For matchday photos, scroll to Photostream above left; click on the statistics tab for stats; manager reaction below
Jamie Carragher bowed out on a victorious note as Liverpool ended the Barclays Premier League season with a 1-0 win over Queens Park Rangers at Anfield on Sunday. The result consigns QPR to the bottom of the table after a season that has yielded just four league victories. Philippe Coutinho scored the only goal in the game in the first half, after good work by 17-year-old debutant Jordon Ibe.
There was almost a fairytale moment when the retiring Carragher thundered a 35-yard effort against a post after the break. The veteran defender captained Liverpool in his final appearance before calling time on a career spanning 17 seasons. Jose Enrique returned to the starting XI, and Ibe came in for his first appearance. QPR made three changes as 20-year-old Michael Harriman replaced Jose Bosingwa, while Shaun Derry and Park Ji-Sung replaced Jermaine Jenas and Junior Hoilett respectively.
The home side might have had the lead in the second minute when Coutinho met a Stewart Downing corner on the left-hand side of the box but his header was cleared by Bobby Zamora on the line.
Coutinho continued to cause the away side problems as he cut in from the left but his low goal-bound effort was deflected wide by Derry, but the Brazil forward got his reward in the 23rd minute. Ibe found space on the left touchline, before cutting in and laying the ball to the 20-year-old, who drove a low shot into the bottom left-hand corner of the goal from 25 yards.
QPR were seeing little of the ball, but could have equalised as Loic Remy fired into the side netting and Zamora just failed to get on the end of Armand Traore's cross with the goal gaping.
The second half continued as the first ended with Liverpool creating plenty of chances, including an Ibe effort from the left that went just beyond the far post. Stewart Downing was the next to go close for the hosts, bursting inside two defenders on the right of the area but, on his weaker foot, could only drive into the side-netting.
Carragher was being urged to shoot on every occasion by the home fans and obliged in the 62nd minute when he hit a rasping 35-yard drive towards goal, only to see it cannon back off the right-hand post with Green beaten. Liverpool searched for a second, and came close when Downing's strike from the right was blocked by Traore with Green stranded.
The game was halted momentarily on 85 minutes, as Carragher departed play to a standing ovation from all four sides of the ground. The defender's exit was the last event of note in Liverpool's campaign, as they saw out the game to head into next season on an eight-game unbeaten run.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers: "Jamie Carragher's ambition was always when he left Liverpool to go out on top and you see in the guy today he did that. He nearly scored a fantastic goal, just his all-round game he's going out as a top, top player. He could still play another year. He has been absolutely phenomenal for me in my time here. You see today his organisational skills, his quality, his leadership was first class.
"I am really delighted for him because he wanted to finish the game with a win. He has been a big part of 16 clean sheets in the league, which is a great achievement so we know we are only margins away from being a decent side. We need to add some players in summer but unfortunately one of those will have to come in to replace the likes of Carra who has been an absolute colossal player for this club."
Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp: "There are lots of changes needed in the summer if we are going to make a challenge next year that's for sure. I am too old to have aggravation every day of my life with players so I have got to change things around next year.
"It is no good saying we are a great team - you don't finish bottom if you are a great team. We have been short all season, short of that little bit of quality that is needed. I have got to get a squad together, a group together that are going to do it week-in, week-out to try and get us out of the league.
"It will be difficult, but we will have a go next year. We've got no divine right to come straight back up. We'll have to work hard. I've inherited a group with some good professionals and also with people who are not so good. That has been the problem. Lots of them can't get up early enough to get to training on time. One player's picked up more fines than he earns and he earns enough."
|21 Dec 2014||v Liverpool (H)|
|26 Dec 2014||v Burnley (A)|
|29 Dec 2014||v Liverpool (H)|
|01 Jan 2015||v Liverpool (H)|
|10 Jan 2015||v Sunderland (A)|
|17 Jan 2015||v Aston Villa (A)|