'What's that for?' - Former Sheffield United star remembers Steven Gerrard’s infamous Liverpool FC 'intent' penalty incident, 14 years ago today

Fourteen years ago today, Sheffield United were denied a famous opening-day win against Premier League giants Liverpool at Bramall Lane.
Sheffield Utd vs Liverpool - Steven Gerrard goes down under Chris Morgan's challenge for a penaltySheffield Utd vs Liverpool - Steven Gerrard goes down under Chris Morgan's challenge for a penalty
Sheffield Utd vs Liverpool - Steven Gerrard goes down under Chris Morgan's challenge for a penalty

United, leading 1-0 thanks to Rob Hulse's header at the Kop end, looked at home against the likes of Steven Gerrard and Robbie Fowler, until referee Rob Styles intervened.

Gerrard played a one-two and looked to shoot, but was put off by Chris Morgan and lost his balance. But Styles inexplicably gave Liverpool a penalty, despite the lack of contact, and Fowler beat Paddy Kenny from the spot to deny United two points which would have proved crucial come the end of the season.

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"I've never seen a penalty given for 'intent', before or since," Kenny said. "And I've played and watched a few games in my life.

"I remember Gerrard playing the one-two and then shooting at me. I held it and looked to launch an attack, but then I heard the whistle go.

"'What's that for?' I thought to myself. I couldn't believe it.

"Then Fowler did me completely from the spot. He used to jink in his run-up, and I fell for it three times against him that season.

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"I think I was getting up from my dive before he’d even taken the penalty and we had to settle for a point when it could, and probably should, have been three."

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Then-Blades boss Neil Warnock remembers Styles explaining his view that Morgan had 'intended' to foul Gerrard, and Phil Jagielka said at the time that Styles "decided to make up his own version of the penalty".

United were relegated at the end of the season, on goal difference, and many of their players never played in the Premier League again.

"It’s easy to look at the league table and say our away form cost us," Kenny added, "but I just think it was destiny that we were relegated that season.

Sheffield Utd vs Liverpool - Paddy Kenny saves a free kick from Liverpool's Steven GerrardSheffield Utd vs Liverpool - Paddy Kenny saves a free kick from Liverpool's Steven Gerrard
Sheffield Utd vs Liverpool - Paddy Kenny saves a free kick from Liverpool's Steven Gerrard
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"We needed just a point on the final day, at home, to stay up, and failed. But you look at that penalty, missing two penalties against Blackburn, losing Hulsey to a broken leg when we needed him the most.

"Even from the first day, so many things went against us."

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