Liverpool 3 Manchester City 2: Brendan Rodgers hails 'incredible' Liverpool after emotional Anfield win sends Reds clear at top of Premier League table
Coutinho's late strike secured all three points at Anfield
Monday 14 April 2014
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers feels his team deserve all the plaudits for the spirit they showed in claiming maximum points having thrown away a two-goal lead in their 3-2 victory over Manchester City on Sunday.
On a poignant day for the club, marking 25 years since the Hillsborough tragedy, Rodgers' men raced into the lead with goals from Raheem Sterling and Martin Skrtel, but City clawed their way back after the interval thanks to David Silva and a Glen Johnson own goal.
However, Philippe Coutinho's strike 12 minutes from time proved decisive as Liverpool moved five points clear at the top of the table ahead of Chelsea's match with Swansea.
Rodgers said after the game: "I thought we were incredible today. We showed so much quality. To come back showed the character in this group - it's three very valuable points for us.
"We were well on top in the first half but they've got top players and top players respond. They very quickly got themselves back into the game, but we changed the shape again and the goal came.
"It was a wonderful atmosphere, pitch-side it was incredible, so between us all - players, supporters and staff - it was a great victory for us."
However, Rodgers side-stepped the question about whether Liverpool were now favourites to land the title.
"I said at the beginning of the game it was a significant game, and it may end up being a significant one," he said. "But we've got Norwich next week - they played well yesterday.
"We'll enjoy the win, recover well and concentrate on the next opponent."
City manager Manuel Pellegrini was left to rue a sloppy end to the match in which his team missed several opportunities while also letting in Coutinho for what proved to be the winner.
He said: "We had clear chances to score in the last 15 minutes but we made a mistake and they won the game.
"They started very well and scored two goals. It's easier when you are playing at home and go two goals in front - it's more easy to play with calm.
"After that we rearranged things, had two or three clear chances at the end of the first half and then we scored two goals.
"But we made that mistake and they win the game."
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