Liverpool 2-1 QPR: How many penalties has Steven Gerrard missed in Prem history?
Steven Gerrard went from villain to hero in a matter of minutes at Anfield, the Liverpool captain missing a penalty and then scoring the winner to hand his team a 2-1 win over relegation-threatened QPR.
The result means QPR could now be relegated next weekend, after defeat at Anfield on a sombre occasion for the club's players and staff, after news broke of the death of QPR centre-back Rio Ferdinand's wife Rebecca after a battle with cancer. Before kick-off, Gerrard presented QPR captain Joey Barton with a bouquet of flowers as on offering of condolence.
In what could be his final decisive afternoon at Anfield before leaving for LA Galaxy, Gerrard missed a penalty and scored the winner having been recalled to the Liverpool line-up after missing the 1-0 defeat at Hull in midweek.
Philippe Coutinho gave the Reds the lead in the 19th minute, bending home a lovely effort after receiving Rickie Lambert's pass. Lambert, who started upfront, registered his first assist in a Liverpool shirt. Liverpool created six chances in the opening exchanges of the game, with QPR struggling to get forward and cause Liverppol's defence problems.
In the second half however QPR upped the ante. Fer - starting ahead of Bobby Zamora in QPR's only change - had had the ball in the net within the first minute, but the officials ruled that Matt Phillips' scuffed corner went out of play. But Fer would get his goal eventually, firing home from a pinpoint Joey Barton corner to make it 1-1 in the 73rd minute.
In the 79th-minute, QPR's hard work seemed in ruins as Liverpool were awarded a penalty for a pull by Nedum Onuoha on Martin Skrtel. The foul seemed absolutely needless, a reckless and costly decision by Onuoha. But Rangers goalkeeper Rob Green crowned an excellent individual performance by plunging to his left to deny Gerrard the goal.
As if giving away a penalty wasn't bad enough, moments after that let-off Onuoha collected a second booking for a rash foul on substitute Jordon Ibe.
This proved costly for Chris Ramsey's side. QPR were unable to hang on as Gerrard planted a header from Coutinho's 87th-minute corner past Green. The defeat means QPR are seven points from safety with three games remaining and Ramsey's men could be relegated by the time they take to the field at Manchester City next Sunday.
Liverpool edge nearer to a UEFA Europa League spot and manager Brendan Rodgers will have enjoyed Gerrard stealing the headlines from a plane that flew over Anfield before kick-off, sporting a banner calling for him to be replaced by former boss Rafael Benitez. In the end Gerrard was the hero, and Liverpool remain 5th.
- Liverpool have won 20 and lost just one of 23 home league games against QPR.
- The Reds have lost just one of their last 12 Premier League matches at Anfield (W8 D3 L1).
- Steven Gerrard has failed from the penalty spot nine times in PL history. Only Shearer (11) & Sheringham (10) have more.
- Philippe Coutinho has scored in all three of his Barclays Premier League games against Queens Park Rangers.
- Rickie Lambert provided his Premier League assist for Liverpool and his first in the top-flight since March 2014.
- QPR have kept just one clean sheet in their last 18 Premier League away matches. In fact, the R’s have never kept a clean sheet at Anfield in league competition.
- Leroy Fer has scored in back to back away Premier League games for the first time in his career.
- QPR have found the back of the net in each of their last 10 PL away games; their longest streak in PL history.
- Only four goalkeepers (David James 13, Thomas Sorensen 12, Brad Friedel 10 & Mark Schwarzer 10) have saved more penalties in Premier League history than Rob Green (9).
- However, Gerrard, who scored the match-winning goal, also netted his first headed effort since January 2014 vs Everton.