Luis the Rat Hits Back.
Today the Lofty Heights gang took to the road on the long trip to Merseyside for the second time this season, this time to visit Anfield. Would Warnock's charge's bounce back from last weeks frustrating draw against West Brom? Or would it be Liverpool that bounced back from their 1-0 defeat at Fulham on Monday night?
We were about to find out.
The gang left in two cars this morning with Luke, Jess and the returning Sam, making her comeback just over two weeks after giving birth to Noah and Louie, in my car. Joining Jenson was Lofty, PK, Smithy and Jo G.
The trip to Liverpool started off very smoothly up until we reached the final hour of the journey when the M6 became very stop/start and quite frustrating. However I arrived at Anfield with Jess, Sam and Luke at about 1.30 and claimed the final parking space in the Stanley Park car park.
We made our way to the Lower Anfield Road Stand and met up with Iceman, Lorna, Jack and Zack for a catch up and arriving with Sam came as a complete surprise to them as no-one had expected her to make the comeback s quickly.
Jenson and the gang finally arrived at Anfield on time, however the two parties never got a chance to meet up before kick off.
Neil Warnock was dealt with a huge blow before the game as Heidar Helguson completely missed the game with no-one really aware as to why the in-form R's striker was not even on the bench. Tommy Smith returned to the starting line up for the first time since the Wigan game at the end of August.
On a more positive note, both DJ Campbell and Matt Connolly returned to the bench after both overcoming injuries that have plagued them for the last few months.
At the start of proceedings the traditional Liverpool 'You'll Never Walk Alone' rendition was sung out by the home faithful, it was quite something to experience............... however where the Liverpool fans went after singing that is a mystery! The game was to be played in a library with 3,000 QPR fans doing everything they could to wake up the scousers and ruin their afternoon nap.
The first half was not the greatest spectacle in the world and as you would expect the R's were taking no risks and playing a safe game. Very few chances were created by the visitors so it was up to Liverpool to make the most of things.
Some of the passing by the home team was impressive at times and with some one touch football created a lot of space in the final third.
Suarez was guilty of missing three fantastic opportunities in the first half as he headed straight at Cerny, scuffed a shot wide when it was harder to miss the target and then again proving to be wasteful when put through on goal.
Maxi wasted Liverpool's best chance of the game as he was put through one on one with Cerny but the 37 year old veteran managed to oil down his joints with WD40 before the game and get down very quickly to push the ball wide before Traore cleared the danger.
As we enjoyed half time in a cramped concourse for a brief period of time, I seeked the opinion of a Liverpool fan that I previously worked with and knew that they were in attendance. He said to me that the R's fans were great, very noisy and very funny! Especially with the banter being hurled at Jonjo Shelvey, who was a sub warming up for Liverpool in front of the R's fans, with the R's fans singing "Jonjo Shelvey, he looks like ET". Jamie Carragher enjoyed it almost as much as what we did and ust showed the good humour being shared by the travelling R's fans.
The second half started and for the first time in the afternoon the R's fans sat down and just as everyone had sat down it was the Liverpool fans that were getting out of their seats.
Rangers' cleared a Charlie Adam corner only as far as the Scottish International and his second cross found Luis Suarez unmarked and four yards out to finally hit the target and put the hosts in front. For the first time since 14.59 we heard the Liverpool fans actually sing, it only lasted 3 minutes but at least they bothered to make an effort!
The R's were dealt with yet another blow as Anton Ferdinand limped off just two minutes after the goal. Ferdinand appeared to be clutching his hamstring as he left the field. The injury came as he skipped over a challenge from Adam and then fell to the floor as the tweak occurred. In all fairness it did look as if he had been taken out by a sniper at the back of The Kop.
Rangers' pushed Liverpool after the goal and with DJ Campbell coming on for Tommy Smith, we finally had a front man to link up with Jay Bothroyd.
The R's enjoyed their best spell of the game yet not creating any clear cut opportunities. There were two half hearted penalty appeals by the R's when Bothroyd appeared to be tripped and then right at the end Skrtel kicked Faurlin in the chest, from our angle, yet we were awarded nothing and Skrtel aggressively stood over Faurlin yelling at him whilst the ref allowed him to do so. Obviously the Liverpool players and fans have short memories as it was Suarez and Johnson that went down in the box very easily in the first half in a desperate attempt to break the deadlock. Suarez continuously fell to his knees during the game, in fact I think he spent more time getting on his knees than one of the girls down the local scouse brothel.
All in all you have to say that Liverpool were deserving of their victory because some of their play at times was superb. Cerny was in fine form and pulled off a number of fantastic saves, including one in the second half were he was going one way and had to dive in the opposite direction to tip the ball onto the post and keep the R's in the game.
Onto Man of the Match. This was a completely unanimous vote amongst everyone in the gang with Radek Cerny gaining a clean sweep for his fantastic performance in the R's goal.
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Agger, Skrtel, Enrique, Downing, Adam, Henderson, Maxi (Bellamy 78), Kuyt, Suarez.
Subs: Doni, Carroll, Coates, Carragher, Kelly.
Goals: Suarez (47)
Bookings: Bellamy (85)
QPR: Cerny, Gabbidon, Bothroyd, Faurlin, Mackie (Hill 78), Traore, Barton, Young, Smith (Campbell 66), Wright-Phillips, Ferdinand (Orr 50).
Subs: Putnins, Derry, Buzsaky, Connolly.
Referee: Mr L Mason
The gang all departed in there two groups and unfortunately never managed to hook up at any part of the afternoon. I'm sure that the other car do have some separate stories that are well worthy of sharing on here. The only thing I will show you from Jenson's car is the view that Jo G had in her severely restricted view seat during the first half when all of the R's fans were standing up, one piece of advice............... NEVER buy thiese tickets if you ever get the chance to........
Lofty will be back next week for the next easy fixture we have.... Man United at home!
It's ta'ra fromme until after Christmas now so I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and I will be back for the Swansea fixture.