Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has apologised for his stamp on Ander Herrera that led to his 38-second sending off in Sunday’s thrilling 2-1 defeat to Manchester United.
The former England skipper came on as a half-time substitute with the Reds trailing by one goal but was unable to help his team’s cause as he recklessly stamped on Herrara just 38 seconds after coming on, receiving a straight red card from referee Martin Atkinson.
Gerrard, who will join LA Galaxy at the end of the season, was playing in his final match against arch rivals Manchester United and put in a hefty challenge on Mata moments after the restart.
Herrera then went in strongly on the 34-year-old, for which he was booked, but it was overshadowed by a retaliation from Gerrard as he stamped on the Spaniard’s shin.
It was a moment of madness from Gerrard who will now miss the next three matches, meaning he can only play a maximum five more Premier League games for Liverpool, and he admits he does not know where it came from.
“I need to accept it; the decision was right. I’ve let down my team-mates and the fans. I take full responsibility,” Gerrard told Sky Sports.
“I don’t know what caused it. Probably just a reaction to the initial tackle [by Herrera].
“I shouldn’t say more about it really. I’ve just come out here to apologise to the dressing room and supporters.”
The defeat means Liverpool are now five points adrift of fourth-placed Manchester United in the table. Without Gerrard, the Reds will continue their push for a top-four finish with a trip to high-flying Arsenal on April 4 and are priced at 3.85 to claim all three points in north London.