English Premier LeagueMonday, April 7, 2014
Liverpool keeps eye on the prize
LONDON — Steven Gerrard scored two penalties as Liverpool went back to the top of the Premier League with a 2-1 win at West Ham United to complete a Merseyside win-double over London clubs yesterday.
On a weekend when the sporting eyes of the nation were turned to the city following Saturday’s Grand National, Everton crushed a woeful Arsenal side 3-0 at Goodison Park to boost its chances of a top-four finish and a possible place in next season’s Champions League for the first time in nine seasons.
The two crucially important games had a big bearing on the top of the table with Liverpool reclaiming top spot from Chelsea with 74 points from 33 matches, two ahead of José Mourinho’s side which has also played 33 and went top for 24 hours after beating Stoke City 3-0 on Saturday.
Liverpool, chasing its first title since 1990, continued where Everton left off by chalking up its ninth successive league win, although this one was more about grit than the style of late against a resilient West Ham side.
There was controversy too with Gerrard’s second penalty looking like a poor decision by referee Anthony Taylor who was also under the spotlight for allowing West Ham’s equalizer.
West Ham coach Sam Allardyce moaned that Liverpool’s second penalty should never have been given but he also appeared to blame poor officiating for West Ham’s equalizer that came a minute after Gerrard had put Liverpool ahead following a clear handball by James Tomkins.
“Here we are talking about refereering decisions and not a game of soccer,” he told reporters. “Big mistakes were made on those goals.”
Liverpool coach Brendan Rodgers thought Liverpool’s second penalty was merited and that his team “dominated the game and deserved to win it.”
Gerrard, who also scored two penalties against Manchester United last month, made no mistake with his second spot kick, blasting the ball past Adrian into the corner of the net.