Steven Gerrard thoroughly enjoyed Liverpool’s demolition of Arsenal, and admits he can’t think of a better performance.
The Reds produced arguably their best display in recent years against the then Premier League leaders on Saturday afternoon, with a brace from Martin Skrtel, a double from Raheem Sterling and a Daniel Sturridge strike giving them a 5-0 lead after just 52 minutes. A Mikel Arteta penalty denied Simon Mignolet and his back four a clean sheet, but that did little to take the shine off a memorable match at Anfield.
Gerrard, who was replaced to a standing ovation on 76 minutes, has been involved in some sensational games during his lengthy spell at the club, including that night in Istanbul when Rafael Benitez’s side came back from 3-0 behind to eventually beat Milan in the UEFA Champions League final of 2005. However, speaking after the demolition of the Gunners, the 33-year-old believes this display is amongst the best he can remember.
“I am trying to think back of a performance – especially in the first half – that I can remember in the last 15 years,” the Reds captain said on Sky Sports. “Maybe one or two in the Champions League got close but that was as explosive as it gets. That is right up there: definitely in the top three performances I have been involved in.
“You are talking about a side that is top of the league with world-class players, ones who are worth £42million; Jack Wilshere, one of the country’s big hopes who we are looking to perform at a World Cup; (Santi) Cazorla – a World Cup winner. We have absolutely demolished a top team there, from start to finish.”
This result also ensures Liverpool maintain their quest for a top-four finish. With Tottenham Hotspur taking points off Everton on Sunday, they are now three points ahead of the Londoners, and a further two ahead of their neighbours. Manchester United, meanwhile, are nine points adrift after dropping two points at home to Fulham.
Looking further ahead in the table, and the 18-times champions are just six points behind leaders Chelsea. And with Jose Mourinho’s side still to visit Anfield, as well as third-placed Manchester City, could the Reds be considered as title candidates? Gerrard would like to think so, but he has clearly agreed to toe the party line provided by Brendan Rodgers, who has played down their chances of a first league triumph since 1990.
“According to Brendan, we are not (in the title race),” he added. “Ask the manager. Listen, he said we are not, so we are all behind Brendan. We do what he says and he says we are not in the title race, so we carry on pushing for the top four and see where it takes us.”