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17:15 10th December 2011
By  @OfficialQPR


Luis Suarez's 47th-minute header proved to be the difference between Liverpool and QPR at Anfield.

It was, in truth, no more than Kenny Dalglish's men deserved for a simply dominant performance, with Rangers having Radek Cerny to thank for keeping the margin to just a single goal.

The Reds took charge of the first half but it was shortly into the second when the hosts found the decider.

Charlie Adam's pinpoint cross found the head of Suarez in the box and the striker - a constant thorn in the R's side for the duration of the afternoon - gave Cerny no chance from ten-yards out.

Hoops boss Neil Warnock made one change to his side for the visit to Merseyside, with Tommy Smith brought in to replace Heidar Helguson.

But while the Icelandic front-man was missing from QPR's entire 18-man squad, there was positive news from the bench, with long-term injury victims Matt Connolly and DJ Campbell both named amongst the substitutes.

Cerny was in goal for the R's, in a 4-4-2 formation.

Luke Young, Anton Ferdinand, Danny Gabbidon and Armand Traore lined up in defence.

Shaun Wright-Phillips began from the right-hand side of midfield, with skipper Joey Barton and Ale Faurlin in the centre and Smith on the left.

Jay Bothroyd was joined by Jamie Mackie in attack.

Anfield's rendition of 'You'll Never Walk Alone' just before kick-off was - true to form - quite something to behold.

And it was the home crowd who would see their team dominate for much of the first half.

Liverpool's pressure in the opening period was relentless, starting from only the second minute.

Dirk Kuyt, on that occasion, saw his effort deflected over by Ferdinand.

Two minutes later, QPR's backline had to be at their best once again.

Young, this time, was the man who came to Rangers' rescue, with his superb intervention sending Maxi Rodriguez's effort away for a corner, after excellent build-up play from the Reds.

Liverpool then missed a guilt-edged opportunity to take the lead on ten minutes.

Stewart Downing's cross from the right was to a tee for Suarez, but the unmarked Uruguayan could only head straight at Cerny.

A minute later Suarez was in on the act again, executing a lovely give-and-go with Kuyt before seeing his effort - albeit at an acute angle - flash agonisingly across the goal-line.

Soon after, the Reds siege net continued. Maxi broke clear before freeing Suarez in the box, who got his effort horribly wrong.

Suarez really had adopted the role of the Liverpool's tormentor-in-chief.

In the 21st minute, the livewire forward turned Traore down the right, but his cutting low centre was just out of the reach of an unmarked Maxi at the back post.

Maxi was, however, gifted another opportunity just ten mintues later.

The Reds midfield man beat the offside trap before forcing a stunning save from Cerny, who tipped the ball wide before the danger was eventually cleared.

Rangers' only notable chance came in the 41st minute - a Wright-Phillips blast from distance that did little to trouble Pepe Reina.

Not long before the break, Cerny was again on hand to spare the R's blushes.

Suarez was at the heart of the action once more, racing in behind QPR's defence before trying to dink Cerny.

But the R's custodian made a superb block at point-blank range, before Suarez fired the loose ball handsomely over the bar.

Liverpool maintained their high level of pressure from the start of the second period.

And just two minutes after the half-time interval, they were ahead.

It was Suarez -guilty of missing a whole host of chances in the first half - who put the home side into the lead.

Adam's in-swinging ball from the left was of perfection - and so was the unmarked Suarez's finish, with the Liverpool striker making no mistake when he planted an expert header into the top left-hand corner of the net.

Following Liverpool's opening goal, Rangers enjoyed probably their best spell of the contest to date.

That being said, Dalglish's men still continued to create chances and, were in not for performance of an outstanding Cerny, would have been further in front.

Suarez wriggled his way past Gabbidon on the right-hand edge of the box and, when he looked up to pick out an onrushing Maxi in the box, the Reds wide-man seemed certain to slide home a Liverpool second.

Cerny, on the other hand, had different ideas, pulling off a magnificent fingertip save at his left-hand post.

This had been a performance to savour from QPR's Czech stopper - who denied Liverpool once more with a fine close-range block from Maxi on 67 minutes, who combined to effect with Suarez.

But the closer Rangers got to full-time only a goal down, the more Warnock's troops seemed to believe that an unlikely point could be in the offing.

The R's went close in the 73rd minute. Barton's free-kick from the left saw Gabbidon stick out a leg on the penalty spot - but his effort went just over the bar.

Rangers did, to their credit, ask questions of the Liverpool rear-guard in the closing minutes, while Wright-Phillips struck his own bar in injury time.

But there was to be no late drama, as Dalglish's men held on to collect all three Barclays Premier League points.

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

Attendance: 45,016

    Data provided by Press Association
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