London - An emotional Steven Gerrard urged Liverpool to maintain their focus after they secured a pivotal 3-2 victory over Premier League title rivals Manchester City at Anfield on Sunday.
“Nothing is ours yet,” he said, after addressing a tearful on-pitch battle cry to his teammates at the final whistle. “The important thing now is not to get carried away with that result.”
Liverpool’s win, secured by a 78th-minute Philippe Coutinho strike, left them seven points above City at the top of the table, and means that they will be guaranteed to claim the title if they win their last four games.
Gerrard, 33, has never won the Premier League and he had tears in his eyes as he called his colleagues into a post-match huddle while the home fans’ celebrations raged around them.
The game was preceded by a minute’s silence to mark the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, when 96 Liverpool fans were crushed to death during an FA Cup semi-final at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough stadium.
Gerrard has a personal connection with the tragedy because his cousin, 10-year-old Jon-Paul Gilhooley, was one of the victims.
Roared on by a fervent home support, Liverpool went 2-0 up through Raheem Sterling and Martin Skrtel, but City hit back in the second half via David Silva and a Glen Johnson own goal, only for Coutinho to claim the winner.
Asked to describe the occasion, Gerrard replied: “Emotional.” He added: “That win means so much. They got back into the game, but I think we showed today that we want to go to the wire. We want to go all the way.
“That’s the longest 90 minutes I’ve probably ever played in. It felt like the clock was going backwards in some parts of that game.”
Liverpool visit Norwich City next weekend, before another seismic home game against second-place Chelsea on April 27.
They then travel to Crystal Palace, before closing the campaign at home to Newcastle United, but Gerrard says that they cannot afford to look beyond the forthcoming game at Carrow Road.
“That is such a big result for us,” he said.
“We’ve got four cup finals left. People said that was the biggest one (match), but I disagree – I think the biggest one now is Norwich.
“We need to stay calm and prepare for Norwich. The scenes are great today and the fans are very happy, but we have a day off tomorrow and then we go for Norwich.”
Striker Daniel Sturridge, meanwhile, is doubtful after hobbling off in the second half, with manager Brendan Rodgers explaining that “he felt a wee bit of tightness in his hamstring”.
Rodgers praised his side’s resolve. “It was a remarkable performance,” he said. “We showed so much spirit and quality.” – Sapa-AFP