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West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
30 December 2012
• Loftus Road Stadium, London
Referee: A. Taylor
• Attendance: 18304
Queens Park Rangers
L. Suárez 10', 16'
D. Agger 28'
And that, as they say, is that. In truth, QPR should have been pleased that they were only three goals behind at the halfway point; they had been abysmal in the opening 45 minutes, and Liverpool could well have had a hatful. The home side duly improved in the second period, but Liverpool's intensity had diminished by then and the result was never in doubt. As the January transfer window looms, there can be little doubt that Harry Redknapp has plenty of work to do. Thanks for reading!
90' + 3'
GAME OVER. The away fans belt out a chorus of 'You'll Never Walk Alone' as the referee puts his whistle to his lips to end QPR's misery. 3-0 Liverpool.
90' + 1'
Goal.com's Joe Doyle: "QPR have definitely improved in the second half, but it would have been difficult to be much worse than their first 45 minutes. Derry has played pretty well in midfield, making some good interceptions, and mackie is certainly putting the defenders under more pressure."
Yellow CardFabio Da Silva
Adel Taarabt is denied a free kick after some tricky play on the edge of Liverpool's box, before Sterling wins one at the other end after being taken out rashly by Fabio.
Liverpool make their final switch now, as Joe Allen makes way for Jamie Carragher, who'll sit in front of the back four for the game's closing stages.
Stephane Mbia whips the resulting free kick past the wall and into Pepe Reina's waiting gloves.
Yellow CardLucas Leiva
Lucas picks up a booking after getting caught the wrong side of Adel Taarabt and bringing the Moroccan down on the edge of the box.
Fabio Da Silva
Final change for the home side, as Fabio comes on for Shaun Wright-Phillips. The winger hasn't affected the game at all today.
Liverpool waste a hugely promising counter attack, as Gerrard's atempt to pick out Sterling is cut out. It was three on one there for the away side, and Gerrard will be disappointed with that.
Adel Taarabt decides to have some fun on the left wing, poking the ball through a pair of challenging midfielders before beating Johnson with a step-over and winning a free kick. Sublime footwork from the Moroccan.
Raheem Sterling has had little change out of Nedum Onuoha since the interval, and the defender slides across to dispossesses the Liverpool winger once again. A pair of ensuing corners for the Merseysiders come to nothing.
Suso comes on for Jose Enrique, who looks to have picked up a knock.
With what is unquestionably their finest move of the match, QPR work the ball well across the edge of Liverpool's penalty box before Traore pulls it back to Mbia, who curls his shot just wide of Pepe Reina's post from the edge of the box. He had a lot of time there, and should really have done better.
Mbia, who is growing into this second half, hits one from distance, which Reina clutches to his chest. QPR have been far, far better since the interval.
Granero's first touch is to take authority over a free kick in a good position, around 20 yards out. The Spaniard drags it wide.
Lucas Leiva comes on for Jordan Henderson for the away side.
Redknapp shuffles his pack for the second time, Granero replacing Diakite in midfield.
QPR manage a rare foray forwards, and Armand Traore fires a low drive across Reina's goal which no-one can get a touch on. Shortly afterwards, Taarabt rifles along range strike into Reina's gloves. Better this, from the home side.
Onuoha does well again, snuffing out a snappy Liverpool counter attack with a well timed sliding tackle on Raheem Sterling
Yellow CardStéphane M'Bia
Nedum Onuoha performs his side's second moment of heroic defending of the evening, diving full-length to head away from under his own crossbar as Gerrard looked certain to nod home a chipped Suarez cross
First chance of the half, as Suarez - who else? -engineers some room on the edge of the box and rifles a left-footed strike that Julio Cesar does very well to beat out for a corner.
Liverpool look to start the second half how they ended the first. They keep the ball in midfield nicely, and look to pick out Suarez whenever possible. No real openings so far, though.
Harry Redknapp is going for broke here, bringing on midfield battler Shaun Derry to replace the attacking flair of Djibril Cisse.
And for what it's worth, here's mine. The home side have been a shambles, and the biggest question Harry Redknapp is likely to be pondering is which three players to take off. Ryan Nelsen made one superb clearance, and Adel Taarabt has shown some of his signature flair at the midfield apex, but that aside, the 11 players, individually and collectively, have shown nothing to disprove their current reputation as the league's worst team. As far as the visitors are concerned, they have done all that could have been asked of them - aside from possibly increasing their lead - and will be scenting a real goal-fest in the offering here.
Here's Goal.com's very own Joe Doyle, with his take on the first half: "A completely dominant half from the visitors. It will be interesting to see how many home fans will actually stay for the second period. Suarez has been spectacular, and Jordan Henderson has also impressed for Liverpool, while it has been abject from Harry Redknapp's side, and the midfield in particular."
45' + 2'
The referee blows up, and that's half time. The QPR players will be rightly relieved being able to leave the field - they trail by three goals the game's midpoint, at home, and the biggest surprise is that it isn't more.
QPR enjoy what is perhaps their best spell of possession of the half - not a difficult task. Some neat midfield play comes to a halt when Mbia goes down softly on the edge of the Liverpool box, claiming a non-existent free kick.
Finally, something for the home fans to applaud as Adel Taarabt breaks forward and lashes a good left-footed effort which Pepe Reina does well to hold onto.
Djibril Cisse update. It's actually only the front of his mohican which is dyed blonde, the back two thirds or so remain the natural colour.
