Lucky Liverpool go fifth as late goal blitz sinks QPR
Reds boss Brendan Rodgers admits his side were lucky after four goals in last eight minutes
Queen's Park Rangers 2 Liverpool 3. Brendan Rodgers admitted his Liverpool side didn't deserve to take three points from Queen's Park Rangers after a thrilling encounter at Loftus Road on Sunday. It was a slow-burner of a match that exploded into life in the closing stages with four goals in a thrilling final eight minutes.
"QPR certainly did not deserve to lose," conceded Rodgers, whose side move up into fifth spot thanks to their victory. "We were lucky to win, but we showed tremendous character. QPR definitely deserved something from the game. Overall, we were fortunate."
After a dour first half, Liverpool looked to be on course for victory when Richard Dunne put into his own net on 67 minutes, diverting Raheem Sterling's quick free-kick past Alex McCarthy. It was a little slice of unwanted history for the Rangers defender, his 10th own goal now a Premier League record.
That's how the scores remained until Rangers striker Eduardo Vargas sparked a late goal rush. The Chilean hitman found the net on 87 minutes, his first goal for the club, sparking wild scenes in the stands. But the jubilation didn't last long, just three minutes, the time it took Raheem Sterling to pick out Philippe Coutinho with a pass that the Brazilian drilled home.
This time it was the travelling fans whose joy was short-lived. Seconds later Rangers were level once more when on-loan Napoli forward Vargas hit the target again. But still the drama wasn't over, and once more Sterling had a hand to play in the winning Liverpool goal, his cross played into the path of Rangers defender Steven Caulker who poked into the net for the second own goal of the game.
The Rangers' faithful couldn't believe it, and neither could the Liverpool fans. The clock showed 94 minutes and finally this dramatic match had run its course. Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard knew his side had got out of jail, his comments echoing those of his manager. "We wanted to come here and control the game and we didn't do that," he said. "To get three points we've got to go away happy, but we've got to consider ourselves lucky... if we want to finish in the top four we've got to play better away from home."
The result increases the pressure on Rangers manager Harry Redknapp, whose side are now rooted to the foot of the table with just four points from eight matches. "You organise with a minute to go, thinking we'll take a point, we're not going to get beat whatever happens and then to throw the result away, having worked so hard," reflected the 65-year-old.
Nonetheless Redknapp refused to criticise his players for their effort, saying: "Everywhere I thought we were fantastic. We went after them all over the park and we won our battles in 90 per cent of positions, but in the end we got done for being naive."
As for his own future, Redknapp was similarly upbeat. "I'm really positive. I still feel like we're going to be OK."