Two Steven Gerrard penalties helped Liverpool to a crushing 3-0 victory at bitter rivals Manchester United on Sunday to leave them breathing down the necks of Premier League leaders Chelsea.
Gerrard’s strikes either side of halftime put the visitors in control and Luis Suarez sealed only Liverpool’s second win at Old Trafford in nearly 10 years with a well-taken third.
Skipper Gerrard could have completed a rare hat-trick of spot kicks but struck the foot of the post after Nemanja Vidic was red-carded for tripping Daniel Sturridge shortly before Suarez completed the rout.
Liverpool, seeking a first English title since 1990, could have won by an even bigger margin as they underlined the incredible turnaround in fortunes for English’s football’s two great north west rivals.
“I got a bit cocky with the third penalty,” Gerrard told reporters.
“I’ve come here many times and been played off the park and but to come here and dominate like we did, we’re even a bit upset we didn’t get more goals.”
With nine matches remaining to Chelsea’s eight, Liverpool’s run of five consecutive league wins has left them four points behind Jose Mourinho’s side who were beaten 1-0 at Aston Villa on Saturday having had two men sent off.
United’s ninth defeat of the season, a new record for the club in the Premier League, left them languishing in seventh place with 48 points, 11 adrift of fourth-placed Arsenal who are in action later at London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
North London derby
Arsenal kept up the pace in the race for the Premier League title with a 1-0 away win over archrivals Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.
The Gunners took the lead inside two minutes when midfielder Tomas Rosicky rifled in an unstoppable shot from the edge of the area.
Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain should have doubled the visitors lead in the 15th when he raced clear on goal, but his attempted lob sailed well wide of goal.
Tottenham started the second half with real purpose and should have equalized in the 46th through Nacer Chadli.
However, he failed to convert from close range after goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny fumbled the ball in the area.
That win lifts the Gunners into third place on 62 points, four adrift of league leaders Chelsea, who they face next Saturday.
Source: Al Jazeera