Steven Gerrard scored twice from the penalty spot as Liverpool returned to the top of the Premier League with a hard-fought 2-1 victory at West Ham United on Sunday at Upton Park.
Liverpool were not at their breathtaking best but went ahead in the 44th minute through Gerrard's first penalty. The Hammers equalised moments later via Guy Demel's controversial tap-in, but the Reds won it with a contentious penalty of their own in the 71st minute.
Gerrard now has 173 career goals for Liverpool, passing Kenny Dalglish as Liverpool's sixth-leading goalscorer all-time perLFCHistory.net.
The victory took Liverpool onto 74 points with five matches remaining, two points above Chelsea, who had briefly taken over top spot with a victory over Stoke on Saturday. Third-placed Manchester City are four points behind Liverpool with two matches in hand.
Liverpool won a penalty shortly before half-time when James Tomkins conceded the spot-kick for a handball in the 43rd minute. Gerrard slotted in the penalty one minute later to give Liverpool a 1-0 lead, but it didn't last long as West Ham equalised moments later under controversial circumstances.
The controversy arose in the second minute of stoppage time, when Demel tapped into Liverpool's net from close range after Reds goalkeeper Simon Mignolet spilled a corner. The goal pulled West Ham level at 1-1, and Liverpool were incensed, appealing for a foul by Andy Carroll on Mignolet on the play.
Replays showed that Carroll had made contact with Mignolet's head and arm while the former briefly held the ball, but after consulting with his assistant—who had waved his flag for a foul—referee Anthony Taylor awarded the goal.
More controversy arose in the 70th minute as Liverpool won a second penalty. With Liverpool defender Jon Flanagan running onto the ball on the left side of the box, West Ham goalkeeper Adrian raced off his line before making contact with both the ball and Flanagan.
Taylor awarded a penalty despite arguments from Adrian, who was booked. Gerrard took the spot-kick again, this time driving a high shot past Adrian for a 2-1 for what turned out to be the winner.
On Target: 1-8