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Feb 9, 2014

Gerrard counts Arsenal win among best

Steven Gerrard claims Liverpool's players are not admitting to title ambitions because that is the party line.

Brewin: Managing expectations
Kelly: Anfield masterclass
'Wenger never been angrier'

The team's 5-1 thrashing of Arsenal on Saturday has revived debate about their potential to rival Arsene Wenger's side, Chelsea and Manchester City in the race to be crowned champions.

But asked if Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool side were in the title race, Gerrard told the Liverpool Echo: "According to Brendan, we are not.

"Listen, he said we are not, so we are all behind Brendan. We listen to what our leader says and he says we are not in the title race, so we go with that.

"We do what he says - and he says we are not in the title race, so we carry on pushing for the top four and see where it takes us."

Gerrard hailed Liverpool's demolition of Arsenal as one of the best team displays of his 15-year Anfield career.

The captain, who made his senior debut for Liverpool during the 1998-99 season, said: "That is right up there. I am trying to think back of a performance - especially in the first half -- that I can remember in the last 15 years.

"Maybe one or two in the Champions League got close but that was as explosive as it gets. That's definitely in the top three performances I have been involved in.

"You are talking about a side that is top of the league with world-class players, ones who are worth 42 million pounds [Mesut Ozil].

"Jack Wilshere, one of the country's big hopes who we are looking to perform at a World Cup, and Santi Cazorla, a World Cup winner. We have absolutely demolished a top team there from start to finish.

"If you stand off Arsenal and give them too much respect, they will pass you to death. They beat us 2-0 last year when we showed them too much respect.

"Brendan is the type of manager that won't just accept 4-0. He believes in 'death by football' and at half-time he wanted us to go out and kill them again in the second half.

"We never did that but that was impossible because of the amount of effort, tempo and workrate we put in for 45 minutes.

"It is impossible to do it for 90 minutes. The game was dead and buried at half-time."

An indication of the stunning form Liverpool were in is the fact that they scored four times in the first 20 minutes against the team who went into the match leading the Premier League.

The victory has left them six points off top spot, which is occupied by Chelsea, with 13 games to play.

Rodgers ruled Liverpool out of the title race last week and maintained his stance at the weekend.

However, two of the three teams above them - Chelsea and Manchester City - have to play them at Anfield in the closing month of the league season.

Liverpool have an excellent home record, having won 11 from 13 home league games this season and their display against has been read by many as a statement of intent from a side who have not qualified for the Champions League since 2009.

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