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Friday, 28 March 2014 | MYT 7:12 PM

Test of character for Reds

Steven Gerrard celebrates after the final whistle in the midweek win against Sunderland. Liverpool won 2-1. – AFP Photo

Steven Gerrard celebrates after the final whistle in the midweek win against Sunderland. Liverpool won 2-1. – AFP Photo

IT WAS a fleeting moment that captured what it all boils down to. Steven Gerrard pumped his fist after the final whistle in the midweek game against Sunderland, a sign of what that game meant to the Anfield legend.

Mission accomplished. Seven wins on the trot and seven more games, or Cup finals if you wish, to go.

During the seven-game winning streak, Liverpool have shown what they need to do to have a chance to win the league for the first time since 1990.

The victories were a mix bag of performances, some gritty while others with aplomb.

But it’s now time for concentration and fortitude. It’s the time to display desire and ability in the hope that Liverpool do enough to secure the title.

Getting there will not be easy though. The games have shown there is a fine line between clinching a victory and dropping points.

The lapse in concentration by Jon Flanagan allowed Sunderland’s Ki Sung-yueng to head in a goal that sent jitters down the spine of fans watching the game. The two defensive mistakes during the match against Cardiff proved ultimately non-fatal as Liverpool turned out the style and the power of their attack to crush Cardiff in a second half assault.

The terrain Liverpool players find themselves in is basically uncharted. Sitting just one point behind Chelsea, and with a game against Jose Mourinho’s men yet to come at Anfield, it’s understandable why fans can smell the title.

Brendan Rodgers has asked his players to remain calm and that is what they need to do. Nerves need to be kept intact and funnelled into a performance that is laced with the desperation needed for Liverpool to overcome teams over the next few games.

The path ahead will be as perilous as Liverpool need to continue winning all their games. The title is beyond Liverpool unless Manchester City stumble along the way and, the players and Rodgers can only do what they have been doing over the past seven games.

The one thing going for Liverpool is there appears to be some stability with their tactics. Gerrard is settled in the role Leon Britton fulfilled under Rodgers at Swansea. Joe Allen and Jordan Henderson have provided the graft and energy in the middle of the park.

But their attack – led by the phenomenal firepower they have in Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge – is the one trump card the team have over their rivals. And as long as they click together like they have been doing, then fans can continue to dream and believe the title is heading to Anfield.

The test of Liverpool’s frontline will be on display on Sunday when the Reds host Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield. After a rampaging 5-0 win at White Hart Lane, Tottenham fans will be baying for revenge. Liverpool fans will know lightning doesn’t strike twice. But there should be enough thunder for Liverpool to continue with what they need to do to keep their title hopes alive.

Jagdev Singh Sidhu believes Liverpool will beat Tottenham on Sunday at Anfield.

Tags / Keywords: football , EPL , Premier League , Liverpool , Steven Gerrard , Tottenham Hotspur


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