Premier League

Gerrard: Exit won't disrupt campaign

Steven Gerrard
Steven Gerrard says Liverpool's FA Cup exit won't disrupt their Premier League campaign.
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Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is adamant a fifth-round FA Cup exit to Arsenal is not going to disrupt their campaign.

Goals from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lukas Podolski denied the Reds a place in the quarter-finals as Arsenal gained revenge for their 5-1 Premier League thrashing earlier in the month with a 2-1 victory at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

However, despite one chance of silverware being stripped from sight, Gerrard insists Liverpool must not lose focus in their bid for the title. They are currently four points adrift of league leaders Chelsea.

Ahead of Swansea's visit to Anfield on Sunday, Gerrard claims Liverpool have the credentials to overcome any side on their day.

"There is nothing to be down about. Sometimes you just don't get what you deserve from games and this was an example of that," he told the Liverpool Echo. "We have to move on, dust ourselves off and go again against Swansea next Sunday. The way we're playing at the moment, we're a match for anyone. Going forward, we look so dangerous and we are creating more than enough chances to win games."

The England midfielder expects Liverpool to regain form quickly and is determined the cup setback will not derail their title ambitions.

"People are talking about us being a top side and rightly so," he added. "We need to bounce back quickly - that's what top sides do after a setback.

"They don't feel sorry for themselves, they look to the future and focus on getting back to winning ways.

"I know going out of the cup won't have a negative impact on the league. Our home form has been excellent and we need to continue that by taking maximum points at Anfield next Sunday."

In the wake of Arsenal's victory, referee Howard Webb has come under intense scrutiny after not awarding Luis Suarez a penalty following a challenge from Oxlade-Chamberlain; while Gerrard was precariously close to being sent off for a second bookable offense.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was infuriated by Webb's decision not to award the decision and Gerrard concurred, but remains adamant the man who will represent England at the World Cup in Brazil is an excellent official.

"In my opinion, it was a stonewall penalty," Gerrard said. "It was even more blatant than the penalty which was awarded. The referee was very close to the incident. It's one you expect to get.

"Howard Webb is a top referee and I'm sure he will have a look at it himself.

"He obviously did not think it was a foul, but I am disappointed with the decision.

"It was a big decision that didn't go our way. That might have been the goal which would have given us a replay."

Liverpool were 2-0 before launching a gutsy second-half fightback and the resilience shown by his team-mates impressed Gerrard, who scored the Reds' only goal of the afternoon from the penalty spot.

"Obviously we're going away really disappointed with the result but we can't be disappointed with how we played," he added.

"The least we deserved was a replay. Going out of the Cup is a blow but the effort, the attitude and the character was excellent.

"We created enough chances and really took the game to Arsenal in the second half, but big moments went against us."

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