Liverpool close the gap
By John Etheridge of "The Sunday Express"
Liverpool replaced Manchester United as the "Red Shadows" of the League title race on the day that United's hopes nosedived with another defeat, this time at Queens Park Rangers.
Kenny Dalglish's men are now only two points behind Everton, who have two games in hand. But the champions hope to go further ahead in one of those matches when they meet Chelsea at Goodison Park this afternoon. United are now six points adrift and their challenge looks all but over.
The instinctive brilliance of Ian Rush maintained the Anfield Reds' pursuit of Everton. Rush's winning goal also allowed Bruce Grobbelaar the luxury of another display of fallibility in the Liverpool goal. And it gave Liverpool the psychological advantage of a victory over Southampton, the team they are in line to meet in the FA Cup semi-finals.
Liverpool must win at Watford tomorrow to make that happen - and they must be praying that Grobbelaar has got all his clangers out of his system.
Grobbelaar's howler yesterday was not one of the same magnitude of his four recent TV blunders. But he again let in a goal he should have saved. It came five minutes into the second half when George Lawrence shot on the turn from the edge of the six-yard area. Grobbelaar must have been partially unsighted by Gary Gillespie, but he still allowed the ball the ricochet off his leg and into the net.
But, ironically, Grobbelaar's gaffe inspired Liverpool into action - and they scored twice in the next ten minutes. And Rush was involved in both. First, the Welsh striker laid an inch-perfect pass into the path of John Wark, who hammered a first-time shot past Peter Shilton.
And then Rush scored his 22nd goal of the season.
Craig Johnston's cross was headed down by Wark, Rush latched on the ball in an instant, swiveled and shot home from 10 yards. Rush claims he's fed up with playing as a lone striker and will consider leaving Anfield unless he gets more help up front.
With Kenny Dalglish failing a fitness test, Johnston played alongside Rush. And Rush's goal slashed Everton's lead to two points - for 24 hours at least.
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