By jpa90, 30-12-2012, 19:07:44
Three goals in the first 30 minutes secured a win for Liverpool against Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road. An unorganised QPR couldn’t stop Luis Suarez from charging through their defence and slotting home after ten minutes. The striker added another six minutes later after a clever run and neat finish, and Daniel Agger made it 0-3 when he rose highest to meet Steven Gerrard’s cross.
|Rodgers was not present to oversee his side take on the West London side due to illness. Colin Pascoe was given the top responsibility and will have been happy with the way that Liverpool started the game. QPR were having difficulty in holding on to possession and the Reds were confident in moving the ball around in midfield.
With ten minutes gone, Jordan Henderson picked up the ball deep in the home side’s half and located Suarez with a decent pass. Suarez turned Clint Hill with ease and sprinted into the box, one-on-one with Julio Cesar. The striker placed the ball past the hapless keeper into the bottom left corner, giving the visitors a 0-1 lead after ten minutes.
With confidence in their ability to beat the home side’s defence, Liverpool were relentless in attack. Stewart Downing was forced wide on the right wing and found Suarez unmarked on the overlap. The Uruguayan jogged into the penalty area and placed a low cross towards Raheem Sterling in the middle. The ball deflected back out to Suarez who hit a powerful first time effort straight past Cesar and into the net.
With just over 15 minutes gone, Liverpool were 0-2 up against a sloppy QPR who were yet to settle into the game. Rangers had made very few chances early on and the closest they came was an overhead kick from Mbia that looped over the bar. Liverpool’s defence were busy in keeping Djibril Cisse and Adel Taarabt quiet but the visitors were easily winning the battle in midfield.
Liverpool’s constant dominance in attack forced a corner which Downing played short. Gerrard, with acres of space, swung a textbook cross into the area which Agger met with a powerful header. The defender’s effort bounced under Cesar’s flailing hand and into the bottom right corner, putting Liverpool 0-3 up within half an hour.
Hill and Armand Traore were having a torrid time in defence and could not prevent a persistent Liverpool attack. Suarez was able to travel into QPR’s area with ease and the home side’s last-ditch defending was all that was stopping Liverpool from adding more. Ryan Nelsen only just prevented a fourth when he cleared a deflected shot from Gerrard off the line.
Apart from a decent spell of possession towards the end of the first period, it was a half to forget for QPR. Taarabt had threatened with a decent shot that forced a strong save out of Pepe Reina but Harry Redknapp will have been extremely disappointed at his team’s first half performance. The Reds were rolling the ball into attack with ease and exploiting the obvious gaps in a terribly unorganised QPR defence.
Liverpool were quick to assert their dominance in the second half, playing with a high tempo and pressurising QPR’s defence. Jose Enrique and Sterling were linking up well on the left wing and the home side could not contain Gerrard’s distribution. Suarez released a rasping shot on the edge of the box but his high effort was turned over the bar by Cesar.
Rangers were playing with a higher attacking line in the second half, a risky tactic that left the home side susceptible to counter attacks. Taarabt and Mackie were playing with a high level of energy that was non-existent in the first half and the Hoops pushed a determined Liverpool defence.
Taarabt had a low shot comfortably saved by Reina, by far QPR’s best chance of the game before then. Esteban Granero had a chance to pull a goal back for Rangers with a free-kick in a decent position, but his effort trickled wide of the post.
Liverpool were losing possession in midfield and Mbia nearly capitalised on this when he received the ball on the edge of the visitor’s penalty area. Reina was happy to see the effort fly past the post but it was clear that Rangers were battling to get back into the game.
Redknapp’s men continued to drive forward but were unable to challenge Reina’s goal. Taarabt won another free kick on the edge of Liverpool’s box when he was brought down by Lucas. Mbia’s resulting free kick was on target but easy pickings for Reina.
The game fizzled out with neither side creating many chances in the last 15 minutes. Liverpool capitalised on QPR’s poor first half performance and a clean sheet was a result of hard work and concentration in defence. QPR remain at the bottom of the Premier League table whereas Liverpool move up to 9th. Rangers face a tough fixture against Chelsea on Wednesday and Liverpool host Sunderland.
Kopworld man of the match: Luis Suarez