EPL: Liverpool beat Manchester City in thriller to edge closer to title
London: An emotional Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard admitted yesterday's 3-2 victory over Manchester City was "the longest 90 minutes" of his life as the Reds claimed the scalp of their biggest rivals in the race for the English Premier League title.
Liverpool's Martin Skrtel (left) celebrates with Steven Gerrard after scoring the second goal against Man City yesterday. Pic/AFP
On a poignant day for the club, marking 25 years since the Hillsborough tragedy, Brendan 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, Phillippe Coutinho's strike 12 minutes from time proved decisive as Liverpool moved two points clear at the top of the table. Gerrard, 33, has never won the Premier League and he had tears in his eyes as he called his colleagues into a post-match huddle while the home fans' celebrations raged around them.
Gerrard is aware of the importance of the win, but warned the title is not within their grasp yet and feels next Sunday's fixture at Norwich is now key to their hopes. "That win means so much," he told Sky Sports 1. "They got back into the game but I think we showed today that we want to go to the wire. We want to go all the way.
'Longest I've played'
"That's the longest 90 minutes I've probably ever played in. It felt like the clock was going backwards in some parts of that game. But that is such a big result for us. "We've got four cup finals left. People said that was the biggest one (match) but I disagree — I think the biggest one now is Norwich.
"Nothing is ours yet. The important thing now is not to get carried away with that result. We need to stay calm and prepare for Norwich. The scenes are great today and the fans are very happy, but we have a day off tomorrow and then we go for Norwich."
Rodgers feels his team deserve all the plaudits for the spirit they showed in claiming maximum points having thrown away a two-goal lead. He said: "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. "We'll enjoy the win, recover well and concentrate on the next opponent."