Liverpool 3 Manchester City 2: Attention is now on Norwich, as Brendan Rodgers refuses to get ahead of himself with Liverpool topping the Premier League table
Rodgers could be forgiven for looking ahead but the Reds' manager is taking Premier League title charge one step at a time
Monday 14 April 2014
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is trying to keep things on an even keel despite victory over rivals Manchester City edging the Reds closer to a long-awaited title.
The 3-2 win at Anfield - which the hosts had led 2-0 in the first half - leaves the Merseysiders just four matches in which to end a 24-year championship drought but City boss Manuel Pellegrini believes the race is far from over.
And although the victory over City was undoubtedly significant, Rodgers insisted next weekend's trip to Norwich was of equal importance.
"The message is just to continue," he said after a 10th-successive league win - only the sixth occasion the club has managed such a feat.
"We don't need to change. We play with no fear, whether is a big opponent like Manchester City or Norwich next week."
Rodgers paid tribute to his side's strength of character after they looked to be wobbling when David Silva and a Glen Johnson own goal cancelled out strikes before the break from Raheem Sterling and Martin Skrtel.
"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," he added.
"The performance level of the players was sensational - to dominate as we did in the first half with that energy and intelligence was remarkable.
"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."
City now trail the table-topping Reds by seven points and two matches in hand is not enough so they are now relying on a favour from someone else.
"It is not the end of the Premier League. The most important thing today is now it is not dependent what we do in the future," Pellegrini said.
"If Liverpool win their four games maybe they deserve to win the title but we will continue fighting until the end."
They may have to continue that fight without influential midfielder Yaya Toure who was forced off with a hamstring injury early in the game.
He will be assessed by the club's medical staff on Monday but if the problem shows any degree of seriousness it could put the remainder of his domestic season in jeopardy, although it would still leave him enough recovery time to be fit for this summer's World Cup.
Pellegrini defended the decision to play Vincent Kompany, who had been a doubt before the game after sustaining a knee injury in training on Saturday.
The City captain lost Skrtel for the second goal and his misjudgement allowed Coutinho to rifle in the winner but his manager did not accept that was down to a fitness issue.
"It is difficult to know," added the Chilean.
"He warmed up and said he was perfect to play and didn't have any problems."
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