saying he has “at best, a year to live”.

Eriksson was invited by Liverpool to take charge of their legends side for this game alongside a coaching staff of Ian Rush, John Aldridge and John Barnes – and was given a standing ovation by the Anfield crowd as he came out of the tunnel.

As ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ rang out before kick-off, the 76-year-old cut an emotional figure while standing on the pitch next to former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, who Eriksson managed while in charge of England.

Eriksson applauds the crowd
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Eriksson applauds the crowd before kick-off at Anfield

The charity match between Liverpool Legends and Ajax Legends was to raise money for the LFC Foundation and Forever Reds.

Fernando Torres – who started up front with Gerrard for Liverpool – rounded off a memorable afternoon by scoring the fourth goal in a 4-2 comeback win for the Liverpool Legends.

Derk Boerrigter and Kiki Musampa gave the Ajax Legends a comfortable lead at the break but Liverpool scored three times in front of the Kop End, thanks to goals from Gregory Vignal, Djibril Cisse and Nabil El Zhar and Torres.

Pictures: Anfield salutes Eriksson

Eriksson was given a standing ovation by the Anfield crowd as he came out the tunnel
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Eriksson was given a standing ovation by the Anfield crowd as he came out of the tunnel

Eriksson cut an emotional figure as he was greeted by the Anfield crowd
Image:
Eriksson cut an emotional figure as he was greeted by the Anfield crowd

Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson stands alongside Steven Gerrard before kick off
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Eriksson stood alongside Steven Gerrard before kick-off

What happened in the match

Liverpool fell behind in the opening two minutes as Boerrigter tapped home – and the winger then set up the second before half-time by teeing up Musampa in the box, who fired past Jerzy Dudek.

The Reds were frustrated in the first half as Torres missed several chances, including seeing one shot cleared off the line. But Liverpool came back with a second half comeback.

Gregory Vignal celebrates with Eriksson scoring his goal
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Gregory Vignal celebrates with Eriksson scoring his goal

Vignal drilled home from inside the box to pull one back, with the Frenchman running over to Eriksson to celebrate the goal with a hug, before Cisse then headed home Dirk Kuyt’s cross to equalise.

A solo goal from El Zhar then gave Liverpool the lead but what the Anfield crowd really wanted was a Torres goal, in his first game back at Anfield in Liverpool colours since leaving the club in 2011.

Fernando Torres scored a popular goal in a 4-2 win for Liverpool
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Fernando Torres scored a popular goal in a 4-2 win for Liverpool

That came just before full-time as Torres finished at the second attempt to seal the win.

But the day belonged to Eriksson, who led both sets of players in a round of applause around Anfield, with the entire 60,000-seater stadium on its feet to applaud the former England manager.



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