Demba Ba recalls Steven Gerrard's slip & 'killing Liverpool's dream'

14 October 2021 11:15

Demba Ba has insisted he took no pleasure in watching Steven Gerrard slip over and inadvertedly throw away Liverpool's hopes of winning the 2013/14 Premier League title.

Ba was part of a weakened Chelsea side that travelled to Anfield in April 2014, and it was the Senegal striker who pounced on a now infamous slip from Gerrard to put his side ahead and fire them to a shock 2-0 victory which all but ended Liverpool's hopes of an emotional title victory.

'The Slip' is one of the most talked-about moments in league history - not helped by the fact Gerrard had warned his side not to let their lead 'f**king slip' only a week earlier - but speaking to The Athletic, Ba confessed that he did not realise just how important the incident would become.

“I only realised how big a deal that was a couple of years later, when people still talked about it," he said. "They still talk about it! It was traumatic for them. But we didn’t enjoy the fact that we killed their dream, we simply enjoyed winning.”

That defeat, followed by an equally stunning 3-3 draw with Crystal Palace a week later, saw Liverpool give up their title lead and fall to Manchester City, who lifted the trophy with a two-point advantage.

When asked whether he felt sorry for being the one to end Liverpool's title hopes, he responded: “No, not really. Because that’s the game. You make errors and others take advantage. What Steven Gerrard has done for the world of football is tremendous. But this is life, unfortunately. Not all stories can end in fairytales.”

Ba also opened up on relationship with former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, revealing the unconventional way in which he eventually won the manager over.

"Did he give me a hard time? No, he didn’t," he said. "He didn’t give me anything, because I never played! I had no reason to fight with him — so I made one up."

The striker was omitted from the matchday squad to face West Brom that year, but when he was recalled as a late replacement for the injured Fernando Torres, Ba refused to play ball and warned Mourinho he deserved more respect.

“I say: ‘I’ll come [to the game], but I have to speak to the boss'," he continued. "So we talked, and we argued, outside his office. Jose said, ‘You’re not performing. A player who’s not performing doesn’t play.’ But I had prepared for this. I showed him the stats: I had played half the minutes of the other two but scored more than half of their goals in that time. Jose said, ‘OK, but it’s my decision. Now let’s go.’

“I replied, ‘It’s your decision, but it’s my decision to go home.’ I went down, past the bus, jumped in the car and drove off. That was me then. I was nuts. I missed the game. But you know what? From that moment on, our relationship really picked up! He suddenly played me a lot more.

"On the day of the Champions League semi-final against Atletico Madrid, he asked me to stay for another season. But I was impatient. I wanted to play regularly.”

Source: 90min