Brendan Rodgers believes that when it comes to keeping calm and producing under pressure, Steven Gerrard, whose 90th minute penalty sunk Fulham on Wednesday night, is simply 'peerless'.

Those who have followed the Huyton-born midfielder's glittering Anfield career will, of course, willingly testify to that assertion.

On so many unforgettable days and nights, Gerrard has been the difference; the catalyst for success - and the one who has held firm in the face of adversity.

His supreme, defence-splitting pass for Daniel Sturridge to level the scores at Craven Cottage was up there with any of the skipper's greatest assists these last 15 years.

And when he stepped up to stroke the ball past David Stockdale and clinch a dramatic 3-2 win, Rodgers was not surprised that his captain was composed and clinical. 

"He was outstanding and he has been for me all season," the manager told Liverpoolfc.com. "Steven has been one of the best attacking players in world football over the last 10 or 11 years.

"He's now taken on a different role and he's showing the real tactical intelligence that he has to play in a different position. He can still be effective for the team.

"It was a great pass [for Sturridge] and then under pressure situations, Steven is peerless. He's magnificent and it was a great penalty to win the game."

As the Liverpool players departed the pitch at Craven Cottage, Gerrard made a beeline for Academy starlet Joao Carlos Teixeira, who had come on to replace Raheem Sterling for his Liverpool debut.

The Portuguese looked assured on the ball, in spite of the intense pressure, and the 21-year-old even made a crucial block, with moments left on the clock, to help the Reds secure three points.

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Gerrard went to the youngster to laud his efforts and afterwards, Rodgers too hailed Teixeira's composure, while pointing to the importance of a promising cameo made by the returning Daniel Agger.

"It's good to see that we have young players who can contribute," said the manager. "We had Teixeira coming on. He's been outstanding for the U21s, and he came on and did very well. He made a great tackle towards the end.

"With Daniel Agger being out for a while, he came on and made three important headers towards the end, which allowed us to close out the game."

Victory in the capital closed the gap on Manchester City, who have a game in hand, to one point, while Arsenal are three clear of Liverpool and table-toppers Chelsea are four.

However, Rodgers was keen to play down any talk of a title challenge, especially with Tottenham Hotspur, who were emphatic 4-0 winners against Newcastle United at St James' Park on Wednesday, just three points behind his side.

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And the Northern Irishman insists he still sees plenty of room for improvement, starting with errors that can be cut out defensively over the coming weeks and months.

"We're not thinking about being title contenders," said Rodgers. "There are 12 games to go and we're just making sure we're focused on continuing with our improvement in our performance.

"That's all we've ever done - look to improve our game. We made more mistakes again defensively against Fulham, which we need to improve on. It's something that we need to eradicate from our game. So there's still plenty of improvement to make in this team.

"But overall, I'm very happy. It was a different sort of performance to the one at the weekend [against Arsenal]. We had to show immense character against Fulham and I was very proud of the players.

"We had to come back twice form a goal down in the game, but we've showed that appetite and hunger within the group."