Gerrard backs Liverpool to top Manchester City

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has set his sights on beating Manchester City in 10 days' time as the race for Champions League places heats up.

Last night's 1-0 defeat at Arsenal - where the Reds have not won for a decade - along with a similar reverse for Tottenham at Wolves and Aston Villa's goalless draw with Manchester United handed the initiative to City.

They are level on points with fourth-placed Liverpool but have two matches in hand and the fixture list pitches the two together at Eastlands a week on Sunday.

With third place now seemingly a distant hope after the Gunners extended their advantage to eight points Gerrard has called for all efforts to be put into beating Roberto Mancini's side.

"We have got to use a lot of positives from the (Arsenal) match," he said.

"There are plenty of teams who go there and get played off the park. I certainly feel disappointed leaving with nothing.

"We played against a fantastic Arsenal team with quality players who can open up any team in the world, and they did not really create many chances.

"It was just one mistake in our defence and they scored from it.

"The way we played over the 90 minutes, we certainly deserved a point.

"The lads are gutted after putting in all that effort and getting nothing, but sometimes that happens and you just have to get on with it.

"There is nothing we can do about this result now. The lads will reflect on it and we have a very big game coming up against Manchester City.

"But if we play like we did at Arsenal, then I fancy us to beat them.

"I feel if we are on our game and playing well, we are a match for anyone."

An eighth defeat of the season - two more than last year when they ran champions Manchester United a close second - is one of the most damaging statistics for Liverpool.

Seven of those came in the first four months of the campaign. By contrast, Manchester City have lost four and none so far at Eastlands.

The Liverpool captain knows their early form has cost them dearly but held up their seven-match unbeaten league run which came to an end at the Emirates Stadium as a yardstick for the remainder of the season.

"We are where we are in the table because we were very inconsistent earlier in the season," said the England international.

"But look at Liverpool's performances over the last six or seven games - if we show that consistency, then we will challenge for the league."

Gerrard's form has, like the team's, been patchy this season with niggling injuries preventing him from putting in the kind of inspirational performances he has gained a reputation for.

He now feels he is close to getting back to his best but said it was little consolation if it was not benefiting the team.

"I am really happy with the way I played myself [at Arsenal] but I get nothing from that because we came away with nothing," added the 28-year-old.

"But my form is improving."

Off the field manager Rafael Benitez said a deal to sign Standard Liege forward Milan Jovanovic was still to be completed.

The Serbia international, out of contract in the summer, told a Belgian newspaper yesterday the two parties had reached an agreement and all he had to do was complete a medical.

"There are a lot of rumours in the press but we are working and we will say something if we finalise things," said the Liverpool boss.

"At this moment we are talking with people and we are working."

Liverpool's non-involvement in the this week's FA Cup fifth round may come as a blessing in disguise as he currently has defensive worries.

With the in-form Sotirios Kyrgiakos still to serve two matches of a suspension, fellow defender Jamie Carragher was substituted with an injury last night.

Benitez is hopeful the extra few days' rest will allow his vice-captain to make a full recovery before the trip to Manchester City.

"Carra has a problem with his adductor. It's not serious, but we will have to see," said the Spaniard.

"He couldn't play on and we will see in the next few days how he feels."

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little