QPR on the brink after defeat at Anfield

Liverpool 2 QPR 1

Steven Gerrard scored an 87th-minute winner at Anfield, where QPR’s defeat left them on the brink of relegation back to the Championship.

Liverpool were cruising after Philippe Coutinho’s opener, but Leroy Fer’s equaliser and Rob Green’s penalty save from Gerrard looked like earning a point for Rangers, who had Nedum Onuoha sent off late on.

However, former England captain Gerrard atoned for his mistake by heading home Coutinho’s corner.

Rangers are seven points from safety with only three matches remaining and their fate will be sealed if they lose at Manchester City next weekend.

Wins for Aston Villa, Leicester and Sunderland meant Chris Ramsey’s side would have been staring relegation in the face even if they had managed a draw.

Coutinho fired Liverpool ahead somewhat against the run of play on 19 minutes, beautifully placing his strike beyond Green after being teed up by Rickie Lambert.

The visitors, wearing black armbands as a mark of respect following the death from cancer of QPR defender Rio Ferdinand’s wife Rebecca, had made a decent start to the game.

They thought they had gone ahead in only the second minute, when Fer, back in the starting line-up following a knee injury, bundled the ball in after keeper Simon Mignolet was caught out by Matty Phillips’ mis-hit corner.

However, Phillips’ delivery had gone out of play before curling towards Mignolet at the near post and the goal was disallowed.

Once in front, Liverpool moved up a gear and might have been awarded a penalty on the half-hour mark after Raheem Sterling’s cross appeared to hit Clint Hill’s hand.

Green prevented Liverpool doubling their lead before half-time, diving to his left to keep out Gerrard’s shot.

And Adam Lallana and Sterling both missed sitters early in the second half after being set up Coutinho and Jordan Henderson respectively.

Green was then called into action again, this time to superbly push away Dejan Lovren’s header, and a second Liverpool goal seemed inevitable.

Instead, Fer hooked the ball in from eight yards out to haul Rangers level on 73 minutes.

Gerrard failed to restore Liverpool’s lead from the spot after Martin Skrtel was pulled down by Onuoha, who was booked for that challenge and then sent off two minutes later after receiving a second yellow card following a foul on Jordan Ibe.

But Gerrard had the final word, timing his run to perfection and sending a powerful header past Green.

QPR: Green, Onuoha, Caulker (Yun 45), Dunne, Hill, Phillips, Barton, Sandro, Henry (Zamora 70), Fer, Austin.
Subs not used: McCarthy, Wright-Phillips, Kranjcar, Hoilett, Grego-Cox.

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