Liverpool 1-0 Queens Park Rangers
1-0 Coutinho (23)
For most Reds this game was always going to be secondary to the occasion. Not because of the opposition, or our situation, which means we are marooned in seventh place, how many clubs yesterday knew where they would finish before they played… Oh yes, The Mancs did didn’t they!
At the end of the game the players walked around the pitch with their kids, saluted and thanked the crowd however, all it did was bring home just how little we have to thank them for in terms of something tangible to show from this campaign. Work in progress is the watchword just how many people at Anfield yesterday feel we are on course and on the way to better things remains to be seen? BR in his programme notes summed it up for me
“I have a long way to go to gain your trust fully”
Anyway I digress I’d prefer to forget all about this hone in on Jamie Carragher. It was his last game. The guard of honour, at the start of the game, and Kop mosaic showing initials and squad number were great and were the first of many tributes, even QPR were classy and decent enough to present him with a special gift. However, in true style, Carragher seemed determined to write his own script. After the game he said
“I scored on my debut 16 years ago and it would have been nice to finish that way, but it wasn’t to be”
Jamie had a bloody try at trying to with a rasping thirty yard effort that smacked the post. He even tried to handle one in which the referee spotted but, as a defender, he will surely take some solace from the clean sheet the side kept? Chants of ”one more year” were a prelude to the standing ovation Jamie deservedly received as he was substituted after 85 minutes and after match tributes in front of The Kop.
To the game and BR made one significant change. The inclusion of seventeen years old Jordon Ibe, a sign that whilst players like Carragher move on, there are others ready to replace him in the queue? Ibe had a hand in the goal cutting inside to feed Coutinho whose shot flew into the bottom right hand corner of the QPR net. QPR had their moments via Zamora and Remy however efforts from Enrique, Johnson and of course Carragher suggested that the scoreline did not reflect our domience?
So the season is ended and although there is nothing to show there is a lot to look back on. However, before that, three things about today.
This was dead rubber game however surely the score of the day should be, in terms of dignity alone, Rafa Benitez infinite, Chelsea fans none.
Secondly congratulations to Malcolm Oakley for being voted QPR’s fan of the year. It’s his fiftieth year watching the ‘Rs and he’s not missed a home game in all that time. In the hard times they even phoned him up and offered to put the kick off time back so he could finish tiling his bathroom! Well done Malc, hope you enjoyed the trip and the “honour” is really well deserved it says a lot about your loyalty, your love of football, your dedication and, as it’s QPR, your perseverance!
However, appropriately, the last words should be left to Jamie Carragher
“I’ve had lots of great times and have got lots of great memories and that is down to Liverpool Football Club and the supporters who have dragged us over the line many times. Istanbul, Cardiff; you’ve played your part. Thank you.”
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Jose Enrique, Carragher, (Coates – 85′ ), Skrtel, Phillippe Coutinho (Suso – 74′ ), Henderson Booked, Downing, Lucas, Ibe (Borini – 64′ ), Sturridge Substitutes: Jones, Coates, Wisdom, Coady, Assaidi, Borini, Suso,
Queens Park Rangers: Green, Traore, Hill Booked, Onuoha, Harryman, Derry Booked, Park Ji-sung (Hoilett – 80′ ), Townsend Booked, M’bia, Remy (Granero – 46′ ), Zamora (Mackie – 72′ ), Substitutes: Murphy, Fabio, Granero, Hoilett, Ehmer, Mackie