Liverpool beat 10-man Queens Park Rangers 2-1 on Saturday as Steven Gerrard played the hero and all but ended Rangers’ hopes of surviving in the Premier Legaue.
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The Reds went ahead early on thanks to a magical goal from Philippe Coutinho but QPR stuck to the task and Leroy Fer volleyed home an equalizer with just over 15 minutes to go. Gerrard first had a penalty kick brilliantly saved by Robert Green, while QPR’s Nedum Onuoha was also sent off in a crazy final 10 minutes, but Liverpool’s captain atoned for his error in the 87th minute as he flicked home Coutinho’s corner to give his side victory.
With the win Liverpool stay in fifth and closed the gap to fourth-placed Manchester United to four points, while QPR remain in 19th and are seven points off safety with three games to go.
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QPR started brightly at Anfield as a corner kick from Matt Philllips found Leroy Fer at the near post and the Dutchman flicked home what he thought was the opening goal of the game. However the strike was chalked off as the linesman adjudged Phillips’ corner kick to have gone out of play before reaching Fer.
Fer had another shot from distance that went close but Liverpool responded well after that good start for the R’s and took the lead through a moment of magic.
Rickie Lambert picked up the ball ont he right flank and hit a superb pass across the box into Coutinho. The Brazilian playmaker took one touch to settle himself and curled an unstoppable shot into the top corner. 1-0 to Liverpool. After that the Reds went close to doubling their lead but Robert Green saved well from Steven Gerrard’s free kick as the half time whistle blew.
After the interval Liverpool continued to push forward and Jordan Henderson’s crossed missed everyone and found Raheem Sterling at the back post but the winger somehow missed from six-yards out.
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QPR tried to get back into the game and Phillips had an effort in the 65th minute that deflected into the arms of Simon Mignolet. Then Fer volleyed home Joey Barton’s corner to make it 1-1 in the 73rd minute and hand the R’s a lifeline. As Fer wheeled away to celebrate, he lifted up his jersey to show a message for teammate Rio Ferdinand after the tragic news of his wife dying on Friday night after a short battle with cancer.
Liverpool were then given a great opportunity to go ahead as Onouha hauled down Martin Skrtel in the box and a penalty was awarded. Gerrard stepped up but his spot kick was saved by Green. In the 82nd minute, Onuoha was sent off for a second yellow after bringing down Ibe and the 10-men couldn’t hold as as Gerrard scored the winner to send the home fans wild.
Liverpool: Mignolet, Can, Skrtel, Lovren, Johnson (Markovic, 84′), Gerrard (Lucas, 89′), Henderson, Lallana (Ibe, 68′), Sterling, Coutinho, Lambert
Goals: Coutinho (19′), Gerrard (87′)
QPR: Green; Onuoha, Caulker (Yun Suk-young, 45′), Dunne, Hill; Phillips, Sandro, Barton, Henry (Zamora, 71′); Fer; Austin
Goal: Fer (73′)