Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Rodgers Hails Reds as Title Battle Heads for Its Climax

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Rodgers Hails Reds as Title Battle Heads for Its Climax

Article excerpt

TABLE.TOPPING Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers hailed his side's team spirit after they reinforced their Barclays Premier League title credentials with a scintillating 3-2 Anfield win against silverware rivals Manchester City.

Goals from Raheem Sterling and Martin Skrtel had put the hosts ahead inside 26 minutes, only for a rejuvenated David Silva to score one and force a Glen Johnson own goal to level things up before Philippe Coutinho drove home the winner with just 12 minutes remaining to keep Liverpool's title dream on track.

Jordan Henderson's lunge on Pablo Zabaleta in added time resulted in a red card and a three-match ban which may yet damage their prospects, however, as may a hamstring injury to striker Daniel Sturridge.

But Liverpool's 10th successive league win opened up a seven-point gap to third-placed City, who have two matches in hand but have had their destiny taken out of their own control.

Chelsea are two points behind Liverpool after following up the Anfield thriller with a 1-0 win at Swansea.

"The group is very tight," Rodgers said. "We foster a real closeness here in our spirit and you need that if you are going to win anything.

"There has to be a cause to fight for. Getting pegged back to 2-2, we may have gone on to lose that game when I first came in here, but we dusted ourselves off and went again and the level of some of our football was so good we ended up getting a terrific goal.

"The performance level of the players was sensational - to dominate as we did in the first half with that energy and intelligence was remarkable.

"We showed our resilience to see it through. Ten wins in succession is an incredible achievement and against all the odds we are where we are and are still fighting."

City boss Manuel Pellegrini accepted his side failed to deal with the early onslaught launched by Liverpool, but was pleased with their comeback and does not consider the title race done and dusted just yet. …

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