Saturday, December 10, 2011

Live Thoughts: Liverpool vs Queens Park Rangers (Premier League)

I covered this match live. Here are my unedited live thoughts on the match between Liverpool and Queens Park Rangers.
Hello there, welcome to my live thoughts feed on the match between Liverpool and Queens Park Rangers. I hope you've got your Christmas shopping done in the build up to the big day. And if you don't take part in those festivities, enjoy your December in your own way!

There's only one acceptable outcome today, and that's win. We have to win. Another draw at home against a newly promoted side would be pretty disastrous. We lost our 11 game unbeaten record last week but that's okay, as long as we have learnt our lessons. And those lessons are simply to put that ball in that net! Something we just can't do, we play great football and then barely score. Let's hope that all this bad luck in front of goal turns into a drubbing of QPR today!

Here are the teams...

Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Enrique, Maxi, Henderson, Adam, Downing, Kuyt, Suarez. Subs: Doni, Coates, Carragher, Kelly, Shelvey, Bellamy, Carroll.

Maxi comes on for Bellamy, which is fine, I just don't know why Maxi didn't start against Fulham, not that I had any problem with Bellamy last week at all. Kuyt starts up front in place of Carroll, a move I approve of as Kuyt and Suarez work very well together, and that probably means Henderson is in the middle with Adam in midfield.

Queens Park Rangers: Cerny, Young, Gabbidon, Ferdinand, Traore, Wright-Phillips, Barton, Faurlin, Mackie, Smith, Bothroyd. Subs: Putnins, Orr, Hill, Derry, Campbell, Buzsaky, Connolly.

A team of half Premiership half Championship players, QPR are a threat when they want to be. All the promoted teams have done well so far this season but I think QPR have the best chance to stay up. Barton is a great midfielder and Wright-Phillips when on form is as deadly as any winger. But we should beat QPR today, there's just no excuse.

1' - Two corners straight away for Liverpool although nothing comes from either.

3' - Suarez is on the right side of the penalty area and he cuts it to Rodriguez who is blocked by a defender, another corner! Which went no where again, but some fantastic pressure early on from the Reds! Maxi has gone down however.

6' - The game has slowed down slightly, although we have looked good so far. Maxi is okay by the way.

7' - From what I can tell Kuyt and Maxi have been given free reign of the attacking team, to support Suarez. I'm still not sure of the formation, but both have supported Suarez on occasions. Kuyt has been on the left as well. 

9' - SUAREZ! Straight at Cerny! Downing, who was on the right wing, delivers a lovely cross from the right and Suarez heads it straight at the Czech keeper. 

10' - Glen Johnson has shaved his head, if any of you hair observers care... 

11' - A lovely move from Kuyt and Suarez. This time Kuyt was in the centre, see, I'm still not sure who's playing where, but it's effective! Anyway, Kuyt was in the centre and he lay Suarez down the right of the penalty box but his shot is square and it crossed the face of goal, and out towards the left for a throw in. 

14' - Maxi and Suarez work together very nicely, playing one-twos while attacking, but Maxi passes when he shouldn't, and Suarez's shot is badly wide. It's still good movement and good attacking play though. 

17' - Alejandro Faurlin brings down Downing on the right wing, and Charlie Adam's free kick leads to a corner. The corner is quite poor however.

20' - Penalty claims from Suarez, he backs into a QPR defender and falls, it's another debatable one from the Uruguayan. The ref doesn't give it but replays show there was a little bit of tugging.

21' - Yellow card for Daniel Agger for clumsily taking down Jay Bothroyd when he was through on goal. 

24' - A little bit of pressure from QPR at present, although we're coping with it comfortably. 

27' - Not much to report, apart from us getting yet another corner, which lead to a scramble but QPR deal with it. 

29' - We've had 8 attempts to QPR's 1 so far. Story of our season so far. We've only converted 9% of our chances this season. 

30' - Maxi is let in past the defence! He runs towards goal and tries to take it round Cerny but it's a great save from the QPR keeper, and Suarez tries to make up ground but can't. Best chance of the match so far! 

33' - A great run from Charlie Adam earns us a corner, he storms from the centre of the midfield and ends up on the left of the penalty box before being driven wide but earns a corner. Once again, nothing comes of the corner. 

35' - There's an Andy Carroll chant of some kind as he warms up. He's smiling, I'm not quite sure what they're saying I have to be honest, but it wouldn't surprise me if it's about this... 

38' - Johnson goes down in the box and another penalty claim is waved off. This one seemed like it was the right decision this time mind. 

39' - Looking at the replay properly Johnson went down very easily, he clipped a QPR defender's foot, but that foot was far from extended. 

41' - SUAREZ! Cerny saves! It comes back to Suarez who tries again and it goes across the face of goal! We just can't score! That second chance could have been a pass to another Red but he went for goal again. 

43' - In that move earlier Anton Ferdinand went down uncomfortably, and had to be taken off the pitch. He seems like he's okay though, probably winded due to how he fell. 

45' - 2 minutes of added time. 

45+2' - Some late pressure from Liverpool ends with Downing having a great chance gathered by Cerny. Half time.

