Monday, March 23, 2009

Gerrard Warns United

HAT-TRICK hero Steven Gerrard has warned Manchester United that Liverpool are ready to pounce on any further mistakes from their bitter rivals in the race for the championship.

Rafael Benitez’s side moved to within a point of the league leaders after thrashing fifth-placed Aston Villa 5-0 at Anfield yesterday.
Having lost 4-1 at home to Liverpool last week, United slumped to a second successive defeat when they were beaten 2-0 at Fulham on Saturday.
With Chelsea also losing over the weekend, Liverpool have seen their Premier League title odds slashed as a result of their biggest win of the season.
And Gerrard believes an in-form Anfield outfit are in the mood to capitalise on any more slip-ups from United.
“It's important that we don't get carried away because Manchester United are capable of winning all their remaining games,” said the skipper.
“We've got to focus on what we're doing, keep winning and keep on their shoulders and keep piling that pressure on them so that they're going into games knowing that we're ready to pounce on any mistakes that they make.
“Chelsea are there as well. They got beat on Saturday as well but there's Chelsea as well.
“When you win, it's good to win convincingly and everyone knows we're on a rich vein of form and confidence is high here but we're just taking each game as it comes.”

Gerrard’s treble – two of which came from penalty spot – improved his tally to 21 goals for the season, with a career-best 13 coming in the Premier League.
And of his third career hat-trick and first in the league, the Liverpool skipper added: “It means a lot. Winning and the three points is the most important thing but it's always nice to get a hat-trick.
“You always wonder if you can stay on to score the third when Rafa’s in charge. He might take you off when you're on two just to keep your feet on the ground.”
Dirk Kuyt opened the scoring for Liverpool in the eighth minute with his 10th goal of the season, with Albert Riera doubling the lead on 33 minutes.
Gerrard netted his first from the spot six minutes later, before scoring five minutes after the interval and netting another penalty 15 minutes later after Villa’s former Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Friedel was sent off for a foul on Fernando Torres.
With eight league fixtures remaining, Benitez’s side have moved three points clear of Chelsea back into second place and possess a better goal difference than United, although the Old Trafford side still have a potentially decisive game in hand.
And Gerrard said: “Villa are a fantastic team and they've been going really well this season and it was important that we got after them from the start and never let them settle.”

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