Liverpool - Steven Gerrard had a penalty saved but then headed in a late winner
as Liverpool all but guaranteed Queens Park Rangers' Premier League
relegation with a 2-1 win on Saturday.
first-half goal and Gerrard's 87th-minute effort, allied to results
elsewhere, mean QPR are likely to make an instant return to the
Championship even if they win their final three games.
Ramsey's side, who levelled through Leroy Fer and had Nedum Onuoha sent
off for two bookable offences, are now eight points from safety.
victory was Liverpool's first in four matches and eased some of the
pressure that has been growing around manager Brendan Rodgers, who has
seen his side's hopes of Champions League qualification evaporate.
is confident that he will be given further time and support by the
club's owners, the Fenway Sports Group, to continue re-building next
But he needs a positive end to the season to support his
case and, not for the first time, he was left indebted to Los Angeles
Galaxy-bound captain Gerrard, who was playing in his penultimate home
The game started on a sombre note, with both sides wearing
black armbands as a mark of respect for the wife of QPR defender Rio
Ferdinand, Rebecca Ellison, who died from cancer at the age of 34 on
Former England international Ferdinand has not
played a prominent role this season, with the last of his 11 league
appearances coming almost two months ago.
But he remains an
influential squad member and his personal loss must have been felt by
his team-mates ahead of a match from which they needed to get some
History was not on their side, with QPR's only ever win at Liverpool having come back in 1991.
had to witness a plane flying over Anfield at kick-off carrying a
banner calling for his dismissal and the reinstatement of former manager
Rafael Benitez, and on the pitch his side made a nervy start.
with only two wins in their last 17 games, went close through Steven
Caulker's volley following a corner and a long-range shot from Fer that
goalkeeper Simon Mignolet turned around a post.
But calmness was restored 19 minutes in when Liverpool went in front with a ruthless strike.
error just inside his own half was punished as Raheem Sterling fed
Rickie Lambert to cross low for Coutinho, who took a touch before
curling his eighth goal of the season in off the crossbar.
threatened to take complete control, but could not find the second goal
that would have killed off QPR's hopes and were guilty of two appalling
misses in the opening 10 minutes of the second half.
shot wide with just Rob Green to beat, but that was surpassed when
Sterling somehow failed to hit the target from inside the six-yard box
following a sublime pass from Jordan Henderson.
Green then saved
from Gerrard and Dejan Lovren, and Liverpool were made to pay for their
wastefulness when Fer volleyed in an equaliser from a Joey Barton
With 11 minutes to go Liverpool had the perfect chance to
make amends, but after Onuoha had pulled back Martin Skrtel, Gerrard saw
his weak spot-kick saved by Green.
But Onuoha was then sent off
after scything down Sterling and Gerrard proved that he is made of stern
stuff when he headed in Coutinho's corner before departing to a