We’ll be better
There’s no where to hide in Liverpool’s defence, and following Sunday’s last gasp win at Loftus Road, the microscope on their faltering backline will be intensified that much more when defending European champions Real Madrid visit Anfield tomorrow evening.
The return of Champions League football to Merseyside has been a long-term goal of the Reds hierarchy since they dropped out of the competition back in 2009, but when you’re not playing well, coming up against a European powerhouse such as Los Blancos can either be a major motivator or a horrible blow to a team already dealing with a lack of confidence. While it’s questionable whether or not he means it, Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren is choosing to take the positive route.
Two to four weeks
Liverpool continue to feel the absence of star striker Daniel Sturridge with a poor performance in the capital yesterday only highlighting how important the 25-year-old is to the Reds. Although left Loftus Road with three points, it took a pair of own goals sandwiched between a deflected strike from substitute Philippe Coutinho to wrap things up after QPR twice pulled level.
“He was returning from his thigh injury and medically everything was fine with that,” Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers explained to the press following their dour 3-2 win over Queens Park Rangers on Sunday. “Then, on his very first morning, he was jogging around the pitch in the warm-up – there was no action, no striking of a ball. He was jogging around the field and then in the actual warm-up, he felt his calf a little tight.”
A change in fortune? Or once in a lifetime luck?
With the match tied at two a piece and mere minutes to go, I don’t think anyone thought that Liverpool was going to get out of Loftus Road with all three points. Low and behold, Raheem Sterling saw another of his crosses diverted past QPR ‘keeper Alex McCarthy in what was to be their final attack of the match as the Reds snuck out of the capital with more than they deserved.
“I thought we were fortunate, I’ve got to be honest,” said the Liverpool boss in his post match press conference, echoing his captain’s earlier comments. “I like to win and I like to win in the way that we work on a daily basis – and that was nowhere near what I would expect from a team of mine.”
The captain wants more
It’s not very often in football that you get more than you deserve, but that’s the only way to describe Liverpool’s win over Queens Park Rangers yesterday. A strike from Philippe Coutinho was sandwiched between two own goals from the hosts with the Reds jumping to fifth in the table.
“I think we were very lucky to get three points,” said the Captain matter-of-factly. Our performance needs to be better, in my opinion. We could have had no complaints today if we had come away with nothing and we could have had no complaints if we had come away with a point. It was a very bitty game – stop-start – but I think the only credit that we can give ourselves is that we never gave up.”
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Liverpool traveled to London yesterday needing a win to get their season well and truly rolling, and despite deserving less than nothing from a match that bottom of the barrel Queens Park Rangers dominated throughout, they left the Capital with all three points and a bump into fifth place. Sometimes, I suppose, you get what you need.
A lack of composure from serial own-goal scorer Richard Dunne following a quickly taken Reds free-kick saw the Irishman divert Raheem Sterling’s low cross past Hoops ‘keeper Alex McCarthy to open the scoring. The hosts were knocking hard on Liverpool’s door all day and there was little surprise when they pulled level through Eduardo Vargas when he smashed home a knock-down from Charlie Austin. A 1-1 draw looked to be a good result for either side, but the calamity that followed no one could have predicted.