Queens Park Rangers vs. Liverpool  0 - 3


Suarez wins praise for performance

30 December 2012 20:41

Steven Gerrard hailed Luis Suarez as a 'magician' after the Uruguayan struck twice to help fire Liverpool to a 3-0 win over QPR on Sunday.

The former Ajax man scored both goals in the opening 20 minutes, taking advantage of some ponderous defending from QPR, before Daniel Agger headed home from a corner to complete the scoring.

"He's been brilliant for us since he came to the club," Gerrard told Sky Sports. "Week in, week out he shows what a top player he is.

"These players have only got to play against him twice a year, we've got to train against him every day, he's a magician."

The Reds had it all their own way in the first half, as QPR's midfield failed to get close to their opponents and their defence could only stand as Suarez played the ball around them, but Gerrard dismissed claims that the game was simple for his side.

"I wouldn't say it was easy, that's very disrespectful to QPR but they're having a tough time at the moment," he added.

"We knew if we started well we could quieten the crowd and out football would take over and we were probably the best we've played so far this season.

"At half-time we wanted more goals but Harry Redknapp's a top manager and he's going to change things.

"He changed things to three at the back and credit to him we found it a lot harder to get through in the second half, but we played well today and deserved the three points.

Brendan Rodgers missed the game after picking up a suspected virus that has also affected other members of the coaching staff and the Liverpool captain dedicated the win to their stricken manager.

"Yeah, it's tough [without Rodgers], there's a gap there," Gerrard explained. "You can tell when Brendan's not there, he's been fantastic since he came in.

"He's been brilliant to the players and when we knew he wasn't going to be coming today it was important that we got the three points for him and make sure he's getting looked after at home and he'll be happy with the lads today."

Despite the loss, Redknapp remains confident that his side can avoid the drop.

"I think we'll stay up still," Redknapp told reporters. "You'll all think that I'm mad, but I think we'll stay up. I only want positive people around me.

"I said that in the dressing room. Those that are moping around, the subs who don't play, they're not playing because they haven't been no good. If they were any good I'd be picking them. I look at miserable faces, I don't need them around me, I need people who are upbeat.

"The next couple of games are unbelievable. Chelsea away, Tottenham at home - two of the best teams in the country. Difficult games. We've got to keep going, but I still think we'll do it.

"It's hard. With the quality that we have everywhere. It was a difficult day.

"You look at the quality of their players - one club has spent nearly 200 million pounds on players and it was hard - we couldn't get near them. In the first half hour we were all over the place, they ran us ragged."


Premier League: QPR 0 Liverpool 3

30 December 2012 19:03

An early flurry of goals, including two for Luis Suarez, saw Liverpool breeze past Queens Park Rangers 3-0 at Loftus Road on Sunday.

Suarez struck twice in the opening 20 minutes before Daniel Agger headed home from a corner in a dominant first half for Liverpool.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers missed the trip through illness so Colin Pascoe took charge, making three changes from Boxing Day's defeat to Stoke, while the most notable change in five for QPR saw Rob Green dropped after his clanger in defeat to West Brom and replaced by Julio Cesar.

The away side started brightly and Uruguayan Suarez forced an early save from Cesar with a fierce drive that the Brazilian parried toward Allen, but the Welshman scuffed his volley when following in.

Suarez was not to be denied in the 10th minute as he picked the ball up 30 yards out and drove toward goal, leaving Clint Hill in his wake before calmly slotting home from inside the area.

Six minutes later, Liverpool and Suarez had a second as Stewart Downing released his star team-mate down the right, who lashed the ball across the box towards Sterling.

Nedum Onuoha's last-ditch block ran back to the former Ajax man, who swept home from six yards.

The hosts had a strong shout for a handball turned down as Jordan Henderson elbowed Adel Taarabt's free-kick clear before Stephane Mbia's bicycle kick flew over the bar.

Harry Redknapp's side were split open again soon after, as Martin Skrtel's long ball from the back released Glen Johnson.

The right-back stormed forward before scuffing across goal, beating Cesar, but Ryan Nelsen hacked away with Suarez awaiting to tap in.

The Hoops were undone again before the half-hour mark as Downing's quick corner found Gerrard, who swung in a cross that an unmarked Agger nodded back across goal and past Cesar at the far post, which had been vacated by Shaun Wright-Phillips.

Suarez was running rampant and arrived in the box before cutting back to Gerrard. The Liverpool skipper smashed an effort that Armand Traore partially blocked before Hill scrambled off the line.

QPR were being overrun in midfield but showed some spark late in the first half, as Taarabt smashed a couple of efforts from range, one of which required a simple save from Reina.

Redknapp responded at the break by replacing Djibril Cisse with Shaun Derry, but little changed as Sterling burst in from the left before feeding Suarez, whose stinging left-footed effort drew a flying save from Cesar.

Liverpool's tempo dropped in the second period, with Reina being called into action by Taarabt and Mbia, while substitute Esteban Granero scuffed a low free kick wide with his first touch for the home side.

QPR ran out of steam late on, with only a tame Mbia free-kick to show for their efforts as the game meandered to a close, Liverpool climbing one place to ninth and ensuring the beleaguered Hoops will end 2012 rooted to the foot of the table.


Premier League preview: Queens Park Rangers v Liverpool

27 December 2012 14:35

Queens Park Rangers head into their clash with Liverpool knowing they must begin beating teams well above them in the English Premier League.

While one of the key factors in surviving a relegation battle is to overcome the other teams at the bottom of the table, QPR have reached a point where they will also need to upset stronger sides if they are to pull off an escape act.

QPR manager Harry Redknapp claimed after his team's 2-1 loss against West Bromwich Albion on Boxing Day that he was pleased with his players' efforts, but having failed to pick up points the Premier League's bottom club must find a way against Liverpool on Sunday.

"They gave everything again today, I couldn't have asked for more effort," Redknapp told QPR's official website.

"We've just got to keep going, there's nothing else you can do."

Redknapp led QPR on a four-game unbeaten run at the beginning of his tenure, including their first win of the season, two weeks ago over Fulham.

But the past week has seen QPR slump again with the west London club losing 1-0 away to Newcastle on December 22 before WBA took the three points home from Loftus Road on Boxing Day.

Liverpool have also suffered a downturn in form after a good period to begin December.

The Reds won their first three games of the month in all competitions but have since suffered two defeats in three matches, as the Premier League season ramps up through Christmas and New Year.

Liverpool followed their 3-1 loss to Aston Villa with a 4-0 thumping of Fulham but Brendan Rodgers' team succumbed to a 3-1 defeat away to Stoke City on Boxing Day.

The away defeat means Liverpool have dropped to 10th in the Premier League on 25 points, giving Redknapp hope of kick-starting his team's fight for survival.

QPR have just 10 points so far this season and are six points behind Southampton, who occupy 17th position, the last above the relegation zone.

In the corresponding fixture last season, QPR defeated Liverpool 3-2 having conceded the first two goals of the match.

It is that kind of fight that Redknapp is looking for from his players and a similar performance could kick-start QPR's season as they attempt to reach Premier League safety.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +43 89
2 38 +32 78
3 38 +36 75
4 38 +35 73
5 38 +20 72
6 38 +15 63
7 38 +28 61
8 38 -4 49
9 38 -4 46
10 38 -8 46
11 38 -17 44
12 38 -10 43
13 38 -11 42
14 38 -11 41
15 38 -22 41
16 38 -23 41
17 38 -13 39
18 38 -26 36
19 38 -30 28
20 38 -30 25
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