Phenomenal that it isn't 4-0 here. Suarez slips his way to the byline and rolls the ball back to an unmarked Gerrard on the penalty spot, whose low drilled effort is kept out by a combination of two sprawling QPR defenders.
Downing, Gerrard and Sterling all have opportunities to strike at goal following yet more prolonged pressure from the away side. None take advantage, though, and it the scoreline remains the same, with Sterling overrunning an attempted dribble out for a goal kick.
Jordan Henderson rasps a well-hit shot across the face of the QPR goal having collected the ball from what feels like Liverpool's umpteenth corner in the last 10 minutes.
Goal.com's own man at Loftus Road, Joe Doyle, informs us that "a QPR fan has just thrown a jumper and hat from the top tier towards the pitch and walked out. He was not happy." Meanwhile, Liverpool's pressure is showing no signs of relenting and Suarez breaks forward and rolls a tame shot into Cesar's hands.
GOAL!! QPR 0-3 Liverpool. The away side win a corner, Steven Gerrard ambles over to collect the ball short from Stewart Downing and, under literally no pressure, whips a gorgeous cross onto the head of Daniel Agger. The Dane makes no mistake in directing the ball into the bottom corner of Julio Cesar's goal.
Julio Cesar fumbles the ball into danger from the resulting corner but Henderson can only prod his effort wide. QPR
Unsurprisingly, it's Liverpool who seem the most likely team to get the next goal. Downing rattles a strike into Suarez's back, before Ryan Nelsen does brilliantly to clear a low Johnson cross over his own crossbar.
QPR manage to win a free kick 20 yards out, but Taarabt can't lift the ball over the Liverpool wall - with a hint of handball from Jordan Henderson. Shortly afterwards, Mbia directs an overhead kick well over the bar.
The QPR fans are growing exasperated, and understandably so. Some pretty poor defending has seen their side go 2-0 down and it's difficult to see a way back for them, even at this early stage. Given that they cannot retain the ball for even the briefest of periods, a penny for the thoughts of Faulin and Granero, who look on glumly from the bench.
GOAL!! QPR 0-2 Liverpool. It's Suarez again, and it's so easy for the Uruguayan. Fed in down the right flank by Downing, his driven cross is cut out but the ball falls back at the striker's feet, and he taps in from close range.
Liverpool are visibly boosted by having gone in front. Daniel Agger instigates the latest in a string of attacks, but is unable to get onto the return pass after trying a one-two with Suarez.
GOAL!! QPR 0-1 Liverpool. Sublime play from Luis Suarez as he picks up the ball on the edge of the box, slows the game momentarily down to what seems like a standstill before gliding past Clint Hill and slotting home perfectly inside the left hand post. Wonderful goal.
Muted shouts for handball from the home fans as Mackie bundles the ball into Gerrard's chest area on the periphery of the penalty box. The referee isn't interested, and rightly so.
Jose Enrique finds some space on the left flank. He looks up, sees the cross ne needs to deliver, and toe-punts the ball two yards in front of him and into the feet of a grateful Shaun Wright Phillips.
Taarabt drifts infield and slips a delicate ball through to Mackie, but the striker is flagged for offside. Promising nonetheless from the home side.
Liverpool are the first side to really settle on the ball. Glen Johnson lofts in an unsuccessful cross, and Jorndan Henderson wins some early challenges at the top of the midfield triumvirate. Julio Cesar is also brought into action, beating away a beautifully struck Suarez sighter
And we're away here at Loftus Road. QPR kick off and we're immediately treated to some midfield scrapping from both sides.
The other big news today, of course, is that of Djibril Cisse's hair-style. It's a dyed blonde mohican today for the French striker.
The teams are out, handshakes are done, and kick-off is imminent. The Loftus Road crowd are in fine voice, too, which could give the home players a much-needed adrenaline boost. QPR won this fixture last season. Can they do it again?
And for QPR, the exclusion of the likes of Esteban Granero, Alajandro Faulin, Junior Hoilet and Fabio da Silva could well be seen as a risk from Redknapp. There's undoubted talent in all of those players, and with names such as Stephane Mbia, Samba Diakite and Jamie Mackie in the starting line-up, it looks as though the manager is prioritising graft over class today.
The inclusion of Jordan Henderson in the Reds' line-up is also a small surprise. Henderson has been far from a regular this term, but with their midfield having looked increasingly weary in recent weeks, his energy should be welcome today. He and Stewart Downing will both be looking to impress their boss with the January transfer window looming, and the club rumoured to be in need of raised funds.
A quick glance at the line-ups would indicate that Harry Redknapp will be looking to his wide men to lay on the chances for the side today. Adel Taarabt and Shaun Wright-Phillips are direct dribblers and Liverpool's two full backs, Jose Enrique and Glen Johnson, have proven themselves susceptible to such aggression in the past. At the other end of the pitch, Luis Suarez will worry any defence, but perhaps especially so for the less-then-mobile pairing of Clint Hill and Ryan Nelsen. We shall see...
Liverpool: Reina; Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Enrique; Gerrard, Allen, Henderson; Sterling, Downing, Suarez. Subs: Gulacsi, Assaidi, Coates, Lucas, Carragher, Suso, Shelvey
QPR: Cesar; Onuoha, Hill, Nelsen, Hill, Traore; Wright-Phillips, Mbia, Diakite, Taarabt; Mackie, Mbia. Subs: Subs: Green, Derry, Ferdinand, Granero, Fabio, Hoilett, Faurlin
Afternoon all and welcome to Goal.com's live play-by-play coverage of QPR against Liverpool. The team news is in from both clubs, and will follow shortly...
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