- Premier League
Rodgers: Liverpool fear no one
Brendan Rodgers has warned Liverpool's title rivals they have to pass the toughest of tests at Anfield if they want to win the league, insisting his side fear no one in the race for the Premier League title.
On Sunday, Liverpool went top of the table with six games to go by beating Tottenham 4-0.They still have to host Manchester City and Chelsea at Anfield in April, with Jose Mourinho claiming that they have the perfect run-in.
'Second would be a failure'
- "Twenty-four years is an awfully long time and the prospect of ending that agonising wait this season is why Liverpool supporters, both inside Anfield and across the globe, are beginning to believe that this will finally be their year."
- Alan Hansen believes finishing second this season would no longer be a success for Liverpool, but is finally starting to believe the long wait for a Premier League title could be over come May.
- Read the full article here
Rodgers admits Liverpool do not have with "the best group of individuals" in the league but says their impressive form is the result of the players' hunger, desire and team ethic.
He also believes the intense atmosphere generated by his club's passionate fans at Anfield will give them an advantage in the run in.
Rodgers said: "There is no doubt they [our rivals] understand this is going to be a real tough place to come. We love playing here. The support today was incredible and that is only going to intensify as the season goes on. It works for us rather than against us."
Chelsea's shock defeat against Crystal Palace on Saturday prompted their manager, Mourinho, to claim his side's title bid was over not least because Liverpool have only dropped five points on their own ground all season, thanks to the record goal-scoring form of Luis Suarez.
But Rodgers was not buying his old mentor's view. He said: "We respect Chelsea, they have a world-class manager and top players and the squad has been put together over the last 10 years to win the Champions League and the Premier League.
"City are one of the new superpowers in European football. But we feel that we can win any game, because we are a team.
"We can operate at this level without fear. You see the confidence. There is no anxiety, no pressure. We may not have the best group of individuals but we have a lot of hunger in a team."
'We are not worried by Liverpool'
- Brendan Rodgers may have insisted his side do not fear their Premier League title rivals, but Samir Nasri has hit back claiming Manchester City are not worried by Liverpool.
- City trail the league leaders by four points with two games in hand and have to visit Anfield in April.
- Despite Jose Mourinho's claims that Chelsea's title hopes are over, Manuel Pellegrini is adamant there are still four teams in the race - but his midfielder believes the crown is City's to lose.
- "Liverpool might have their destiny in their hands but so do we," Nasri said. "They're going to play Chelsea at home and us as well. It's not going to be easy for them. We are not worried."
Prior to their rout against Tottenham, Rodgers hit back at Tim Sherwood for suggesting the pressure of winning a first league title since 1990 was starting to play on their minds.
"I didn't see any nerves," he said. "You see the confidence. It was great to watch."
The Liverpool manager hailed his team for an "outstanding" performance after a Younes Kaboul own goal and strikes from Luis Suarez, Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson earned them an eighth successive win.
He added: "We had real dominance right in the game from the first whistle. It was an exceptional performance, everything we have been working towards in this last year and a half in terms of, first and foremost, without the ball that hunger and intensity to get it back from the first whistle to the end.
"Our dominance in possession was very impressive. We had long spells with the ball trying to tire Tottenham out then we had the penetration at the top of the field. It was an outstanding team performance."
Goalscorer Henderson admitted it would be a dream to win the Premier League but, like his manager, the midfielder is determined not to let such thoughts cloud his focus.
"We all dream of winning the Premier League one day and we have a chance,'' he said. "We just have to take each game as it comes and focus on the next game, which is West Ham. It will be difficult going there. That's what we all want (winning the Premier League) but each step at a time.''