Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard declared his side “genuine contenders” for the Premier League title after scoring two penalties in a 3-0 victory at Manchester United on Sunday.
Gerrard broke the deadlock at Old Trafford with a 34th-minute spot-kick after Rafael da Silva was penalised for handball and made it 2-0 a minute into the second half following a foul on Joe Allen by Phil Jones.
He could have had a hat-trick of penalties, putting a third attempt against the post after Nemanja Vidic had been shown a second yellow card for tripping Daniel Sturridge, before Luis Suarez added a late third.
Victory took Liverpool to within four points of leaders Chelsea with a game in hand and although manager Brendan Rodgers has sought to play down his side’s title chances, Gerrard has his eyes firmly on the prize.
While United will turn their attentions to Wednesday’s Champions League last 16 second leg against Olympiakos, when they must seek to overturn a 2-0 deficit, Liverpool have a week to prepare for next weekend’s trip to Cardiff City.
Liverpool will face title rivals Chelsea and Manchester City over the closing weeks of the campaign and Gerrard warned his team-mates not to get caught up in the euphoria of a first win at Old Trafford since March 2009.