Gerrard praises Liverpool character after victory

March 15th, 2009 - 6:42 pm ICT by IANS  

London, March 15 (DPA) Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard praised his side’s character after their stunning 4-1 defeat of champions Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Gerrard, who scored the equaliser after United had taken the lead through a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty, claimed it was a “magnificent win” for the Merseyside club Saturday.

“It was a great team performance and we worked very hard today. We showed great character to come back from a goal down and it was a magnificent win”, the Liverpool captain said after the match.

“In the end it was very comfortable. It’s not very often you come to Old Trafford and win 4-1,” Gerrard added.

Goals from Fernando Torres, Gerrard himself, Fabio Aurelio, and Andrea Dossena saw the visitors follow up their superb midweek victory over Real Madrid, while United defender Nemanja Vidic was sent off in the second half.

Liverpool leapfrog Chelsea into second place on 61 points, and have closed the gap on the champions to four points, though United still have a game in hand.

Gerrard refused to get carried away with the result, however, acknowledging that United remain strong favourites for the title.

“The important thing is that we made the gap smaller today. We realise that Manchester United are still a fantastic team and there is still a lot of work to do, but hopefully this will give the other teams who play them before the end of the season some belief.”

The win means that the Merseyside club completed the double over their rivals, and just as at Anfield earlier this season, they had to come from behind to clinch the victory.

Ronaldo opened the scoring from the penalty spot after 25 minutes after Liverpool goalkeeper Jose Reina misjudged a pass from Carlos Tevez to bring down Park Ji-Sung.

But the visitors hit back within five minutes through Fernando Torres as Vidic - one of the stars of United’s season to date - failed to deal with a high ball from the Liverpool defence.

As the Serbian defender hesitated, Torres closed in on the United goal before finishing clinically past Edwin Van der Sar.

And just before half-time Gerrard dispatched a penalty, after he himself had been brought down by Patrice Evra, to give the visitors a surprise lead at the break.

The champions put the visitors under concerted pressure throughout the second half, but Liverpool’s defenders restricted them to only half chances.

With 15 minutes remaining, another mistake from Vidic resulted in the defender being sent off after a professional foul on Gerrard. From the free kick that followed left back Aurelio sealed the win for Liverpool with a stunning strike from 25 yards.

Italian full back Dossena supplied the icing on the cake with a delicate chip in the final minutes as Liverpool looked able to score at will against a dispirited United side.

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