Liverpool 3 Manchester City 2: Steven Gerrard admits 'that was the longest 90 minutes I've ever played in' after thrilling win

Reds edge ever closer to first title in 24 years after win at Anfield

Actions spoke louder than words in the aftermath of an extraordinary 10th successive Liverpool Premier League victory which might yet prove to be the club’s most significant at Anfield in a quarter of a century.

As the old stadium erupted into a state of delirium when the final whistle sounded on the 3-2 win over Manchester City, Liverpool’s captain, Steven Gerrard, gathered the players into a huddle on the field and, struggling to be heard above the din, told them: “Listen, this is gone. We go to Norwich. Exactly the same. We go together. Come on!” Minutes later, a tearful Gerrard declared that this had been “the biggest statement we’ve made so far” as Liverpool stood seven points clear of City, having played two games more. With four games left, the title challenge is in their own hands.

“That meant so much, especially when they got back into the game,” Gerrard added, after City had pulled back to  2-2 before Philippe Coutinho’s technically sublime 78th-minute volley won the game. “I feared the worst at that point. It was the longest 90 minutes I’ve ever played. I kept flashing back to how long the clock was taking – [longer than all] the cup finals and big games I’ve played in before.”

 

Inevitably, there was a steadfast refusal to suggest that the title was within reach. “All the men in the TV studio – Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher – I’m sure they’ll put whoever they want into the driving seat,” Gerrard said, with a nod to his old friend and team-mate Carragher. “You know that nothing is ours yet. Nothing is ours yet.”

Demba Ba’s 68th-minute goal sealed Chelsea’s 1-0 at Swansea, which certainly keeps the Londoners in the picture, two points behind Liverpool, with their visit to Anfield to follow a week on Sunday. City’s prospects were left damaged by manager Manuel Pellegrini’s admission that the groin injury which forced Yaya Touré off after 19 minutes may mean that his season is over. Such injuries generally take at least two weeks to heal. Pellegrini controversially became the latest manager to suggest publicly that Liverpool’s Luis Suarez dives, with City’s players demanding he should have been given a second yellow card for simulation in the second half.

“Suarez has a special way to play and everyone knows it. Our defender managed without any problems and the referee must decide,” Pellegrini said.

Read more: Liverpool 3 Manchester City 2 match report
Rodgers: We were incredible today

Rodgers declared: “We should have had a penalty. Suarez gets into the box. Vincent Kompany holds him. There is contact. Sometimes you get them, sometimes you don’t.”

The broader picture was that another extremely powerful start to the game – Liverpool’s modus operandi in a season when they have amassed 93 Premier League goals in 34 games and scored at least three goals in 10 of the last 14 games – earned the win.

“We dominated everything in the first half,” Rodgers said, after a day which began with tributes to the 96 fans who died as a result of the Hillsborough disaster 25 years ago this week.

“To play with that energy and intelligence was remarkable. To have had three or four goals in that [first] period would have been worthy. We are where we are and still fighting. All I know is the group is very tight and there’s a real closeness – you see that. When I came here, we might have gone on and lost that game. But we went again. The level of some of our football today was so good.”

Merseyside Police were investigating an alleged attack on a minibus carrying members of the Eccles branch of the City supporters’ association on Sunday night. The side window of the 25-seat vehicle is thought to have been smashed after it came under attack near Anfield Road before kick-off.

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Oliver
filmTV chef Jamie Oliver turned down role in The Hobbit
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
tvReview: Top Gear team flee Patagonia as Christmas special reaches its climax in the style of Butch and Sundance
News
people
Sport
Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
film
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracy Emin's 1998 piece 'My Bed' on display at Christie's
artOne expert claims she did not
News
Ernesto Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, right, met at Havana Golf Club in 1962 to mock the game
newsFidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
News
Hackers revealed Oscar-winning actress Lawrence was paid less than her male co-stars in American Hustle
people
Arts and Entertainment
Clueless? Locked-door mysteries are the ultimate manifestation of the cerebral detective story
booksAs a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Sport
Robin van Persie is blocked by Hugo Lloris
footballTottenham vs Manchester United match report
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

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?