Team: Cerny, Gabbidon, Traore, Young, Ferdinand (Orr), Faurlin, Barton, Smith (Campbell), Mackie (Hill), Wright-Phillips, Bothroyd.
Subs Not Used: Putnins, Connolly, Derry, Buzsaky
It was one-way traffic in the 1st half and Liverpool could have been 3-0 up if they’d taken their chances and had Cerny not played so well. I take back what I said about him not being good enough to cover for Paddy Kenny – he had a great match. The 2nd half was much better and Rangers could have grabbed a point (at least) if they’d been more adventurous. We gave a fairly average Liverpool team way too much respect. I can see why they have drawn so many home games.
The modern day Anfield has none of the atmosphere of the old stadium – very sterile. Most people did sit down, but a number didn’t and I could hear fans shouting at them to sit down, only to be ignored. There must of been a good few hundred people at the back in rows 34 and 35 who saw next to nothing of the game. I do hope Anton Ferdinand’s injury is not serious. The R’s MOM was most definitely Radek Cerny.
Neil Warnock has said on many occasions that whoever we play on our travels, we would always have a go at them….it didn’t happen on Saturday. We were over-run in the centre of the park and indeed down the flanks. I would agree with Martin, we gave them too much respect. This was not a ‘great’ Liverpool team, yet we managed to look third rate. A prime example was in the 2nd half when we had a throw-in near the corner flag. Rangers kept possession, but the ball ended up all the way to Cerny after a woeful back-pass by Gabbidon. We got lucky, it could have been three or four at half time. We must now get something next Sunday….we fight on.
The hand gestures were scattered all over Anfield as Luis Suarez inspired Liverpool to victory. From the Uruguayan, a raised thumb to his teammates as they rushed to congratulate his match-winning performance against Queens Park Rangers. From the Kop, after an excruciating anxious finale, there were arms aloft in celebration. For much of a nervous afternoon, the palms of edgy Liverpool supporters appeared to be stitched to heads as a multitude of opportunities were squandered before and after Suarez’s 47th minute header. Suarez may be dealing with enough charges to keep the floodlights lit at Anfield, but he showed no signs of being unduly disturbed as he produced another vivacious display.
The barracking won’t stop, but Suarez’s temperament now appears to be made of stern stuff. It was QPR manager Neil Warnock who urged the Football Association to assess the abuse players receive from rival supporters before attacking those who retaliate. He evidently didn’t anticipate his own fans jumping on the overcrowded passing bandwagon to taunt Suarez throughout the first half.
If they misheard or misunderstood Warnock’s pre-match warning, the words of Kenny Dalglish must have also failed to register. He promised Suarez would respond in future, not with the wayward finger gesture which was clearly so offensive to Fulham fans last Monday, but with the goals that can fire Liverpool back into the top four. He obliged with a solitary strike, but could – and should – have had a hat-trick. For long periods, Dalglish must have feared another afternoon of frustration such was the frequency with which chances were squandered. Suarez and the diminutive midfielder Maxi Rodriquez inspired yet another visiting keeper into a heroic display.
Radek Cerny, who was deputising for Paddy Kenny, kept the South American barrage at bay and allowed the Londoners to leave town with their dignity intact. The sight of the opposing keeper being patted on the back at Anfield has become a familiar one, and the question has been asked about whether it is more to do with poor finishing than exemplary goalkeeping. A header from Suarez and two Maxi efforts – each time when he was one-on-one with the keeper – were hit straight at Cerny.
Warnock identified Suarez as the main difference between the sides, although there was a visible gulf in ability across the park, if not the score. “I thought Suarez was amazing. I’d love to manage him,” said Warnock, who reserved most praise for his veteran keeper. “We showed a lot of resolve and Cerny was fantastic. I’m really pleased for him at 37 so I’m disappointed we didn’t get anything for him from the game.”
What is most satisfying, even for those who fear a top-four return may be too much to expect, is how Dalglish has revived Liverpool’s brand of football. The sight of centre-half Daniel Agger and full-back Jose Enrique rampaging forward in pursuit of a second in injury time was either foolhardy or thrilling. That QPR retained hope of a point until full-time proved there are still problems for Dalglish to solve.
QPR almost benefitted from the home anxiety in the later stages. A penalty shout when midfielder Alejandro Faurlin was kicked on the arm by Martin Skrtel was as close as they came. Warnock could take most satisfaction from the sweat on the brow of his opponents as the final whistle blew. Dalglish was content that the harmful drawing streak at Anfield was over and the most meaningful hand gestures of all involved rapturous applause for his No.7.
Chris Bascombe – The Telegraph (extract)
I have to say that most of the locals were as sound as a pound. We found this wee pub that was not as wee as it first looked. All the people in there were friendly and the landlord told us that we were welcome to go back there after the game and also next time we were up.
I didn’t know what we were playing as in formation, Jay Bothroyd seemed lost at sea up-front, Jamie Mackie was doing his best, but at times had to dig more in tracking back than going forward due to the midfield being overrun at times. I said at the time that Cerny would not let us down and he did not with some seriously outstanding saves. The defence was under the cosh most of the game which was why at times, mistakes were made.
The goal was just poor defending and we came out after the break a wee bit asleep. There is no need for us to panic yet, but I do question the tactics. This is not a moan, it’s just that I don’t get why we went up there without having a go. Liverpool are a up-and-down side. I felt that if we got behind them at times, we would have seen them make mistakes.
The support was class from the start to the finish. It was hard to get people to sit down and as a result, to see the game, many who would have sat were forced to stand.
Radek Cerny was outstanding. There was a one-on-one that looked suspiciously offside, which he comfortably dealt with. Well done to him on being MOM. Not too many other positives, but it was good to see DJ Campbell come on, but I was generally disappointed with our overall performance. We hardly threatened them apart from a 10/15 minute spell in the 2nd half.
It was a strange atmosphere, or lack of should I say. After the traditional rendition of, “You’ll Never Walk Alone” before kick-off, there was hardly a murmur from the home fans until they scored. It took so long getting out at the end, I thought that they were holding us back and there was some serious congestion outside. Not the experience I expected. Apparently Anton Ferdinand’s injury is not too serious, let’s hope so. Thanks to Jimmy for the lift.
(The top pic was taken by Jimmy Murray and the others were supplied courtesy of Martin Percival and used with their permission)