Liverpool bounce back with a comprehensive win against QPR
Both teams came into this clash on the back of disappointing defeats. Liverpool, after their commanding win against Fulham, gave a rather flat performance against Stoke away on Wednesday and drew a lot of flak from supporters with even manager Brendan Rodgers stating that this was not the performance expected from the players of Liverpool FC. QPR meanwhile, have their own issues which primarily include not getting beat on every match-day. Despite possessing a nice squad, their performances have been way below par with only one win to show.
Manager Rodgers and back-up Goalie Brad Jones had called in sick on the day of the match after contracting the Norovirus and Colin Pascoe deputised in his absence. The game started well, with both teams pushing to create clear-cut chances and it was the Reds who got the break-through after an individual piece of brilliance from Luis Suarez; receiving the ball in the midfield, he nutmegged his way around defender Clint Hill, who completely made a clown out of himself and slotted the ball to the right of keeper Julio Ceaser for the Red’s first goal of the night. Ten minutes into the game and 1-0, Liverpool now had a spring in their step and wanted more, QPR were still struggling to come to grips with the situation and Suarez was absolutely rampant. Sixteen minutes and Liverpool doubled their lead thanks to Luis Suarez’s thirteenth league goal of the season, this time however it came more because of his quick thinking than anything else. After a marauding run down the right, he tracked in to pass it to a charging Sterling who due to pressure from Nelsen, could only pass it back to him and Suarez blasted it into the net.
Liverpool looked threatening in front of goal, something that has been absent from their game throughout the course of the year and kept pushing to score another and put the match beyond any doubt, knowing very well how they let a two-goal lead slip in the last fifteen minutes last season at Loftus Road. They were rewarded for their efforts in the twenty-sixth minute after a beautiful curling ball from Gerrard was met by Agger in the box, who dispatched it perfectly into the bottom left corner.
3-0, 30 minutes – this was the response the fans were looking for after the abysmal defeat to Stoke mid-week and they were not disappointed at all. In the first half hour itself, the quality of this young Liverpool squad had shone through and the rest of the match was a breeze after that as Liverpool went easy on the gas pedal and were content with spraying the ball around. That QPR had a bad day in the office would be a massive understatement, they lacked creativity in the midfield, cohesion while going forward and the team hinged on individuals to produce a spark of brilliance rather than collectively work upon applying pressure on the Liverpool backline.
The busy festive season comes with its advantages and disadvantages. Liverpool completed a bitter-sweet week whereby a poor defeat to Stoke was sandwiched between comprehensive wins against Fulham and QPR. As for QPR, they need more than a miracle to survive in the EPL this season and require enforcements in January to help their surge, with current Liverpool outcast Joe Cole seemingly high on boss Harry Redknapp’s transfer list. As the second half showed, the QPR team which is low on confidence, owing to their one win in twenty premier league matches. They tried their best to conjure up something, but it was Liverpool who looked threatening with Gerrard and Suarez missing chances they should have put away. The only bad part for the Reds was Enrique pulling his hamstring half way into the second half and early reports suggest he could be out for the entire month of January, something which will hurt Liverpool given their apparent lack of experienced wing-backs. This might also force them to keep Downing till the Summer.
The Reds go into the New Year hopeful that some much needed re-enforcements up the field in the January transfer market could make up for a more productive second half of the season and help in their push for that elusive fourth spot in the league. The fans have reason to be optimistic with recent wins suggesting that the team is finally getting used to playing to the Rodgers’ style of football.
Man of the Match : Luis Suarez - The imperious Uruguayan was too hot to handle for the QPR defence, especially his marker Clint Hill and his two goals in the opening stages of the match had all but set up the match for Liverpool to win. He boasts the highest number of away goals(8) in the premier league so far and looks set for many more this season with his form. That he is happy with life in Merseyside should be welcome news for millions of LFC fans around the world.
Flop of the Match : Clint Hill – The veteran centre-back was too slow for the ever moving, flip-flopping Luis Suarez and was always found chasing him rather than controlling him. QPR had to contain Luis Suarez to get anything from the match, something which the team and specifically Hill, could not do.