Jamie Carragher departs Anfield as a winner after calling time on his Liverpool career, as Philippe Coutinho’s first-half thunderbolt claims victory for Brendan Rodgers side.A first half stunning strike from Philippe Coutinho was enough to help Liverpool finish off the season with a 1-0 victory over bottom side QPR at Anfield.
The game, which was the last in a red jersey for Jamie Carragher was controlled by the Reds throughout, with Coutinho the tormentor-in-chief of the relegated London outfit.
The home side made a trio of changes, as Sebastian Coates, Andre Wisdom and Jonjo Shelvey dropped out, to be replaced by Martin Skrtel, Jose Enrique and 17-year-old Jordan Ibe who was making his debut for the Anfield side.
Harry Redknapp too, made three changes from the side that fell to defeat at home to Newcastle, with Michael Harriman, Shaun Derry and Park Ji-Sung all getting starting berths, with Jose Bosingwa, Jermaine Jenas and Junior Hoilett all missing out.
Liverpool thought it had taken an early lead, as with only two minutes gone in the game Coutinho headed a corner from Stewart Downing towards goal, but Robert Green managed to somehow clear before the ball crossed the line.
QPR was protesting for a penalty a couple of minutes later. Loic Remy went down inside the Liverpool penalty area under a challenge from Lucas, but referee Martin Atkinson waved away the claims for a spot kick.
Brendan Rodgers side controlled the pace of the game, with Coutinho once again coming close as he came in from the left side, but his effort towards goal took a deflection and ultimately went out for a corner.
The Brazilian did eventually get on the score sheet with 23 minutes gone. Ibe beat a couple of QPR defenders, before setting up Coutinho, who unleashed a strike from almost 25-yards out to beat Green.
Just before the halftime break Liverpool had another chance to double the advantage as Jose Enrique beat a couple of visiting defenders, but his effort at goal was poor.
QPR rarely threatened the Liverpool, but managed to work Pepe Reina just before the hour mark. Remy raced towards goal, but the Spanish keeper did well to deny him.
A couple of minutes later the home support almost got the moment they were hoping for. Carragher picked up the ball some 25-yards out and unleashed a stunning effort which smacked off of Green’s post.
The followup to that move saw both Downing and Daniel Sturridge attempt to smash crosses across the danger area, but on both occasions no players were available to finish the move off and double the lead.
As the game entered the last quarter of an hour, Liverpool continued to press, with the ball being lifted by Jordan Henderson towards Suso, but the young Spaniard couldn’t find the finish.
With five minutes left in the game Rodgers decided to bring off Carragher, who received a standing ovation for the Anfield faithful as the saw out a comfortable victory.