Gerrard hails fighting spirit

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Football News

Steven Gerrard believes Liverpool have mastered the art of never giving in under pressure.

The Anfield skipper underlined that quality with his 94th-minute penalty which secured a 1-1 Champions League draw with Atletico Madrid, and he revealed how he kept his cool ahead of the spot-kick as four Madrid players were being booked in the uproar that followed.

He said: "We were pushing and pushing but it wasn't happening. But this team have shown over and over again that they will keep going right to the end. We got our rewards."

He added: "The penalty was debatable but I got there first and he has jumped through the back of me. If that happens outside the area you would get a free-kick, so inside the box it's a penalty.

"We were disappointed that the referee did not see a handball earlier which for me was a clear penalty, so we deserved a spot-kick."

Gerrard had to wait patiently for order to be restored before he could dispatch the penalty past Leo Franco.

He added: "I was just trying to concentrate and blot everything else out. I decided where I was going to put the ball and stuck to that.

"It's always a good feeling to score at the Kop end. Because of all the uproar, I had plenty of time to decide where I was going to put the penalty.

"Usually I like to get on with it but their players were complaining about the decision and I had to wait. But I was cool, I put it right where I wanted it."

Gerrard added: "It is no surprise to us how well Madrid played, they are full of world-class players and are excellent on the counter-attack."

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