Update from Wednesday, April 9
West Ham co-owner David Gold has hit back at Steven Gerrard's claims that the Hammers gave Liverpool an inhospitable welcome to Upton Park at the weekend.
Gerrard claimed Liverpool had to park the team bus a mile from the ground, and also complained of extreme dressing-room temperatures and a dry pitch.
Gold said only one of the three was true:
Mr Gerrard nobody force your bus driver to park a mile away from the ground, it was his choice. If the heating is too warm, turn it down. dg— David Gold (@davidgold) April 8, 2014
“@Khalil_LFC: how about the dry pitch, was Gerrard lying about it too. No. But every club has the right to prepare its own pitch. dg— David Gold (@davidgold) April 8, 2014
Steven Gerrard has revealed his Liverpool side had to endure some off-field gamesmanship from West Ham as they overcame the Hammers 2-1 at Upton Park on Sunday to keep their title challenge on track.
The Liverpool captain said it was an uncomfortable environment in east London, but he believes the fact the Reds came through with a win proves they have the character to claim their first league title since 1990.
As reported by Dominic King in the Daily Mail, the England international said of West Ham's "dirty tricks":
We knew what to expect and we got a bit more than we expected — a hot dressing room, a dry pitch and the bus had to park a mile away.
It was a good test of our character. We needed to prove that we’re capable of fighting for this title and we did that terrifically well.
They were throwing 70-yard balls into our penalty box from every different angle. They have got giants in there who are going up with their elbows and we stood really strong.
We defended superbly and certainly deserved to come away with the three points.
Two goals from the penalty spot for the 33-year-old Gerrard secured all three points for the Anfield side, the winner coming with 20 minutes of the game remaining after Guy Demel's first-half equaliser.
As the following stat shows, via OptaJoe, it was a unique result for Brendan Rodgers' side this season:
1 - Today is the first time Liverpool have won a PL game this season when neither Suarez nor Sturridge has scored. Spread.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 6, 2014
And it stretched Liverpool's winning streak in the league to a mightily impressive nine matches, per BBC Sport.
Liverpool currently sit two points clear of Chelsea at the top of the league, while they are four points above third-placed Manchester City, but the Sky Blues have two games in hand.
Who will win the Premier League:
Manuel Pellegrini's side travel to Anfield on Sunday for a game that will have huge implications in the title race, although Gerrard does not believe it is as significant as many are suggesting.
As reported by King in the Daily Mail, he said: "People are already asking whether it’s a title decider but for me that’s nonsense. There’s still a long way to go."
Despite Gerrard's assertions, there is no doubt that the game against City is of huge importance, as the winner will remain in control of where the title goes.
Both City and Liverpool will win the title if they claim three points from all their remaining games, and this Squawka poll suggests many give Rodgers' side the edge:
Poll Results: Okay so Liverpool are favourites according to you lot. 47.3% think they'll win it. Man City (32.9%) and Chelsea (19.8%).— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 7, 2014
However, they cannot afford to lose against City, as even a draw will leave Liverpool relying on other results.
And with the quality of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge up front, as well as Gerrard's continued good form, they have a great opportunity to confirm their title-winning credentials with a win on Sunday.