Editorials — December 12, 2011 22:07

Liverpool 1 QPR 0 (Match Report)

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One thing that is emerging under the stewardship of Kenny Dalglish team is a diehard commitment. Another day and another outing infront of the Anfield faithful, the Redmen were determined secure to three points. With the unwanted tag of five successive draws at Anfield looming, the pressure was on and with expectations rising high, nothing less than a win would do.

The Match

There were two changes from the previous game at Craven Cottage, in came the inform Maxi Rodriguez, and the ever dependable Dirk Kuyt partnered Luis Suarez upfront. Liverpool started the game in their usual attacking mode, winning two corners in the opening few minutes. The mood was clear, attack from the word go! A siege mentality was prevailing and Liverpool were not holding back with their game plan. Launching into wave after wave of attack, winning corner after corner, relentlessly building move after move, Liverpool were on a mission!

Suarez and Maxi came closest in the first 30 minutes, Suarez heading the ball straight at Radek Cerny from a Stewart Downing cross and then Maxi who had his shot saved after he was clear on goal from delightful through ball from Dirk Kuyt.

As the half grew, frustration also grew, the old story from the previous games began to filter through, plenty of chances created, but none taken. For all the possession and chances manufactured, Liverpool went into the break without scoring. Another frustrating afternoon seemed to be the order of the day. Facing the Kop in the second half, Liverpool needed to come out fast and make an impact.

Whatever got said by Dalglish at half-time, certainly did the trick. Tempo was high and Liverpool attacked the Kop end with much needed urgency. Liverpool were then reward within two minutes of the restart and took a well deserved lead. Charlie Adam who has been growing confidently in the centre of midfield this season, sent in a measured cross into the penalty area for Luis Suarez, who connected with a fantastic header, sending the Kop into mass celebration. Relief could be felt by one and all inside and outside the ground, Liverpool finally had the breakthrough.

 

Scoring so early on, encouraged Liverpool to search for the second and momentum was gathering. Liverpool pressed and pressed, winning corner after corner but the second goal remained elusive.

There were signs during the second half that the South American duo of Suarez and Maxi enjoyed playing together. Some quite sublime one touch link up play between Suarez and Maxi nearly had Liverpool doubling their lead but the Argentine’s shot was saved by the oncoming Cerny. The QPR goalkeeper was having one of those customary games that most away goalkeepers having been experiencing at Anfield this season; come to Anfield and have a great between the sticks seems to be flavour of the season for opposition goalkeeper.

Maxi came close again in the 61st minute after some superb trickery from Suarez in the penalty area but was again denied by an outstanding save from Cerny. The daylight goal did not come, and QPR pushed Liverpool for an anxious last quarter of the game, nearly making us rue those missed chances. Thankfully, Liverpool managed to hold on for the victory and secured their first win at Anfield in over two months.

Suarez! Suarez! Suarez!

Another man of the match performance, Luis Suarez is fast becoming our new talisman. Suarez continues to torment defenders who can’t cope with his versatility. He quite simply is too hot to handle. With Steven Gerrard’s absence being sorely missed, Suarez is stepping up and offering another dimension to the team. The Uruguayan who has stunned everyone with how well he has settled into life at Merseyside and the Premiership, continues capture the hearts and minds of the Anfield faithful with his dynamic and robust style.

Final Thoughts

Liverpool deserved the victory and held on, but alarm bells of the previous games were once again ringing during the match. We clearly have enough to break teams, and press them hard but the final third remains the missing piece in the jigsaw. Goals are what Liverpool ultimately need and when you combine this with the statistic that Liverpool have been awarded 27 corners in their last two games, the story remains the same, chances galore but a very low conversion rate.

We remain strong at the back, strong in midfield but not quite the same upfront at the moment. Suarez for all his magic and brilliance can’t be relied upon to lead the front game after game, he needs support and the sooner he receives this, the better.

For all the issues in question, Liverpool remain stable and sturdy. The team continue to plough away and are shaping into a force that will contend with anyone. With a long way still to go til the end of the season, Liverpool are in a much healthier position than they were a year ago. Lack of goals seem to be the current theme, but a sudden change of fortune may be what is required to turn the tide, as the old cliché goes, ‘football is a funny old game.’  It may just take one game before the flood gates open and the goals begin to flow in.

In Kenny we trust – YNWA

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