QUEENS PARK RANGERS 2 LIVERPOOL 3
QPR manager Harry Redknapp angrily dismissed hovering question marks over job security after his side frittered away a precious point during a frantic finale against below par Liverpool at Loftus Road yesterday.
On-loan Napoli forward Eduardo Vargas twice dragged the home side level late on to cancel out a 10th career own goal by Richard Dunne and a Philippe Coutinho strike, only for Steven Caulker’s own goal deep into stoppage time to prove decisive.
Redknapp blasted the naivety of experienced players for their late collapse but remains convinced his side possess the necessary qualities to climb away from the Premier League danger zone despite currently languishing bottom of the table and four points from safety.
“I couldn’t give a monkey’s about speculation,” said Redknapp. “There’s no one who could do any better here at the moment than me, I don’t think.
“I hear other names mentioned but they couldn’t do any better than what I can do, that’s for sure.”
“I’m sure we’ll get out of trouble. We didn’t deserve to come away with nothing. That’s the best I’ve seen us play since I’ve been at the club but we were naïve. I was screaming at people to get back but they’ve gone swarming up and we’ve left ourselves open to a counter-attack in the last seconds.”
QPR were the first to threaten in the ninth minute, Charlie Austin bulldozing through limp challenges from Glen Johnson and Martin Skrtel only to be denied by Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet.
The hosts wasted a golden chance shortly before the half-hour mark as Holland midfielder Leroy Fer clipped the top of the crossbar with a rising effort from Bobby Zamora’s cutback.
The recalled Zamora continued to cause havoc and provided the ammunition for Fer’s 34th minute header to smack the woodwork, with Sandro unable to force the loose ball home.
After the abject Mario Balotelli blazed high over the bar with the goal gaping, Liverpool broke the deadlock in the 67th minute when Raheem Sterling’s quickly taken free-kick freed Johnson and the England full-back’s low cross was inadvertently turned into his own goal by Dunne.
Redknapp threw on Vargas for the tiring Zamora and the Chile striker responded by scoring his first goal for the club less than 10 minutes later, steering home Austin’s header across goal from within the six-yard box.
Parity lasted just three minutes as Liverpool regained the lead when substitute Coutinho gathered Gerrard’s pass before cutting inside Mauricio Isla and lashing a low shot past Alex McCarthy.
QPR refused to accept defeat and Vargas equalised with a near post header from Fer’s inswinging corner. But the breathless Loftus Road climax had one final twist deep into stoppage time as a lightning Liverpool break following Fer’s poor free-kick saw the hapless Caulker stab into his own net from Sterling’s square ball.