Steven Gerrard says Liverpool 'must defend better on the road' if they are to qualify for Champions League

It took an injury time penalty from the captain to secure three points against Fulham

Liverpool kept their top-four ambitions alive with a dramatic 3-2 victory over Fulham last night, but match-winner Steven Gerrard acknowledged they cannot afford to keep giving away goals if they want to play in Europe next season.

Gerrard converted a last-minute penalty after Sascha Riether sent Daniel Sturridge tumbling at Craven Cottage, keeping the Reds in fourth spot, three ahead of Tottenham Hotspur in the race for a place in the Champions League.

Liverpool were worthy winners but made victory difficult for themselves, giving away two goals to the Premier League's bottom club which forced them to come from behind twice.

A comical own goal from Kolo Toure gave Fulham an early lead, before a stunning Gerrard pass allowed Sturridge to level matters just before halftime.

Kieran Richardson pounced on a poor clearance from Martin Skrtel to take back the advantage for the hosts just after the hour mark, and after Philippe Coutinho drew Liverpool level for the second time Gerrard finished the comeback from the spot.

Amid the jubilation, Liverpool's captain said they needed to tighten up at the back to maintain a run that has left them four points off leaders Chelsea with 12 matches remaining.

"It's a great win for the lads. I got the final penalty, which is an important spot-kick, but it was about the character and determination we showed today," he told the club website .

"I don't think we defended well enough but we showed plenty of guts and we never gave up. If you do that, more often than not you get the breaks - and we got one in the end. It was a great win for us."

Although Liverpool have drawn plenty of praise for their stunning attacking form, including Saturday's 5-1 mauling of Arsenal, defensive lapses have cost them valuable points.

Another Toure error allowed West Bromwich Albion to share the spoils earlier in February, and last month lax defending handed Aston Villa a 2-0 lead before Liverpool fought back for a draw, points that could prove vital in one of the tightest title races in recent years.

"Against Arsenal, we showed how much class we've got," Gerrard added.

"We showed we've got talent all over the pitch; at home, with the atmosphere behind us, you don't have to motivate yourself - you just go out and perform, and more often than not you play well.

"But coming away on a Wednesday night, windy, on a difficult pitch, away to Fulham is a big test for the team. We've passed it but we still have to learn from our mistakes and defend better on the road if we're to finish in the top four places.

"We're in the mix. It's still early days, there's a lot of football to be played and we're not going to get carried away. But we are in good form. We feel as if we're dark horses."

Reuters

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Floyd Mayweather will relinquish his five world titles after beating Manny Pacquiao
boxing
Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
News
Tottenham legend Jimmy Greaves has defended fans use of the word 'Yid'
people
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living