Liverpool 1-0 QPR: Second-Half Luis Suarez Header Helps Hosts End Frustrating Run Of Anfield Draws
A tight game is decided by the Uruguayan striker but the hosts dominate as the away side's goalkeeper Radek Cerny is on top form to deny Maxi Rodriguez and countless others
By Joe Doyle
It was a tight match with the home side dominant throughout, and QPR goalkeeper Radek Cerny was on top form to give his side a chance, but the hosts could not be broken down.
Liverpool lined up for QPR’s first visit to Anfield since February 1996 with Charlie Adam hoping to pull the strings in midfield alongside Jordan Henderson.
Up front they began with a pairing of Dirk Kuyt and the livewire Luis Suarez leading the line.
QPR took to the field with Jay Bothroyd the lone striker with Shaun Wright-Phillips deployed on the left wing and Jamie Mackie wide right.
The first real action of the match came in the 10th minute as Suarez planted a header straight at Radek Cerny but he really should have done better after he found himself unmarked in the centre of the penalty area.
Chances were at a premium in the opening stages, but Liverpool were dominant on their home turf with the R’s finding it difficult to get out of their own half.
Suarez was at the heart of Liverpool’s best moves in the opening 20 minutes, roaming around the attacking third before firing in a dangerous ball across the face of goal but Maxi Rodriguez was unable to get on the end of it.
The Uruguayan had previously had a penalty shout turned down after he was seemingly being dragged down, but he had been backing in and in all fairness it would have been a very soft penalty.
Maxi came close to opening the scoring on the stroke of the half-hour mark, forcing a superb save from Cerny after he got in behind the QPR defence.
It was all Liverpool as half-time approached. Stewart Downing embarked on a fine run down the right wing before sliding Suarez in at a tight angle. He initially attempted to chip the ‘keeper, and when the rebound fell to him he blazed a shot well over.
During that run of play Anton Ferdinand seemed to land awkwardly after a challenge and it seemed that the defender would be forced off on a stretcher, but he recovered to help his team reach half-time on level pegging, as Cerny made another good stop to deny Downing.
QPR were perhaps fortunate to go in at half-time all square, but that fortune didn't last long as Luis Suarez opened the scoring just after half-time.
It wasn't a goal that required Suarez's blend of skill and speed, more a defence content on poor defending, leaving the striker unmarked from Charlie Adam's cross to head home from six yards for his first goal in eight Premier League games.
And things went from bad to worse for QPR moments later as Ferdinand was forced off with a hamstring injury following a tackle with Charlie Adam.
Liverpool were beginning to cut open the QPR defence at will, but Cerny was having a fine game in goal, tipping Maxi's effort from 12 yards onto the post before getting down well to stop a Kuyt volley minutes later.
And he was called into action again to prevent Maxi from adding to the lead, this time making himself big to deny the winger from close range.
QPR hadn't been in the game in an attacking sense, but did begin to exert some pressure as the game wore on, with Joey Barton putting in some dangerous crosses, one of which in particular Pepe Reina had to be alert to as he punched clear from just under his crossbar.
Craig Bellamy, fresh from the substitute's bench almost added to the Liverpool lead with a little over five minutes to go as he whipped a free-kick into the side netting.
With minutes remaining, the away side had a credible penalty appeal turned down as Faurlin chested the ball down before Martin Skrtel appeared to kick him in the arm.
Wright-Phillips almost found the back of his own net, sliding back to try and clear a cross but hitting the crossbar.
The away side continued to assault the Liverpool box, but it was to no avail as they could not find the goal that would earn them a point.
- Own Goal
- Penalty Missed
- Yellow Card
- Penalty Save
- Penalty Shootout Goal
- Penalty Shootout Miss
- Yellow Card / Red Card
- Red Card
- Substitution IN
- Substitution OUT
- Goal.com Rating
- Goal.com Man of the Match
- Goal.com Flop of the Match
- Top & Flop Global Ranking
- Fans' Man of the Match
- Fans' Flop of the Match