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Mar 30, 2014

Rodgers: Rivals under pressure

ESPN FC's Mark Donaldson recaps Liverpool's 4-0 defeat of Tottenham which propelled them to the top of the Premier League table.

Brendan Rodgers warned Liverpool's title rivals that they have to pass the toughest of tests at Anfield if they want to win the league.

Luis Suarez celebrates in front of the Liverpool fans.
Luis Suarez celebrates in front of the Liverpool fans.

- Jolly: Three Things

On Sunday, Liverpool went top of the table with six games to go by beating Tottenham 4-0 and still have to host both Manchester City and Chelsea at Anfield in April.

Rodgers' side have only dropped five points on their own ground all season and the Northern Irishman feels Liverpool's teamwork means they can beat opponents with more gifted players.

He said: "There is no doubt they understand this is going to be a real tough place to come. We love playing here. The support today was incredible and that is only going to intensify as the season goes on. It works for us rather than against us.

"We respect Chelsea, they have a world-class manager and top players and the squad has been put together over the last 10 years to win the Champions League and the Premier League. City are one of the new superpowers in European football. But we feel that we can win any game, because we are a team. We are a team we may not have the best group of individuals but we have a lot of hunger in a team."

Rodgers also believes his side are coping with the pressure of being in the title race.

He explained: "I didn't see any nerves. You see the confidence, there is no anxiety, no pressure. It was great to watch."

The Liverpool manager hailed his team for an "outstanding" performance after a Younes Kaboul own goal and strikes from Luis Suarez, Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson earned them an eighth successive win.

He added: "We had real dominance right in the game from the first whistle. It was an exceptional performance, everything we have been working towards in this last year and a half in terms of, first and foremost, without the ball that hunger and intensity to get it back from the first whistle to the end.

"And our dominance in possession was very impressive. We had long spells with the ball trying to tire Tottenham out then we had the penetration at the top of the field. It was an outstanding team performance."

Rodgers, however, shied away from talk his team are now odds-on in many people's minds for a first title since 1990.

"That is the dream for our supporters,'' Rodgers said. "They want to win the title. It's been a long time title here, but for us it's not my thinking.''

Goalscorer Henderson admitted it would be a dream to win the Premier League, but like his boss the midfielder is determined not to let such thoughts cloud his mind.

"Of course. We all dream of winning the Premier League one day and we have a chance,'' he said. "We just have to take each game as it comes and focus on the next game which is West Ham. It will be difficult going there. That's what we all want (winning the Premier League) but each step at a time.''

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