Liverpool and QPR were involved in an absolutely bizarre match that somehow saw the former leave London with three points in hand.
The Reds would consider themselves extremely lucky after winning against bottom placed QPR which took them to fifth in the table, joint with fourth placed West Ham on points.
A lull first half where Liverpool failed to create any offensive spark and somehow manage to not be 2-0 down to QPR left far too much to be done far too late. A match that certainly looked headed Redknapp’s side’s way was made interesting when Richard Dunn turned a ball in his own net from a Glen Johnson low cross. QPR came back into the game as substitute Eduardo Vargas scored for his side in the 87th minute. Liverpool substitute Philippe Coutinho looked to have won it for Liverpool in the 90th minute, but another goal from Vargas in the third minute of extra time got QPR back into the game. When it looked like the game was certainly going to be a draw, Coutinho set up Raheem Sterling whose cross was turned by Steven Caulker in his own net.
Mario Balotelli is going to come under intense pressure now as he missed an absolute sitter for his new club, for whom he hasn’t still scored in the league after his move from AC Milan. QPR, meanwhile, somehow managed to miss delightful chances in the first half that really should have settled matters as early as then.
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers agreed that his side didn’t deserve anything out of the game, but hailed his team’s character and perseverance.
He said, “QPR certainly did not deserve to lose. We were lucky to get the win, but we showed tremendous character. We were a bit better in the second half but QPR definitely deserved something from the game. In the first half we had no rhythm, we did not pass the ball, there was no speed in the game, but Joe Allen and Phillipe Coutinho coming on gave us a technical lift and we started to create more. Raheem Sterling was outstanding in his running and in his desire. Overall, we were fortunate.”
“Good players get booed. That is something Raheem Sterling might get from time to time. But the kid loved QPR in his time here, he decided to leave, he was courageous to come up north and has developed since he came to Liverpool. He has gone on to be a full international player, a player from London who loves QPR, and does everything for Liverpool. His speed and penetration is so important for us.”
When asked whether there was a dispute with Roy Hodgson over recent matters, the Northern Irishman said, “No, we don’t it is all gone, it has been way blown up. Roy Hodgson and I speak often, he is a good man. My focus is on my players now and preparing them for the next game.”
Steven Gerrard echoed his manager’s remarks and said that he was still in shock after the game.
“We’re still in shock to be honest. We were very lucky today. We’d have no complaints if we came away with nothing. Our performance needs to be better. It was very bitty, stop-start, the only credit we can give ourselves is that we never gave up. All around it needs improving,” said the 34 year old
“We’re going to go away really happy, but the big picture, moving forward, is that we’ve got to improve. Football is a strange game at times and I’m sure all the QPR players and Harry Redknapp are in shock as well. We’ve conceded two sloppy goals. We’re coming up against the best side in Europe in the next week so we need to address that.”
Gerrard also asked Balotelli to keep going as he will get chances to score goals. He said, “He’s got to keep working hard and not get himself down. Playing around players like Coutinho, Sterling and Henderson he will get chances.”