Premier League - Gerrard double fires Liverpool top despite referee errors

Premier League, Upton Park - West Ham United 1 (Demel 45+2) Liverpool 2 (Gerrard 44 pen, 71 pen)

Eurosport
Premier League - Gerrard double fires Liverpool top despite referee errors
.

View photo

Liverpool's Steven Gerrard (R) celebrates scoring a penalty with Raheem Sterling during their English Premier League soccer match against West Ham United at Upton Park in London April 6, 2014. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER) FOR EDIT

Steven Gerrard scored two penalties to fire Liverpool back to the top of the Premier League table with a controversial 2-1 win at West Ham that was marred by a dreadful performance from referee Anthony Taylor.

Brendan Rodgers' side were worthy winners on their way to a ninth straight Premier League victory - their best sequence of results in eight years - but the game was overshadowed by a match official making some awful decisions.

Liverpool moved ahead when Gerrard sent home goalkeeper Adrian the wrong way from the penalty spot after James Tomkins had clearly handled from a Suarez ball on 44 minutes.

They looked set to lead at half-time only for referee Taylor's failure to spot a clear foul on Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet by former Anfield forward Andy Carroll from Mark Noble's corner in stoppage time in the first half.

Guy Demel clipped the loose ball into the net and the goal stood despite the assistant's flag being up as the referee overruled the linesman after a lengthy discussion.

Liverpool collected a merited three points courtesy of another error by Taylor on 71 minutes when he awarded a second penalty after there seemed to be minimal contact by Adrian in challenging Jon Flanagan.

Gerrard drove the penalty to the right of the West Ham goalkeeper to seal another vital three points that leaves them two points clear of Chelsea, and four ahead of Manchester City before City - who have played two games less than the leaders - visit Anfield next Sunday.

KEY MOMENTS

18' - SUAREZ SPINNING SHOT COMES BACK OFF THE BAR: Suarez sees an effort come back off the bar. Brilliant effort from the Uruguayan striker. So unfortunate. That would have been a thrilling way to hit 30 for the season.

44' - PENALTY TO LIVERPOOL: Tomkins handles the ball after Suarez tried to go past him. Clear-cut penalty to the visitors. Brilliant pass from Gerrard to pick out Suarez.

45' - GERRARD SCORES FROM THE SPOT! West Ham 0-1 Liverpool: Gerrard slots the penalty into the corner of the net. Brilliant penalty. Adrian dived to his right. Gerrard planted it to his right.

45+2' - DEMEL FINDS THE EQUALISER! West Ham 1-1 Liverpool: A clear-cut foul on Mignolet by Carroll in the box from the corner, but the goal stands. Taylor has overruled his linesman there. Carroll pushed Mignolet forcing him to drop the ball from the Noble corner. Awful decision by the match official.

61' - CARROLL HITS THE BAR WITH A HEADER: Carroll hits the bar for the visiting side. Lovely cross from out wide. Almost a 2-1 lead for the home side. Johnson beaten in the air.

70' - A SECOND PENALTY TO LIVERPOOL: Flanagan taken out of the action late by Adrian. Not sure that was a penalty. Adrian has been booked for that one.

71' - GERRARD SLOTS THE SPOT-KICK! West Ham 1-2 Liverpool: Gerrard smashes the penalty to the right of Adrian. No chance for the goalkeeper. Keeper guessed right, but couldn't keep it out.

83' - SUAREZ HITS THE BAR FOR A SECOND TIME: Suarez lifts the ball onto the bar. So unfortunate not to see that land in the net. Twice he has hit the bar today. Brilliant attempt by Suarez.

View photo

.

90+1' - SUPER EFFORT BY STERLING: Brilliant hit by Sterling from the edge of the box, but nudged away by Adrian.

KEY STATS

Steven Gerrard is now the fifth top goalscorer in Liverpool's history with 173 goals, one clear of the watching Kenny Dalglish. Ian Rush is way out in front with 346.

West Ham’s two match winning streak comes to an end. They have now failed to keep a clean sheet for seven PL matches – they last time they went longer without one was from April to May 2011 (8 matches).

Liverpool have now won nine consecutive PL matches, their longest since they got 10 in Oct-Dec 2005 (they also got 9 in March-May 2006). They now have 74 points, they have only had more after 33 matches twice before, in 1987/88 and 1978/79 (they won the league in both of those seasons).

Liverpool have now been awarded 12 penalties this season, the only team who have had more in a single PL season are Crystal Palace, who got 13 in 2004/05 (Chelsea (09/10) and Arsenal (06/07) have also had 12).

Liverpool have now won nine consecutive PL matches, their longest since they got 10 in Oct-Dec 2005 (they also got 9 in March-May 2006). They now have 74 points, they have only had more after 33 matches twice before, in 1987/88 and 1978/79 (they won the league in both of those seasons).

Liverpool are unbeaten now for 14 PL matches, since a defeat on 29 Dec 2013 – the last year in which they went longer before losing a match was 1983 (15).

Gerrard scores from the penalty spot for the second time this match, to join Shearer, Lampard and Johnson as players with 10+ penalty goals in a single season.

Infostrada

TALKING POINT: Are referees making too many mistakes? The pace of the game in the world's richest league is proving very difficult for match officials to referee. Could be a call for fitter if not younger men to keep up with the frantic nature of these matches. Taylor was making wrong calls from far too far away, but at least he chose to even the game up by awarding Liverpool a second penalty after getting the West Ham goal badly wrong. Whatever is said, it is difficult to argue that Liverpool were not worthy of their three points.

MATCHCAST: FULL COMMENTARY AND PLAYER RATINGS

MAN OF THE MATCH

Steven Gerrard (Liverpool): A real captain's performance from Gerrard. Two fine penalties, but his passing was something to behold as he drove his side towards another vital three points in their quest for the title. Avoided a booking so will be ripe for battle against City a week today.

PLAYER RATINGS

West Ham: Adrian 7, Reid 8, Nolan 7, Tomkins 5, Armero 6, Carroll 6, Taylor 6, Noble 6, Demel 6, Diame 6, Downing 6; Subs: Jarvis 6, C.Cole 6, Nocerino 6

Liverpool: Mignolet 7, Johnson 7, Flanagan 7, Sakho 8, Skrtel 8, Gerrard 8, Henderson 7, Coutinho 5, Sterling 7, Suarez 8, Sturridge 5; Subs: Toure 7, Lucas 7

MATCH IN A TWEET

View Comments (259)
Write for Yahoo Sport