Liverpool ran out 1-0 winners over QPR on the final day of the season thanks to Philippe Coutinho’s stunning 25-yard strike, as the Anfield faithful said goodbye to club legend Jamie Carragher.
|It was the 737th and final Liverpool appearance for the vice-captain, who so nearly marked the occasion with a stunning goal.The game was preceded by tributes to Carragher, with the Kop holding a mosaic in tribute and the players from both sides forming a guard of honour.
Just two minutes after kick off Coutinho was unfortunate to see his legitimate goal chalked off.
The Brazilian got his head on the end of a Stewart Downing corner, but the ball was deemed to have not crossed the line. Replays show that the match officials got the decision wrong.
As Liverpool fans have become accustomed to since his January signing, Coutinho was at the centre of everything the Reds did, and before long he did have his name on the scoresheet.
Teed up by Jordon Ibe – making a very impressive debut for the club – Coutinho wasted little time before firing an unstoppable 25-yard drive that flew past the outstretched arm of Robert Green and into the corner of the goal.
Liverpool maintained pressure on the visitors for the remainder of the half, but the score remained at 1-0 going into the break.
Just as they had done in the first half, the Reds troubled the visitors’ backline immediately after kick-off.
The first blow in an onslaught on the QPR goal came from Jose Enrique when the Spaniard’s deflected 25-yard drive was parried away by Green.
A minute later Ibe came close to marking his debut with a stunning goal. The winger moved inside from the left flank before firing a shot that flashed across the face of goal.
Next up was Glen Johnson, with a powerful shot that deflected off a defender towards the top corner, forcing the QPR ‘keeper to change direction and palm the danger away.
Shortly after the Kop held it’s collective breath, as Carragher looked to finish his Liverpool career in style.
The defender hadn’t scored a Liverpool goal in 7 years, but when the ball fell at his feet 25 yards from goal, Carragher quickly turned and hit a beautifully struck long-range drive that was only inches away from finding the top corner – instead smashing back off the post.
The Reds poured forward in search of a second goal to secure the result and end the season on a high.
With the match drawing to a close, Carragher was replaced by Sebastian Coates. The defender exited the pitch to a standing ovation from both the home and away fans and even the press box was on their feet – a mark of just how highly regarded he is in the game.
The final minutes heard echoes of ‘we all dream of a team of Carraghers’ ringing round Anfield, as well as a cheeky chant of ‘one more year’ that was started up.
Despite some good pressure in the closing exchanges the Reds were unable to find a second goal, and the game finished 1-0 to bring an end to the 2012/12 campaign along with the career of an Anfield legend.