Former Liverpool players Jamie Redknapp and Alan Hansen have both hit out at, manager, Rafael Benitez's decision to substitute, captain, Steven Gerrard in the latter stages of the Reds' 1-1 draw at Wigan Athletic on Wednesday.
The England midfielder was withdrawn after 84 minutes in place of Robbie Keane, just seconds after Mido had equalised for Steve Bruce's side from the penalty spot, inflicting a seventh draw in 10 Premier League games on the Anfield club.
Both Sky Sports pundit Redknapp and BBC sofa-warmer Hansen opined that leaving Gerrard on the pitch would have given Liverpool a far greater chance of pinching all three-points in the few minutes that remained at the JJB Stadium.
"Why take Steven Gerrard off?" slammed Redkanpp. "How many times has he pulled them out of trouble?"
While Rafa's post-match reasoning for taking off his captain - that both he and striker Fernando Torres were tired - didn't wash with ex-Reds captain Hansen.
"Tired? It’s seven minutes to go," he said. "You’re going for the championship and Gerrard is your best player. He’s inspirational. Even if he’s having a stinker in the last couple of games you don’t take him off."
Liverpool take on Chelsea in a crunch top of the table clash at Anfield on Sunday afternoon, and Hansen believes that an away win for Luiz Felipe Scolari's side could signal the end of Liverpool's hunt for a first league crown in 19 years.
"The title race is not over yet but if they are beaten by Chelsea it is," he said.
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