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 Posted by PA Sport
Mar 1, 2014

Rodgers plays down Liverpool title talk

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has played down talk of a first league title since 1990 despite his side going second in the table after a 3-0 win at Southampton on Saturday.

Luis Suarez and Raheem Sterling were both on target as Liverpool won 2-0 at Southampton.
Luis Suarez and Raheem Sterling both got on the scoresheet at St Mary's on Saturday.

• Kelly: Poetry in motion
• Cox: Three things

Luis Suarez opened the scoring early in the first half and, having withstood the hosts' impressive response, Liverpool made the game secure with goals from Raheem Sterling and Steven Gerrard.

The result extends the Anfield club's winning streak to four league games, while they remain unbeaten in this calendar year as they trail leaders Chelsea by just four points -- yet Rodgers is keen to avoid talk of a title push.

“I'm not focusing on that, to be honest,'' the Reds boss told a news conference after the game. "I'm focusing on winning the next game.

"I think we've had an outstanding performance today, a really significant performance against a very, very good side with an excellent manager.

"The players were tactically brilliant today and we scored three and maybe could have had another five or six goals. But we'll just stay calm.

"There are 10 games to go now, we're in a good position and we just want to continue working at the level we are at."

Asked if he had deliberately banned title talk among his players, Rodgers said: "No, we stay calm. It is great for the supporters to dream.

"What is great for them is that they have seen the evolution of this team over the last 18 months and we've consistently being progressing and performing at a really good level.

"After Swansea [a 4-3 win] we always knew this would be a really difficult game today. They have scored in all but two games here, have some really good players and have an excellent manager.

"So for us to come and play like we did today and find a solution to nullify that threat was impressive by the team.''

Rodgers also told Sky Sports that his side's defensive performance was "right up there" with his side's 5-1 drubbing of Arsenal, while commending the form of forward Luis Suarez at the other end.

The Uruguay international ended a five-match goal drought by opening the scoring at St Mary's, and marked his 100th league appearance for the club with a key role in the other goals.

"Well, it helps when you have a team and a squad,'' Rodgers continued when asked about Suarez's influence.

"Luis has been sensational but I think everyone last week was saying he scored four goals in the last 33 goals that we have scored, but he's a huge influence in the team.

"But today was very much about the squad and the collective. Everybody had to do their job, the goalkeeper made a great save and we looked a real threat going forwards.''

Saints manager Mauricio Pochettino said that Suarez is "definitely one of the best in the world'' right now, and believes the Reds can mount a "very good challenge'' for the title after the win -- though he feels the result could have easily gone the other way.

"We created many chances in the first half and we deserved a lot more… and it should have been a different result,'' Pochettino said. "But we needed to be more clinical in the first half to get a different result going into the end of the half.

"We were unlucky not to score and then Sterling came on and with his first touch it was 2-0, and it was very difficult from then on to kick on and keep pushing.

"I thought overall with the team's performance it was an unfair result, but I do have to say Liverpool were a lot more clinical than we were.''

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