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Gerrard hits out at West Ham ploys

ESPN staff
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Brendan Rodgers: Liverpool have no fear

Steven Gerrard has accused West Ham of employing underhand tactics during Liverpool's visit to Upton Park on Sunday.

Liverpool ran out 2-1 winners, but captain Gerrard says West Ham "tried everything" to make their trip to east London as unsettling as possible.

The visitors' team coach was prevented from parking in its usual spot near the stadium with Gerrard claiming the players had to disembark "a mile away".

Gerrard has also complained the temperatures in Liverpool's dressing room were unusually hot and the dry pitch hampered his side's usual passing game.

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The equation is simple for Liverpool: win their five remaining games and they will be champions © Getty Images
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"It was a very tricky game," Gerrard told Liverpool's TV channel. "We got a bit more than we expected - a hot dressing room, a dry pitch and the bus had to park a mile away.

"They tried everything to upset us. 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. It shows we have a bit of everything.

"We have class, some skill and we have some steel. We have lads who can role their sleeves up and dig in. If you'd go back a couple of years you'd find a side that would have sulked and felt sorry for itself, but not now."

Gerrard has also insisted that this weekend's crucial meeting between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield won't decide the title.

Liverpool returned to the top of the table on Sunday and lead third-placed City by four points, though Manuel Pellegrini's side have two games in hand on them.

He added: "It's going to be huge. People are already asking whether it's a title decider but for me that's nonsense. There's still a long way to go.

"It's another big game and it's three points we need if we want to win this league. But it's not a title decider."

Ahead of the match, Brendan Rodgers has called on Liverpool to keep calm if they are to take their tally of consecutive wins in the Premier League to 10.

"The atmosphere will be magnificent," Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo. "We've just got to go and play our game and keep that composure and calmness that we've been playing with.

"If we can do that, hopefully we can get three points."

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