Captain Fantastic Heads Home The Winner
I would just like to take this opportunity to pay my respects to Rio Ferdinand and his family. Rio's wife sadly passed away after a short battle with breast cancer. Both teams wore black armbands.
The game started with a pathetic fly over banner from the extreme "Rodgers Out" brigade. Whilst I'm not personally Rodgers' biggest fan at present, not by any stretch of the imagination I do find it embarrassing that some Liverpool fans (allegedly) have gone to the extent of paying for a plane to fly the message "Rodgers Out, Rafa In". I love Rafa too, but lets get real here ay? Seriously embarrassing stuff.
Thankfully Rodgers didn't take any notice on Saturday and eventually led his side to a 2-1 win.
QPR had Liverpool fans on tenterhooks very early on after a corner in the first minute looked like it had led to a goal for the away side. The ball was in the net but it had left the field of play from the corner.
It would take the Reds a while to completely settle into the game after such an early threat but at 18 minutes Philippe Coutinho netted a lovely goal for his side. A break from the Reds left Lambert on the right wing in possession, the forward spotted Coutinho and played a lovely pass which the Brazilian controlled wonderfully, his resulting finish was perfect leaving goalkeeper Green with no chance.
It was a lovely move from the Reds and it was nice to see Rickie Lambert heavily involved. I do feel though that Lambert on the whole was left somewhat lost in the system, we know by now how I feel about a lone striker and I honestly feel he still required a lot more support yesterday but that's it, that's my negative out the way.
For the remainder of the first half QPR failed to make an impression on the Liverpool defence. Odd bouts of possession would result in little danger and the Reds remained in control going into the second half.
Early in the second half Jordan Henderson created a beautiful long range cross which drifted nicely into the box for an encroaching Raheem Sterling. The youngster though missed an absolute sitter sending his strike wide to the left of goal. I have no idea how he missed that one.
Ten minutes later the Reds created another decent chance after Steven Gerrard sent a long range shot agonisingly close to the bottom right of goal. Jordan Ibe who had replaced Adam Lallana was involved in the build up for this attack.
A resulting corner from the Gerrard effort nearly saw Dejan Lovren send home a header but the Reds at this stage just couldn't find a second goal. QPR in this period saw their chance to punish the Reds , during a confident spell the away side earned themselves a corner. Joey Barton whipped in the cross as Leroy Fer connected well and put QPR level, he was given far too much space by Liverpool who should really have had this game tied up.
At 78 minutes Liverpool were awarded a penalty after a foul by Onuoha on Martin Skrtel in the box. If there's one man you'd bet your house on to net a peno it's Steven Gerrard but he soddin missed. I was certain this would be 2-1 but the Reds were left still searching for a winner with just ten minutes to go.
A couple of minutes later and Onuoha made a very silly challenge on Jordan Ibe as he was breaking down the wing and was given his marching orders. It was a daft decision by the QPR man because his side were still very much in this game but the ten men definitely aided Liverpool.
At 86 minutes the Reds finally found their winner and what a winner it was. A corner from Philippe Coutinho was met by a rising Steven Gerrard who with a fantastic header, smashed home Liverpool's second of the game securing all three points.
You wouldn't think there could be such an emotional goal in a home game against QPR when you are effectively destined to finish 5th in the league but this header was special. The instant realisation that this could be Gerrard's last in front of the Kop was enough to send Anfield into a frenzy and I'm so pleased for him.
At 88 minutes Gerrard was subbed off receiving a standing ovation from the fans. He may have dipped below par this season and of course he's not the Gerrard he used to be but it's games like this that make you realise what a talisman he is. There is not a single player within our team at present in my opinion that is able to bring the fight and passion that Gerrard does, it is simply unique.
Next up for Liverpool is Chelsea away, wouldn't it be nice just to spoil a bit of the party by absolutely battering them? ... We can dream.