Liverpool skipper Gerrard targeting Champions League push

Steven Gerrard wants Liverpool to be in the shake-up for the top four of the Premier League and with it Champions League qualification by the end of December, the Daily Mirror has reported.

A 3-2 win over West Ham United moved Liverpool to within four points of fourth place, a position currently held by Merseyside rivals Everton. The Toffees crept into fourth on goal difference by virtue of their dramatic 2-1 victory against Tottenham Hotspur. Spurs took the lead in the 76th minute, only for two late Everton goals to turn the match on its head.

Everton, Tottenham and West Brom are all level on 26 points, with Arsenal two points further back. Liverpool are 10th, behind both Stoke City and Swansea City, after coming from behind to beat the Hammers at Upton Park on Sunday.

Liverpool had originally taken the lead through a spectacular goal from former Hammers full-back Glen Johnson, but a penalty from West Ham midfielder Mark Noble and a Gerrard own goal put the Londoners in front. Joe Cole, another ex-Hammer, restored parity, before James Collins got the final touch of a Jordan Henderson cross to give Liverpool the advantage again.

The Reds managed to score three goals despite the absence of Luis Suarez through suspension, with midfielder Jonjo Shelvey playing as a makeshift striker. Shelvey however had a hand in Cole’s equaliser and was also on the scene as Collins scored the decisive own goal, having first appeared to get the all-important touch himself.

Gerrard said: “Before the game, people were doubting us and thinking we would be a bit toothless in the final third without our top striker, but we’ve gone away from home, scored three and taken the three points we came for.

We are building slowly towards where we want to be, and now we have home games coming up against Aston Villa and Fulham,” Gerrard said.

If we can capitalise on our last two wins, and make it 12 points out of 12, then we will find ourselves a lot closer to fourth and it’s a platform to build on.

The England captain added: “For now, we just need to focus on Villa, but if we can keep the momentum then come the end of December we are really going to be looking to be close to that fourth position.

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