Liverpool continued their hot pursuit of Chlesea at the top of the Premier League with a nervy win over Sunderland at Anfield on Wednesday night. It was far from a convincing win for the Reds but one which would be more than effective for the Reds’ quest for the Premier League title. Steven Gerrard opened the scoring for the home side with a sumptuous free kick just before half time while Daniel Sturridge’s deflected effort meant Liverpool would double their advantage just after the restart. Sunderland got a consolation before the last quarter in what was a nervy end for the home side to hold on. Ki Sung-yeung headed in for the visitors while Jozy Altidore inexplicably missed an 89th-minute chance to grab a draw for the Black Cats. It was Liverpool’s seventh straight win in the Premier League and it looks like a Giant is awakening at Anfield.

Only six times previously have two players gone on to score 20 league goals in a season for the Giants of Merseyside, the one in the 1963-64 season through Ian St John and Roger Hunt. Sturridge joined Luis Suárez over that barrier to forge what looks like an insurmountable partnership up front which sends shiver down the spine of any opposition. Sturridge now has 12 goals in his last 13 appearances for Liverpool and Gerrard’s role was crucial for setting up the win. After scoring from the set piece, the Liverpool captain said to Suárez “No more free-kicks for you” after taking on set-piece duties from the Uruguay international.

The team’s belief that they are a contender for the Premier League might see Rodgers’ side going very close down to the wire if not to win the title come this May. “And now you’ve got to believe us,” the Kop sang, “and now you’ve got to believe us, we’re going to win the league.” Rodgers too echoed the sentiments, “A lot of people probably expected us to be way off the top after last campaign. But we have high expectations of ourselves here and we are going to embrace the pressure and enjoy it. Our desire here has always been to look forward and above us, not behind. There are not too many above us now.”

Elsewhere at Upton Park, West Ham were lucky to see off Hull City in a tight affair by a 2-1 scoreline. The Hammers were vastly ineffective for large periods of the game even over ten man Hull City but managed to just about scrape through at the end.