Rodgers sensing title charge

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iol spt mar3 Gerrard scores Getty Images In the corridors at their Melwood training ground, in the Anfield stands, on the streets of Liverpool, the whispers about winning the title are starting to get louder. Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images

In the corridors at their Melwood training ground, in the Anfield stands, on the streets of Liverpool, the whispers about winning the title are starting to get louder.

Luis Suarez’s clinical finish fired them ahead, Raheem Sterling came from the bench to score with his first touch and Steven Gerrard powered in a penalty for the third.

Liverpool’s attacking was sublime, but there was something else. In the second half, with the game sealed, a chant of ‘We’re going to win the league’ from the travelling fans broke out.

Rarely has that been sung in the past 20 years by those fans. When that was put to manager Brendan Rodgers afterwards, he said: ‘That’s what we can now do, deal with expectancy. When I came in here there was a huge expectancy but the players couldn’t cope with it. Now we enjoy it, we relish it.’

Liverpool’s 5-1 win against Arsenal last month has been one of the stand-out results of the season.

But Rodgers said: ‘In a way the win against Southampton was just as significant because everyone was looking at this game — we were playing away, playing at 5.30, seeing Chelsea had won and Arsenal had lost, Everton had won — thinking it’s going to be a real banana skin.’

Captain Gerrard insisted: ‘We are in the title race. Man City and Chelsea are still the favourites. But I think they both know that we are a big threat because we’ve got no Europe and we can be fresh for every game.’

Southampton left back Luke Shaw had the daunting task of facing the in-form Suarez in front of England boss Roy Hodgson, who called him up last week.

The 18-year-old is hoping to learn from idol Ashley Cole while he is with the England team. Shaw said: ‘I was a Chelsea supporter and I used to go to games. Ashley Cole was the best left back in the world and I learned a lot from watching him. I am sure he will help me.’ – Daily Mail


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