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Premier League

  • 21 March 2012
  • • 20:00
  • • Loftus Road Stadium, London
  • Referee: H. Webb
  • • Attendance: 18033
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QPR 3-2 Liverpool: Mackie strike completes astonishing comeback as hosts fight back from two down to stun Reds

QPR 3-2 Liverpool: Mackie strike completes astonishing comeback as hosts fight back from two down to stun Reds

Getty

Sebastian Coates and Dirk Kuyt gave the Reds a two-goal lead, but goals from Djibril Cisse, Shaun Derry and Jamie Mackie earned the hosts their first win in two months

QPR fought back from two goals down to beat Liverpool 3-2 in a thrilling encounter at Loftus Road.

The Reds, who dominated much of the proceedings, were made to wait until the 53rd minute for the breakthrough as Sebastian Coates volleyed home from 12 yards after Stuart Downing’s effort was deflected up into the air.

Dirk Kuyt added a second 20 minutes later before the Hoops' stirring comeback, as first Shaun Derry and then former Anfield striker Djibril Cisse headed past Reina before super-sub Jamie Mackie grabbed an injury-time winner.

Fit-again Adel Taarabt was called back into the Hoops' starting XI in place of Shaun Wright-Phillips, who was relegated to the bench alongside

For the Reds, Glen Johnson and Daniel Agger missed out as expected, whilst there were starts for Luis Suarez and Dirk Kuyt despite speculation surrounding the future of both forwards.

It was Suarez who had the best chance of the opening exchanges when twice he found himself one-on-one with Paddy Kenny, only to fire straight at the keeper.

The Reds continued their dominant start and earned their 11th corner of the game shortly after the 25-minute mark, but Martin Skrtel failed to hit the target with a free header from the centre of the box.

The hosts grew into the match as the half drew on, however, and almost earned a fortuitous opener when Jose Enrique sliced a clearance back over his own crossbar from an Armand Traore cross.

Cisse was keen to show his former employers that his ability has not dwindled since his acrimonious departure in 2007, and he had Pepe Reina worried when he fizzed a shot into the side-netting.

Liverpool’s defensive injury problems mounted just after the half-hour point when Martin Kelly was forced off with a knock, to be replaced by Uruguayan youngster Coates.

His compatriot Suarez and captain Steven Gerrard were linking up well, but the final ball was consistently lacking, with a few players seemingly frustrated by the uneven playing surface.

Liverpool started the second half brighter but once again struggled to find an end product, with the impressive Samba Diakite proving a particularly troublesome obstacle in front of his back four.

But ten minutes after the restart, Dalglish’s side finally found the breakthrough – and in sumptuous style.

Gerrard’s corner found its way to Downing, whose left-footed drive was deflected up in the air and acrobatically volleyed home by Coates from 12 yards out.

The hosts opted to bring on Jamie Mackie in their bid to get back in to the match, but the striker failed to make an immediate impact as, with just under 20 minutes remaining, Liverpool thought they had made the points safe.

Suarez tricked his way into the area superbly and rattled the post with a left-footed shot. Kenny did well to keep out Downing’s rebound, but Kuyt was on hand to poke the ball home in front of the jubilant away fans.

Just as Dalglish must have thought the result was secure, Derry was quick to ignite the comeback, as he powered home a header from Taarabt’s corner five minutes later.

QPR rallied in the closing period, and with just five minutes to go, Cisse grabbed his fairy-tale goal to leave Liverpool to rue their early missed chances.

The Frenchman rose highest to meet Taarabt’s cross and power a header beyond the helpless Reina to send the Loftus Road crowd into ecstasy and lift his side out of the bottom three.

With the Reds cursing their luck, QPR continued to press forward and in injury time they completed a famous comeback.

Mackie found himself clear through on goal and, unlike Suarez in the first half, was able to finish with composure to earn his side their first win in two months.

 

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