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Liverpool 1-0 QPR Match report and reaction

Liverpool returned to winning ways this afternoon with a hard fought 1-0 home win against newly promoted QPR. To be fair to Liverpool, the scoreline could have and should have been much more had it not been for another superb performance from a visiting goal keeper.

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Suarez back on scoring form for the RedsLiverpool returned to winning ways this afternoon with a hard fought 1-0 home win against newly promoted QPR. To be fair to Liverpool, the scoreline could have and should have been much more had it not been for another superb performance from a visiting goal keeper. This time it was the turn of Radek Cerny to keep the dominant home side at bay. Joining the likes of Michel Vorm and John Ruddy in putting in some fine work between the sticks to thwart the home side attack.

Liverpool started with the expected back four which must surely confirm that Jamie Carragher is now firmly recognised by Kenny Dalglish as a squad player. Getting wheeled out for the odd cup match and in the event of injury. Jordan Henderson was chosen in place of Jonjo Shelvey to partner Charlie Adam in the ‘engine room’ with the width being provided by Maxi and Stewart Downing. The ever industrious Dirk Kuyt and tricky Luis Suarez forging the attack.

The team started brightly and Liverpool were quickly into their pacey game and retained possession well. Chances were, however few and far between as Neil Warnock’s QPR side were deployed with keeping the score down to a minimum rather than risk any out-and-out attacking play and wind up getting royally stuffed. The plan was working and other than a denied penalty claim from  Suarez on 20 minutes and Henderson attempting to put the ball into the chippy across the road from the ground on 28 minutes there wasn’t that much to rouse the Anfield crowd.

Around the half hour mark though, Liverpool did begin to make in roads toward the heavily guarded QPR goal. Good work from Maxi on 30 minutes saw him pass Daniel Gabbidon before drawing a save from the until then untested Cerny. The home side’s most industrious player by now was probably Adam who’s probing runs and range of passing was causing some concern in the visiting defence. That was really about it. A reminder of why Liverpool have struggled so much this season at home. Basically all mouth and no trousers. Plenty of intention but no invention.

The second half began with promise a plenty and within seconds the home side were ahead. Another probing centre from Adam operating on the left found the head of Suarez who was able to nod home completely unmarked. “Terrible defending” as a noted Liverpool defender of days gone by would say. Liverpool then pushed forward in search of another but were unable to get past the impressive Cerny. Some superb link play between Maxi and Suarez in the QPR penalty area cannot go unmentioned. The South American duo only outdone by the inspired Cerny who miraculously diverted the ball round his left hand post. It was one of those “How did he manage to do that” moments. The Kop, hands on heads in disbelief.

Liverpool continued to drive forward and were denied another goal when the outstretched foot of Shaun Wright-Phillips diverted the ball against the crossbar and back out into open play. Some nifty footwork from Suarez on 60 minutes was again fruitless, and Kuyt was wasteful on 63 minutes when he shot into the ground from 10 yards for it to bounce tanely into the ‘keeper’s arms. QPR then began to feel they could get something out of the game and they had a few corners late on. Most notably following a mix-up between Adam and Reina. Overall Liverpool dealt with the resurgence of QPR adequately enough and they were never really in danger during that spell.

Bellamy came on after 78 minutes for Maxi who had been our best attacking outlet. Bellamy’s main contribution was to argue with the ref and get booked. By then it was really a matter of getting fresh legs onto the pitch more than any tacticle play. Shelvey entered the fray on 86 minutes and showed his eye for a pass with a long pass from the right back position up to Henderson that was well intercepted by the QPR defence.

So another three points for the Reds to keep them – just – in the hunt for fourth place. They were assisted by Newcastle goind down 4-2 to Norwich which must have been a cracking display from the new boys giving Newcastles form thus far this season. Maybe Newcastle will fall away now as many people will predict. Arsenal got a 1-0 home win against Everton to push them up into fourth spot. Tottenham who for me are the team to beat at the moment play tomorrow and Chelsea on Monday so the race is still fairly open.

There’s still a lot of football to be played so it’s perhaps too early to write Liverpool off. However, another good run of result will go some way to getting their proverbial noses in front. One thing’s for sure, if the Reds do make fourth spot, it certainly won’t be by a canter.

 

By Ben Green

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