Reds lay down marker in EPL title race

FOOTBALL: Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard refused to admit it, but the Reds are now in pole position to win their first English Premier League title after an emotional 3-2 victory over rival Manchester City at Anfield.

On a day when fans and players paid tribute to the 96 people who died in the Hillsborough disaster 25 years ago, Liverpool took a step closer to that elusive league crown yesterday.

But Gerrard, whose cousin Jon-Paul Gilhooley, 10, was the youngest to die in the crush of fans at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final on April 15 between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest, said no one was thinking about winning a first top-flight trophy since 1990 just yet.

"This is gone," he said after the win over City. "We go to Norwich. Exactly the same. We go together."

Raheem Stirling and Martin Skrtel gave Liverpool a 2-0 lead before City struck back through David Villa and a Glen Johnson own goal.

A rare mistake from City skipper Vincent Kompany, however, gifted Philippe Coutinho the winner.

Liverpool will take the title if it wins its remaining four games, even though City, now seven points off the top in third, has two games in hand. The Reds still have to play Chelsea at Anfield on Sunday, April 27.

The Blues, who have four games left, stayed two points behind the leaders with a 1-0 win at struggling Swansea City, which had Chico Flores sent off for two bookable offences.