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
Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
Image from a flyer at the CPAC event where Nigel Farage will be speaking
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower