Liverpool 2-1 Queens Park Rangers: Steven Gerrard misses a penalty but scores the winner Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-3065401/Liverpool-2-1-Queens-Park-Rangers-Reds-captain-Steven-Gerrard-misses-penalty-scores-winner-Anfield.html#ixzz3Z0J8XIP2 Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on FacebookLiverpool 2-1 Queens Park Rangers: Steven Gerrard misses a penalty but scores the winner




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Until Steven Gerrard added another vital goal to his collection with only a few minutes of this contest remaining, the people behind the banner that was flown over Anfield six times before kick-off were probably feeling more than justified.

This was looking dangerously like another crushing result for Brendan Rodgers, and while the reinstatement of Rafa Benitez seemed rather ambitious the pressure certainly seemed to be increasing Liverpool’s manager.

In the end Gerrard came to his rescue, meeting a Philippe Coutinho corner with a marvellous header in the 87th minute to punish QPR for the fact that they had just been reduced to 10 following a second yellow card for Nedum Onuoha.

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard (third right) heads in the winner two minutes from full time against Queens Park Rangers

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard (third right) heads in the winner two minutes from full time against Queens Park Rangers

Gerrard had a penalty palmed away by QPR goalkeeper Robert Green in the 80th minute at Anfield

Gerrard had a penalty palmed away by QPR goalkeeper Robert Green in the 80th minute at Anfield

Gerrard (left) is commiserated by team-mate Martin Skrtel after missing a penalty with the scores level

Gerrard (left) is commiserated by team-mate Martin Skrtel after missing a penalty with the scores level

But seven minutes after missing the spot kick, Gerrard was celebrating another winning goal for Liverpool at Anfield

But seven minutes after missing the spot kick, Gerrard was celebrating another winning goal for Liverpool at Anfield

Philippe Couinho curls Liverpool into the lead in the 19th minute against Queens Park Rangers at Anfield on Saturday

Philippe Couinho curls Liverpool into the lead in the 19th minute against Queens Park Rangers at Anfield on Saturday

Coutinho (left) collected a neat pass across goal from striker Rickie Lambert before putting Liverpool into the lead

But my did they make hard of it, with Gerrard missing a late penalty prior to scoring the winner and Raheem Sterling and Adam Lallana also guilty of some glaring misses.

It should have been far more straightforward in fairness. After Coutinho had opened the scoring in the 19th minute Liverpool dominated a QPR side now in serious danger of relegation. But confidence after just two wins from six Premier League games appeared to be low, not least in front of goal in the absence of the injured Daniel Sturridge.

To Leroy Fer’s equaliser they appeared to have no answer. Until, that is, Gerrard offered Rodgers some welcome respite.

For Chris Ramsey and his QPR side, however, the future is looking more bleak, with the gap that divides them from safety now seven points with only three games remaining. And that run-in begins with a trip to Manchester City; a game they must not lose to have any hope of staying up.

It must have been a difficult day for a QPR side mourning the loss of a team-mate’s wife. Fittingly both sides wore black armbands as a mark of respect, as did Les Ferdinand in the directors box.

But QPR started this game with real intent, with both Steven Caulker and Fer forcing saves from Simon Mignolet after it seemed Fer had actually scored from an early Matt Phillips corner. A corner, it transpired, that had actually drifted out of play.

But after that early promise for a QPR side boasting Karl Henry as a left-winger, Liverpool began to find a bit of impetus. Gerrard unleashed a shot from distance, as did Rickie Lambert.

Coutinho (second left) celebrates with Jordan Henderson (second right), Lambert (right) and Adam Lallana (left)

Coutinho (second left) celebrates with Jordan Henderson (second right), Lambert (right) and Adam Lallana (left)

Coutinho (left) celebrates his goal with the Liverpool supporters as his team-mates gather behind him at Anfield

Coutinho (left) celebrates his goal with the Liverpool supporters as his team-mates gather behind him at Anfield

Leroy Fer (left) lashed QPR level at Anfield in the second half, punishing Liverpool for a series of missed chances

Leroy Fer (left) lashed QPR level at Anfield in the second half, punishing Liverpool for a series of missed chances

Fer runs over to celebrate his goal, while paying tribute to team-mate Rio Ferdinand

Fer runs over to celebrate his goal, while paying tribute to team-mate Rio Ferdinand

The switch in momentum proved significant, Coutinho opening the scoring with what was a super goal in the 19th minute; a goal, scored on a counter-attack ignited initially by Sterling, that owed as much to the quality of Lambert’s ball as Coutinho’s finish.

After taking a touch, Coutinho picked his spot perfectly to curl the ball beyond Robert Green, but it was some pass across the QPR penalty area from Lambert in the first place.

A Sterling cross that appeared to Clint Hill on the arm had Liverpool calling for a penalty minutes later but referee Martin Atkinson thought otherwise.

A rather hopeful effort from Charlie Austin aside, QPR were offered little in response. Liverpool were dominating this game, with Henderson, Coutinho and Gerrard comfortably controlling midfield. A free-kick from Liverpool’s captain would test Green, the former England goalkeeper making an excellent save.