FORMER Arsenal and Everton captain Mikel Arteta has revealed he feared playing at Anfield during his career – declaring one defeat left him pleading for the game to stop.
The 37-year-old won just twice on the red half of Merseyside during his 12-year spell in the Premier League, both with the Gunners.
And the Manchester City assistant manager has never won at Anfield during his time with the Citizens – losing in three out of their four matches.
Speaking to Marca, Arteta has opened up on the 5-1 drubbing the Reds inflicted on the North Londoners in February 2014, in which the former Toffee even scored.
Asked whether he was surprised by Liverpool’s title bid last season, the retired midfielder said: “No, because it is very difficult to beat them.
“Also, in my playing career, Anfield was the only ground where in which I had the feeling of ‘pájara’, of being stuck.
“It happened to me with Arsenal, and we conceded five… You say: ‘I do not know what’s going on, stop the game, please, because I do not know where I am’.
“It’s hard to explain, but it never happened to me anywhere other than Anfield.
“Barca surprise me by the form of some of their goals, but at Anfield you can concede five without knowing.
“Neither in Spain nor in Greece or Germany did I have that feeling. Not even in Old Trafford.”
Arteta also declared he still harbours a dream of managing his own club, but he is happy being Pep Guardiola’s No2 for now.
And he insisted he would love Leroy Sane to stay at the Etihad with the German international linked with a move to Bayern Munich.