Liverpool finally gets it done; now it gets interesting
And in the process, the Reds made sure the final nine games of the season are going to be interesting.
Steven Gerrard’s goal on a penalty kick at the 81-minute mark helped Liverpool rally back for their third league win in a row and move within two points of Arsenal for fifth and within seven points of fourth-place Chelsea (although both the Gunners and the Blues have a game in hand).
“All season, people have talked about us not having won against anyone in the top 10, then it was the top eight, the top six and the top four,” Rodgers said in published reports. “In some of the other games we’ve had in this little run, and the quality we’ve shown, it’s always been about the other teams not playing well. The players didn’t quite get the credit for the way they have been performing. Today was going to be a real test, and they came through it.”
Liverpool opened the scoring as Luis Suárez notched his 22nd league goal of the campaign just 21 minutes into the game. Things took a turn for the worse, though, as Jan Vertonghen scored twice for Tottenham Hotspur and it looked like the London club had taken command of the game.
But Liverpool fought back, tying the match on a Stewart Downing goal. Then, with time winding down, Suarez drew a penalty and Gerrard put the resulting penalty kick in the back of the net to secure the three points.
While catching Chelsea for a Champions League spot is probably too much to ask this late in the season, the win should keep the squad motivated. Plus, among their last nine games, Liverpool faces Southampton, Aston Villa, Reading and Queens Park Rangers, all teams battling to stay out of the relegation zone.
Oh, and an April 21 match with Chelsea at Anfield.
It’s not important that we’re sixth,” Rodgers told The Guardian. “It’s just important that we continue to move – it was always going to be difficult early on. But you could see the mentality today. This was a real test and I think we had to show different characteristics to what we have in the last few weeks. We’ve been comfortable in a lot of games and been able to control them. But against a top side we were able to come through. We had to make some changes and once we did that we were good value.
“I’m not thinking of Europe. We know where we want to be and that’s challenging at the top end. We’ll recover now then focus in on Saturday. We just collecting points and we’ll see where it takes us.”
Where it takes them is a final month-and-a-half of the season that should be very, very interesting.
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