Monday 14 April 2014
Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard has urged his side to remain focused after they took an important step towards winning their first league title since 1990 with a nerve-wracking 3-2 victory over Manchester City.
On an emotional day at Anfield, which fell silent before kick-off to remember the 96 Liverpool fans who lost their lives in the Hillsborough disaster 25 years ago, Liverpool recorded a victory which put them two points clear of Chelsea at the top of the Barclays Premier League table with only four matches to go.
The Reds are also seven points ahead of Man City, who have two matches in hand, but with matches against Norwich City, Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Newcastle United to come, Gerrard has warned that his side must not get complacent.
"That was probably the biggest statement we've made so far"
"It was emotional, but we need to keep calm," said Gerrard afterwards. "We've still got four big games to come but that means so much. The important thing now is not to get carried away with that result.
"Nothing's won. Nothing's ours to lose. We've got a week to prepare for Norwich. We've seen that these type of games are as tough as the ones today. People said this was the biggest one, but for me the biggest one is Norwich."
The victory was not all plain sailing for Liverpool, though, despite the home side going ahead through Raheem Sterling and Martin Skrtel in the first 26 minutes.
City showed their character by hitting back with a David Silva strike and an own goal by Glen Johnson only for Philippe Coutinho to strike the winner with only 12 minutes remaining.
"That's the longest 90 minutes I've ever played in," Gerrard added. "I kept flashing back to how long the clock took in big games, cup finals I've played before. It seemed like the clock was going backwards.
"When they got back into the game, you fear the worst at that point. Nothing is won yet, but that was probably the biggest statement we've made so far."
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers praised the spirit of his side as they sealed a 10th straight Barclays Premier League victory.
"Getting pegged back to 2-2 we may have gone on to lose that game when I first came in here, but we dusted ourselves off and went again and the level of some of our football was so good we ended up getting a terrific goal," said Rodgers.
"We showed our resilience to see it through. Ten wins in succession is an incredible achievement and against all the odds we are where we are and are still fighting.
"We will fight until the end"
"The message to the players is carry on. There is no need to change. We play with no fear, we demand to dominate the ball and work hard. We don't think too far ahead. There are four games to go and a lot of points still to play for."
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini insisted his side "lost a game that we didn't deserve to lose" and added that the title race is far from over.
"I said before the game that this is not the end of the Premier League," Pellegrini said. "The most important thing now is about what we can do in the future. Liverpool now have to play again and if they win four more games and end up winning 14 straight games, then maybe they deserve to win the title. But we are going to continue fighting until the end.
"We play a game in hand against Sunderland on Wednesday, we also have another game to play, so if we win them, we will be one point behind Liverpool and one ahead of Chelsea. They still have to play each other, so nothing has finished today and we will fight until the end. A lot of things will happen between now and the end of the season."
Liverpool 3-2 Manchester City | #LIVMCI | To watch the press conferences, click on the Matchday page >>