LIVERPOOL 2 – 1 QPR
BACK, with a bang! Liverpool end the unfortunate goalless period we had been going through, although the damage done may have cost us our 4th place spot by now – we certainly were winners in this game.
The manager had already stated in the last game that he was resting Steven Gerrard for this game and although at the time it was a confusing choice to make that didn’t seem to help us, it looks like it probably was a good decision by the manager since it turned out to be quite an amazing fixture for Liverpool and for our Captain Fantastic.
The starting lineup was rather interesting, with some unexpected yet welcome changes made to it. We’re seeing more and more of Glen Johnson lately, he gets a spot in the starting 11 ahead of defenders like Kolo Toure and Alberto Moreno and you know he’s earned his place.
Joe Allen would not start, instead the midfield saw Adam Lallana join vice captain Henderson, Coutinho and Sterling and up in the strikers spot – Rickie Lambert would take Mario Balotelli’s place in the side and if you read my last article, you’ll know this is what I suggested should happen as Balotelli keeps on failing to prove himself and we ended up losing without even scoring a goal as he played in the side. (more on that at http://www.anfieldfamily.com/hull-1-0-liverpool/ ) .
Lambert made a difference to the game and proved himself to the manager and to the fans. Just how often have we said that about Balotelli this season? I was happy the manager chose to heed my words and give this chance to a player that deserves not just to be a substitute, but to start a game and show you how well he can perform over 90 minutes instead of the few dying minutes of the game you would have used him for had he just been taken off the bench.
Liverpool’s game had started quite well, attacking regularly. Coutinho had a couple of shots, Lambert had a shot, Gerrard had a shot and Lallana and Sterling were helping out, winning free kicks and keeping us supplied with the ball as and when we needed it. It would take only 19 minutes before the first goal of the game arrived and it would be Liverpool’s. Rickie Lambert’s assist was just what Coutinho needed and he struck a powerful shot and finished well to put the ball in the top right corner of the net. Liverpool 1 – 0 QPR.
Gerrard had just been booked unfairly (in the honest opinion of the fans watching the game) not long before that 19th minute and this goal felt like justice in a way. Trying to keep us down with your cards, ref? Well, we will still make sure we’re going to win! Martin Atkinson was the referee for this game, by the way. He’s been quite bothersome in fixtures like this seasons defeat to Manchester United where he managed to send Gerrard off – I doubt the fans have forgotten that already, it caused a big upset in one of the most important games of the season.
Liverpool would attack some more and defend in the first half but the score would remain the same at the break, as Liverpool were still leading by a single goal at half time. The second half would have more excitement and more goals to see, though.
By the 67th minute of the game, Liverpool made a change to their side as the manager chose to replace Adam Lallana with Jordon Ibe. Shortly afterwards, came the next goal of the game. It was to be an equalizer! Queens Park Rangers number 10 striker Leroy Fer had been a theat earlier in the game and kept on being persistent enough in his attacks to make himself a goalscorer. With an assist from controversial teammate Joey Barton, Fer would make it Liverpool 1-1 QPR. Did Liverpool have what it took to score again and make sure they got all three points? Well, eventually we did… but it was really late in the game and QPR scared us for the last period of the game, some fans may have thought we were going to get a draw in this fixture.
In the 78th minute, Martin Skrtel had been inside the QPR penalty area and was fouled by Nedum Onuoha, who received a yellow card and Martin Atkinson awarded Liverpool a penalty. Steven Gerrard would take it but the QPR goalkeeper Robert Green would save it right in the corner of the goal and the score would remain the same for a while longer. I wouldn’t call it a “miss”, it was more of a terrific save and Green deserves credit for his shot-stopping abilities.
Less than four minutes later, Jordon Ibe was fouled and the player that had gifted Liverpool their penalty and warned by the referee was yet again shown a yellow card – which meant Nedum Onuoha had to leave the field and QPR had to play the rest of their game with ten men.
Battling against the odds with less men than their opposition, QPR looked shaky and Liverpool looked determined not to draw this game. The manager would replace Glen Johnson with Lazar Markovic as Liverpool assumed a more attacking formation for the last part of the game. We were going all out attack now and eventually, it paid off.
In the 86 minute, Richard Dunne would concede a corner. Phillipe Coutinho would get the ball and cross it to Steven Gerrard who headed home a perfectly finished header into the far right corner of the net, scoring his 184th goal for Liverpool, making him the 5th highest goalscorer in all competitions for the club while also making the score Liverpool 2 -1 QPR with less than ten minutes to play (including added injury time).
It was a winner. It was Liverpool needed to take all three points from the game. It was the goal I had been praying Gerrard would get before the end of the season and it put Stevie G ahead of Robbie Fowler’s total of 183 goals, making Fowler 6th and Gerrard 5th on Liverpool’s “all time highest scorer list”. Steven Gerrard deserves this and much more, in fact I am naming Gerrard as my Man of the Match. Well done, Stevie. You are a LEGEND! You’ll Never Walk Alone, even once you’ve left for the MLS to play for the LA Galaxy. You will remain in Liverpool’s fans hearts forever more.
As Stevie celebrated his goal, he kissed the badge – he loves Liverpool and Liverpool loves him. It’s been a wonderful relationship between the two over a period of about 16 years and Gerrard has been quoted as saying “when I leave Liverpool in the summer, my relationship with Liverpool doesn’t end. In fact, it will never end”. His heart will remain with Liverpool and it’s fans, always and his legend will live on always. We LOVE YOU, STEVIE G! We always will.
Liverpool’s next fixture will be against current league table leaders (and unofficial Premier League champions, they’ve got a 13 point lead and nobody can overtake them now) – we’ll be playing Chelsea at their own ground. Off to London!
Until then, remember that You’ll Never Walk Alone as we continue our season. Your Anfield Family is walking with you.
[written by] Stuart Drewery.
I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so i was born into being a red.
I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (about 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.
I’m a die hard Liverpool fan (only supported ONE club in my whole life, Liverpool) and one of the most dedicated fans you’ll ever meet.