You can't help but feel this match is going to end the same way the matches at Anfield against Swansea and Norwich ended, and that's a disappointing 0-0 draw with many chances from Liverpool, and some amazing goalkeeping from the opposition. Which is exactly what this match has been so far. We haven't been amazing, but we've threatened a lot, and we've had many chances and they've all been dealt with by Cerny and the QPR defence. One thing I've observed in this 45 minute period is sometimes we don't make the right attacking decision, particularly Suarez, who sometimes is a little selfish when he could be assisting another player. But there's still 45 minutes to go, let's remain optimistic, and hope we can break this frustrating shots/goals hoodoo we have!

46' - GOAL! SUAREZ! His first goal in two months! Charlie Adam goes down the right wing and crosses perfectly and it's a simple header into the QPR net! 1-0!

48' - Anton Ferdinand is down again, it's a lot more serious this time, he's going off the pitch to be substituted. 

49' - QPR Substitution: Bradley Orr comes on for Anton Ferdinand. Poor Ferdinand, having two problems on the pitch at different times. 

52' - The game is surprisingly quiet at the moment, considering we just scored. 

55' - Usually when we score we try to get a second, it's not really happened so far, we've not been on the front foot at all. At this stage of the game we should be going for a second I'd say. 

56' - Kuyt goes for goal and it's wide. It's one of his main weaknesses the great Dutchman, he's not got a clinical shot. But I love that man to death so I don't want to criticise him! 

58' - A bit better by Liverpool, we put some pressure on the away side, earning a corner and Agger had a blocked shot. 

60' - MAXI! Great save from Cerny! Suarez on the right wing cuts the ball square to Maxi who's shot is saved brilliantly again!

62' - Jamie Carragher is on the bench again I'm sure you noted already. It seems like Dalglish is really making a transition in the centre of defence, with Agger and Skrtel starting all the time and Carra being used for the big games or when required. Carra always said he's not accept being second best and is willing to go to another club if he's not good enough here, if he keeps being benched I wonder if he will actually move? I certainly hope not.

63' - Suarez wins us our FOURTEENTH corner of the match, and Cerny punches it away. Kuyt goes for goal again and it's saved relatively comfortably again by Cerny.

64' - Corner #15... 

65' - QPR Substitution: Tommy Smith comes off and D.J. Campbell takes his place, Campbell's first match in around 6 weeks. 

66' - Suarez and Maxi combine nicely again and Suarez lays the ball for Maxi, but he hits it straight at Cerny when the Czech goalkeeper closes the Argentinian down. Maxi just can't score today! 

68' - Corner #16... 

71' - Skrtel takes down Bothroyd on the right wing for QPR, it's a good chance for QPR. Barton takes it and Gabbidon sticks a leg out and it's over the bar. Best chance for QPR so far.

74' - Two corners for QPR in a minute, we're thrashing them on corners 16-3 however! Seriously though, some pressure from QPR at the moment, let's hope we can defend it well. 

76' - Gabbidon passes back to Cerny and Kuyt is on it! Cerny puts him off though and it goes for a throw in. 

77' - QPR Substitution: Fitz Hill comes on for Jamie Mackie. That's all three QPR subs used.

77' - Liverpool Substitution: Craig Bellamy comes on for Maxi, who has looked good today, had some good chances but just couldn't get past Cerny, who has been man of the match today for me. 

79' - Shaun Wright-Phillips attempts at goal and it's well over the bar. He hasn't really had much chance to shine today the pacey winger.

82' - Not long to go now, although a 1-0 lead is never great at the end of matches. QPR are still looking a little threatening too. We need a second really. 

84' - BELLAMY! God I thought that went in! It hit the side netting! Suarez won a free kick for us just outside the box and the Welshman's chance was fantastic! 

84' - Bellamy has a yellow card, for having an altercation with Joey Barton of all people.

85' - Liverpool Substitution: Stewart Downing comes off and Jonjo Shelvey comes on. Nice to see the young bald headed player back in a red shirt, he's had a great little spell at Blackpool. It means that Henderson goes to the right, Bellamy to the left and Kuyt up front. 

89' - Faurlin falls to the ground from a challenge from Skrtel, but he goes down like a sack of spuds, Liverpool play on but the ref calls for a free kick. Silly really.

90' - Three minutes of added time. 

90+2' - ORR! Corner for QPR! A lovely cross from Armand Traore and Jose Enrique does enough to put off Bradley Orr. We deal with the cross as well. 

90+3' - Bellamy down the left and tries to cut the ball square for Suarez, and Wright-Phillips sticks a foot out to the ball and almost scores an own goal! It hits the cross bar! Not much else after happens before the whistle blows for full time. 

We did enough today, we deserved the win but like many other games, we had loads of chances and it didn't convert into goals. Our chances to goals ratio remains pretty horrible, but what's important is that we got one of those chances to hit the net, and we got the three points. What matters is that we win games, whether it's 6-0 or 1-0 is quite irrelevant. We avoided another embarrassing draw at home and got the points. That's a major positive. What we need to do is start another good run of results, preferably wins, and even more preferably are goals. So let's hope this result can build a bridge that we extend to have a great winter of points, wins and goals. That's it from me, have a good night.

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