London: Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard scored two penalties as his side returned to the top of the Premier League table with a 2-1 win away to West Ham.
Victory, in a match where Gerrard struck from the spot either side of Guy Demel’s equaliser, left Liverpool two points in front of Chelsea and four ahead of third-placed Manchester City.
However, City have two games in hand over both Liverpool and Chelsea. Liverpool plays City at Anfield next weekend.
Gerrard gave the visitors the lead a minute before half-time at Upton Park on Sunday after James Tomkins handled in the box as Luis Suarez played the ball forward.
But there was still time before the break for the Hammers to grab a disputed equaliser.
It appeared former Liverpool striker Andy Carroll had knocked the ball out of Reds goalkeeper Simon Mignolet’s grasp, after shoving a hand in his face, before Demel stabbed home in first-half stoppage-time.
The linesman flagged but, having consulted with his official, referee Anthony Taylor let the goal stand despite furious Liverpool protests.
Taylor was involved in more controversy when he awarded Liverpool a second penalty from which Gerrard made it 2-1 in the 71st minute.
West Ham goalkeeper Adrian came off his line to take the ball but then made contact with Jon Flanagan in his follow-through and Taylor, somewhat harshly, pointed to the spot.