QPR 3-2 Liverpool: Mackie strike completes astonishing comeback as hosts fight back from two down to stun Reds
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
By Joe Wright
QPR fought 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 at Loftus Road as Coates volleyed home from 12 yards after Stuart Downing’s effort was deflected up in the air.
Dirk Kuyt added a second 20 minutes later before the Hoops' stirring comeback, as first Shaun Derry and then former Anfield striker Cisse headed past Reina before super-sub Jamie Mackie grabbed an injury-time winner.
The visitors enjoyed a bright start at Loftus Road, earning four corners in the first five minutes as they sought a way to grab an early advantage.
It was Suarez who had the best chance of the opening exchanges when he found himself
one-on-one with Paddy Kenny, but he could only fire straight at the onrushing Rangers ‘keeper.
A few minutes later, the Uruguayan found himself onside and in the clear at the edge of the six yard box after good work from Downing and Gerrard, but he could only flick the ball into Kenny’s grateful gloves at the near post.
The Reds continued their dominant start and earned their 11th corner of the half shortly after the 25-minute mark, but Martin Skrtel failed to hit the target with a free header from the center of the box.
The hosts grew into the match as the half drew on, and Djibril Cisse was keen to show his former employers that his ability has not dwindled since his acrimonious departure in 2007. 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 Sebastian Coates.
Mark Hughes’ side continued to grow in confidence as the half drew to a close, with both Cisse and Bobby Zamora looking lively up top against Liverpool’s patched-up defense, but neither side was able to carve out another clear-cut chance and the game was goalless at the interval.
Liverpool started the second half brightly 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 10 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, with Barton making way amidst some ironic cheers from the home faithful who were clearly unimpressed with their captain’s performance.
With just under 20 minutes remaining, Liverpool thought it 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 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 fairytale goal to leave Liverpool to rue 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 ruing their early missed chances, 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 its first win in two months, and lift it out of the relegation zone and into 17th place.
- 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