Steven Gerrard admits he was “taught to loathe” Manchester United as he recalled his 38-second sending off against Liverpool’s rivals last season.
Gerrard, 35, was sent off less than a minute into Liverpool’s 2-1 loss to the Red Devils at Anfield in March after coming on at half-time, shown to him for a stamp on United midfielder Ander Herrera.
The club’s former captain admits hate had been demanded whenever facing their fierce rivals.
“It had taken me just 38 seconds to get myself sent off against Manchester United,” Gerrard wrote in his autobiography, which is being serialised in the Daily Mail.
“Thirty-eight seconds in which I had been at the heart of every small cameo of action and ferocious display of rage. It had been, in the end, 38 seconds defined by anger and a kind of madness.
“I had been taught to loathe Manchester United. It was drilled into our brains, hardening our hearts and conditioning our souls as Liverpool fans,” he said.
“It was tattooed into the head of every Liverpool fan. We had never liked each other, as clubs or cities, but the animosity had become deeper.”
“Liverpool had been dominant for so long; and then, finally, United took over under Sir Alex Ferguson.”
Gerrard had felt in the lead-up to the clash that he would start after a text message from Brendan Rodgers and, despite the dismissal, he believes his manager still made the wrong decision.
“I can respect Brendan’s decision now, even if I obviously still believe it was the wrong one, because he wanted to show loyalty to everyone who had done well for him,” he said.
“But it hurt me, especially because of our previous conversations and the fact that his Wednesday night text, which had been full of praise, had misled me.
“I’m sure he didn’t mean to give me the wrong impression but his text confirmed in my mind that I would be selected.”