Liverpool 1Suarez (47)
Queens Park Rangers 0
Not the most convincing of score lines however a win is a win and a win, after Monday, is what we needed.
Once again there were worrying echoes of previous home games, plenty of possession and opportunities to improve the goal difference but, with exception of Suarez’s header early in the second half, none of these were taken. Thankfully QPR weren’t as adventurous as other visitors and in the end we were well worth the points securing a win at home that will hopefully increase the confidence, particularly in front of goal, and set us up nicely for the next two fixtures which are both way, at Villa and then Wigan. Kenny remained upbeat after the game but privately must be tad concerned about excellent play stubbornly refusing to morph into goals?
“One is enough when the others don’t get an opportunity and the players showed great courage and belief in what they are doing to continue doing what they were doing well which was pass and move and creating chances. Some of the football we played in the first half was brilliant and I think we played better before we scored than after it – but even then we still created a few.”
Kenny shuffled things about a bit to accommodate the lose of Lucas. Henderson was moved into the central midfield berth and Maxi was recalled. Carroll and Bellamy were replaced by Kuyt and Downing.
Skrtel had an early, clumsy effort that one can presumably put down to the disorientation a centre back feels when he ventures out of his comfort zone into the opposition’s box! Then Suarez had a decent header from Downing’s cross. This set the pattern of the game. The Uruguayan seemed to be involved in almost everything constantly chipping away and testing the QPR defence. He and Maxi, just as he did with Bellamy, formed a good partnership. Maxi latching onto Kuyt’s through ball but was denied by Cerny in the QPR goal. Then Suarez trying to loft over Cerny from Downing’s ball. Downing combined well with Kuyt only for Cerny to deny him by diving low by his left hand post. Chances galore but again a situation that is symptomatic of the problem this season. On the radio before the game someone said we have a 8% conversion rate of chances to goals. It’s hard to be critical when we are creating chances and it’s disingenuous to be critical of individual players such as Suarez when he has so much skill and desire but if the end product isn’t there?
Anyway I spoke too soon! Two minutes into the second half Adam’s corner was knocked away by the QPR defence Adam made sure with his second bite of the cherry finding Suarez who made no mistake with his head finally an opportunity taken.
One always got the feeling that we would need another goal to make the game safe and we did everything but score it. Kuyt fired wide. Cerny did well to change direction and keep out Maxi’s shot after excellent work from Suarez to create the chance. The same combination occurred again this time Maxi and Suarez exchanging a one two and Cerny bravely charging off his line to block. What is it about Anfield that seems to inspire keepers? Manchester City’s and Swansea’s keepers were brilliant in the last two games and now the QPR man, a third choice 37 year old! Bellamy, on for Maxi, tried to beat him from a free kick but only succeeded in hitting the side netting. Later Bellamy and Barton were called over by the referee for a word, what a surprise!
QPR’s contribution to the game, in terms creating chances, was summed up when Faurlin who pathetically tried to win a penalty by diving in the most unconvincing way after a challenge by Skrtel. Despite the lack of a threat you always thought it might come and the anxiousness was always there meaning the final whistle was gratefully received. A win but as in previous home games we deserved more and nearly got it when Wright Phillips turned Bellamy’s cross onto his own cross bar.
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Jose Enrique, Agger,Skrtel, Maxi (Bellamy 78), Henderson, Downing (Shelvey 86), Adam, Suarez, Kuyt Substitutes: Doni, Coates, Carragher, Kelly, Shelvey, Carroll, Bellamy
QPR: Cerny, Gabbidon, Traore, Young, Ferdinand (Orr 50), Faurlin, Mackie (Hill 78), Barton, Wright-Phillips, Bothroyd, Smith (Campbell 66) Substitutes: Putnins, Orr, Hill, Connolly, Derry, Buzsaky, Campbell