Premier League – Managers: Gerrard ‘gift’ for Chelsea

Managerial reaction from around the Premier League, with Alex Ferguson accusing Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard of “gifting” Chelsea victory at Anfield.

Sunderland 0-1 Manchester United

Steve Bruce: “It takes it to the last game of the season but it would take an almighty collapse by Chelsea and, if we are being honest, I don’t think you can see that at the moment. You can’t see Wigan going and getting a result, but you can never say never, can you? But they (United) are not going to give it up, that’s for certain, he’ll not give it up… We are fearing (midfielder David Meyler) has done his cruciate knee ligament so that’s a huge blow because the kid has had such an impact for us.”

Alex Ferguson: “I just saw it (Gerrard’s back-pass that set up Didier Drogba for Chelsea’s opening goal) after the game. It was a great gift. There is nothing you can do about it. You just have to get on with it. All we can do is win our game next week. Obviously I wouldn’t say its a sealed result (for Chelsea) against Wigan by any shadow of a doubt. They’re a good team, they’ll have a go and you just never know. It’s a crazy game. Maybe we are clutching at straws a little bit. It is important for us to win in front of our home fans and play the right way. It would be a incredible achievement for us. At the least we have stretched it (the title race) and kept the nerves going.”

Liverpool 0-2 Chelsea

Rafa Benitez: “Now we have to talk about the game, it is better than to be talking about the speculation (about my future). I understand really well but the speculation is something we cannot control. So we have to talk about the games, the football and what happened today on the pitch. Don’t carry on, don’t carry on. Finish. (On Gerrard’s back pass) These things can happen in football. It is a pity because we were more or less in control. It changed the game and it changed the result at the end. It is not the best, that is clear. We were expecting to be higher in the table, we have had too many problems.”

Carlo Ancelotti: “I am happy. It was the key game I think for the fight for the title and we played very well. We deserved to win. It was a little bit difficult in the first half but in the second half we did better. It was an important performance. There was a lot of pressure on this game and on us but we had a good control of our emotion. I never had the time to think about (Gerrard;s back pass). It was an important goal because that goal changed the game. We had more confidence after that and Liverpool lost some of the strength they showed in the first 30 minutes.”

Fulham 3-2 West Ham

Roy Hodgson: “I am happy here at Fulham. I have got a contract here at Fulham. I am happy with the job I am doing. My name is sufficiently strong at the moment to be linked with other jobs and, of course, that is flattering and it is nice to hear. But as far as I am concerned it is speculation because I am at Fulham. We all prefer praise to criticism and love to hatred. It would be ludicrous to suggest I am not enjoying people saying and writing nice things about me and the team. But I am trying to keep a level head and keep things in perspective.”

Gianfranco Zola: “I thought in the first half we were the better team. But then they scored the first goal. In the first 15 minutes after half-time they scored a second and after that we played better. But it was not enough and I am disappointed because this season away from home, we have not been very good. The last week has been great because we got the points we needed and achieved our task. I wanted to focus on the football because that is something we have not been unable to do.”

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