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Liverpool 2, QPR 1: First Thoughts

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It wasn't easy and it wasn't pretty, but Liverpool narrowly get past QPR at Anfield on the strength of a first half strike from Philippe Coutinho and a late header by Steven Gerrard.

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

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Liverpool 2: Coutinho 19', Gerrard 87'
QPR 1: Fer 73'

  • Rumors of a start for Rickie Lambert proved accurate, as the striker was given his first start in months up top. Steven Gerrard was restored to the starting eleven as well, with Glen Johnson making his third start of the week and Emre Can again deployed at right back. As expected, Adam Lallana was in the starting eleven for the first time since the loss to Manchester United. It was not an inspiring selection, and one that once again flew in the face of the idea that Brendan Rodgers was preparing his squad for next season.

  • On the subject of flight, that banner was awfully embarrassing. No misspellings, at least.

  • QPR were in the ascendancy for most of the first ten minutes, including putting the ball in the back of the net within a minute only to have it ruled out, but after Liverpool settled into the match there was only one side in it. Not that the hosts were particularly impressive, though they did take the lead on 19 minutes through a Philippe Coutinho curler. Lambert picked out the Brazilian with a nice cross-field ball, and Coutinho took one touch before placing it past a rooted Robert Green. Scoring goals--what a feeling!
  • Jordan Henderson back-heels. Mmmmm.
  • Glen Johnson. The opposite of that.
  • Half-time thoughts: Not much doing after Liverpool scored, with some nice individual moments scattered throughout an uneventful 25-plus minutes to see out a comfortable first half. Otherwise it was standard end of the season fare and not the most compelling, even if it was better from Liverpool.
  • Lallana missed a wonderful chance within five minutes of the restart to put Liverpool two up, pushing a left-footed effort wide of goal after some neat buildup from Sterling and Coutinho.
  • Sterling missed a wonderful chance within ten minutes of the restart to put Liverpool two up, pushing a left-footed effort wide of goal after a neat cross from Henderson.
  • So of course, with Liverpool well on top and missing at least two clear chances to go two goals to the good, they concede an equalizer with horrendous marking on a set-piece to blame. Leroy Fer's volley was well-taken, but he left was all alone in the middle of the Liverpool penalty area. Fun!
  • And then Martin Skrtel wins a sketchy penalty by being pulled down in the box because karma is not a thing that exists until it does, when Steven Gerrard's tame penalty is saved by Robert Green. LIVERPOOOOOOL!
  • Nedum Onuoha, who was given a yellow for the tug on Skrtel, was booked again for cutting down Jordon Ibe to stop a Liverpool break just minutes later. Down to ten men for the final 10 minutes, one have expected Liverpool to possibly win the match.
  • And one would be right! STEVE GERRARD, GERRARD, HE'S BIG AND HE scored Liverpool's second goal from a corner all season. NARRATIVE WINS THE DAY
  • Full-time thoughts: A nice win, with the captain's goal coming at the Kop end, but mostly final day of the season stuff. On to Chelsea next weekend, and just three matches left now in the Premier League season.

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We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.