After a traumatic week Steven Gerrard inspired Liverpool to a 2-0 defeat of Championship outfit Preston at Deepdale. At the end Gerrard pointedly marched towards the bank of Liverpool fans behind the goal and saluted them.

Albert Riera had given the Reds a first-half lead but had to wait for substitute Fernando Torres to make the game safe with an injury time clincher.

Reds assistant boss Sammy Lee paid tribute to Gerrard.

"Steven is a top professional," he said. "He has the full support of this football club. You have seen what he is today, a footballer. He produced a terrific performance, he is a modern professional and we're all behind him. He's a great servant to this club, a terrific ambassador and we'll continue to support him throughout."

Lee continued, "Preston made it hard for us. We knew it was going to be a battle but we withstood the battle and withstood the challenge."