LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Philippe Coutinho scored in the 78th minute to help Liverpool beat Manchester City 3-2 Sunday and become the favorite to win the Premier league on a day of remembrance for English soccer.
The Brazilian playmaker pounced on Vincent Kompany's poor clearance to curl home the winner for Liverpool, which is on course for its first championship since 1990.
"That is probably the biggest statement we have made so far," Liverpool's Steven Gerrard said after leaving the field at Anfield to a standing ovation. "That was the longest 90 minutes I have probably played in. It felt like the clock was going backwards."
Liverpool is seven points ahead of third-placed City, which has two games in hand. Second-place Chelsea, like Liverpool, has the title in its own hands but needs to beat Liverpool at Anfield on April 27 as well as win its other four games.
"The title does not finish today," City manager Manuel Pellegrini said. "A lot of things will happen between now and the end of the season."
Liverpool struck early with goals by Raheem Sterling and Martin Skrtel in the opening 26 minutes. City rallied in the second half, with David Silva scoring in the 57th and Glen Johnson's own-goal five minutes later.
Before the game, Liverpool fans held up a mosaic spelling out "96 25 years" during a minute's silence to mark the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough Stadium disaster. In 1989, 96 Liverpool fans were crushed to death during an FA Cup semifinal.
"We live with Hillsborough every day," Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said. "The families and the victims are in our thoughts every day," Rodgers said. "It was an inspiration for us, rather than something that held us back."