Liverpool boss Rodgers hopes for perfect ten against Manchester City
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has set his sights on a 10th victory in succession when the Premier League leaders face Manchester City next Sunday, insisting his side will have no fear.
The Anfield outfit returned to the summit with a controversial 2-1 victory away to West Ham, their ninth top-flight triumph in a row.
Liverpool’s title destiny is in their own hands as they welcome both City and Chelsea to Anfield in their final five games, as maximum points will give them a first English title since 1990.
Steven Gerrard’s brace of penalties secured their success at Upton Park, with West Ham equalizing even though Andy Carroll appeared to have struck Simon Mignolet with a flailing arm in the build-up to Guy Demel’s goal.
Referee Anthony Taylor found himself in the spotlight again in the second period, pointing to the spot after Adrian tangled with Jon Flanagan, although the Hammers keeper appeared to get a touch on the ball.
Rodgers told Sky Sports: "I thought we thoroughly deserved the win and we showed great character today. It was a brilliant win for us and keeps our run going.
"We were clearly the better team. West Ham had one shot on target, which was the goal."
Looking ahead to the City clash, he added: "It’s going to be a great game.
"It’s nine games on the spin now, which is an incredible effort by the players and the staff. Today was a really tough game for us, now we will recover and reflect on the game.
"It is going to be a magnificent atmosphere at Anfield. The supporters really urged us on today and we want to see if we can get 10 in a row."
Rodgers has a lot of respect for City but believes they will be under the most pressure at Anfield, whereas Liverpool can just looking forward to the occasion.
He said: "The mentality is to be fearless, it doesn’t matter who we play.
"We have to respect them because they’ve got world-class players, but it’s about ourselves and the confidence we have to play.
"For the youngsters, they will embrace it and enjoy it. There is no pressure – just go out and play."
"They’ve spent money and what they’ve done in the last couple of years has been fantastic. I think they are wonderful football club that have invested well in top players.
"But they have invested to win the league and to win the Champions League, so they will be looking to come to Anfield and get a result.
For us, Anfield is a wonderful place for us to play and we will enjoy it. We know it’s a big game but in the main we have done really well in the big games this season."
Rodgers felt referee Taylor made the wrong call in allowing West Ham’s leveler, but was adamant that Liverpool’s second penalty should have been given.
When asked about Demel’s equalizer, he said: "He (Taylor) thought that the keeper had dropped it, but on reflection he’ll see that big Andy, with his physical presence, has disrupted our goalkeeper.
"Probably from that, maybe the referee was chasing the game a little bit."
And on the penalty, he added: "I thought that was a clear penalty. Jon gets a touch on the ball, touches it past the goalkeeper, the goalkeeper nicks the ball, but he also touches Jon Flanagan and stops him from getting to the ball.
"I thought it was a good decision – probably if it’s given against you it’s not so good."