Own goal from Steven Caulker secures away win for Liverpool at QPR
- Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images
Liverpool left Loftus Road with all three points thanks to an own goal from Steven Caulker.
A brace from Eduardo Vargas looked like it had secured a well earned point for Rangers but the Rs were hit on the break from a free kick and Raheem Sterling’s cross was sent into his own net by Caulker.
Richard Dunne put the visitors ahead when he diverted Glen Johnson’s cross into the QPR net.
Vargas volleyed home on 87 minutes to get the Rs level but just two minutes later Coutinho put the Reds back ahead but it didn’t last long as the Rs went back up the other end and from a corner Vargas headed home at the near post.
The Rs will feel aggrieved not to have won the game given the clear cut chances they missed in the first half and Sterling’s pace caught the Rs napping as his cross led to the winner.
Manager Harry Redknapp made five changes from the team that lost 2-0 at West Ham with Rio Ferdinand left out of the starting line up for the first time this season.
Rob Green was ruled out with tonsillitis which saw Alex McCarthy given his first start and Mauricio Isla was restored to the starting XI on the right of midfield in front of Nedum Onuoha in a 4-4-2 formation.
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Richard Dunne was placed alongside Caulker with Yun Suk-Young handed his first start at left-back.
Bobby Zamora was handed the captains armband to play up front with Charlie Austin.
On two minutes Zamora chested down for Austin who fired high and wide after Steven Caulker had stopped Raheem Sterling breaking through on goal.
On 8 minutes Austin rode a couple of tackle in the penalty area and after seeing his initial shot saved by Simon Mignolet he could only hit the side netting as he got a shot off whilst lying on the Loftus Road surface.
Leroy Fer had two good chances to give Rangers the lead but could only hit the bar after racking onto a fine pull back from Zamora and then saw his head come back off the bar which was scrambled away by Martin Skrtel on the line as Sandro and Austin looked to pounce.
Liverpool’s best chance of the half fell to Steven Gerrard who fired wide after creating space in the penalty area.
Onuoha was forced off at half time with a hamstring injury which saw Isla go to right back and Matt Phillips playing ahead of him.
The winger was straight into the action creating a chance for Sandro to get a shot off from the edge of the penalty area which was well saved by Mignolet.
A burst down the right from Sterling saw his pass deflected into the path of Adam Lallana who saw his shot well saved by McCarthy and then with the whole goal to aim at, Balotelli fired well over.
On 67 minutes the Rs were made to pay for the missed chances when quick thinking from Sterling released Glen Johnson inside the penalty area and his cross was diverted into the net by Dunne.
Austin was denied by Mignolet who got down well to his left to push away Austin’s shot from the edge of the box.
Eduardo Vargas was sent on for the impressive Zamora as Rangers looked to rescue a point.
With the clock running down Rangers drew level thanks to a fine finish from Vargas who got on the end of Austin’s header across goal to volley home.
Coutinho put Liverpool back ahead before the late drama saw Vargas score his second but with just seconds remaining Sterling broke clear and his cross was diverted into his own net by Caulker.