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Feb 4, 2013

Gerrard upbeat over top-four chances

Steven Gerrard insists that Liverpool have shown they can still qualify for next season's Champions League with their performance against Manchester City.

• Blog: Excellent Reds lose lead again
• Jolly: Improving Reds dent City hopes

Gerrard, 32, scored as Brendan Rodgers' side earned a 2-2 Premier League draw against the champions at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

The point leaves Liverpool in seventh place, their highest position of the season, with a nine-point gap to close on fourth-placed Tottenham.

But Gerrard, named England's player of the year on Sunday night at an awards ceremony at the Football Association's National Football Centre in Burton, Staffordshire, believes that gap can be closed over the final 13 league matches, and that a top-four finish can be secured to win a place in Europe's top club competition.

The Liverpool captain has taken great encouragement from their last two performances, with the display against City coming three days after a 2-2 draw at Arsenal.

"We can take a lot of belief from the way we've performed against Arsenal and Manchester City," Gerrard told the Liverpool Echo.

Rodgers' side led in both games, but lost a two-goal lead at Emirates Stadium and let a 2-1 advantage at the Etihad Stadium slip in the closing stages.

"It was similar to the Arsenal game in that I felt we did enough to come away with the three points," he said. "City are a good side and to go away to the champions and get a point is a good result, but after the way we played we're disappointed not to get the win. We need to build on this. I'm feeling really confident about our ability to move up the table.

"We might not have got the results we wanted against the top sides, but every time we have certainly matched them if not bettered them in games. We just need to try to cut out our mistakes and turn those draws into wins.

"No disrespect to the sides we've got coming up, but if we keep playing like that then we can certainly put in a challenge for fourth place. If we perform like that, we will pick up a lot of points between now and the end of the season."

Gerrard's spectacular long-range strike looked to have given Liverpool victory on Sunday, but Sergio Aguero pounced on an error by keeper Pepe Reina to score from a tight angle and save a point.

"We scored two really good goals and it's certainly up there with our best performance of the season," Gerrard added.

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