Jamie Carragher ended his Liverpool career on a winning note as he helped the Reds to a 1-0 victory over already relegated QPR at Anfield.
Carragher, playing in his 737th and final match for the Reds, turned in a typically sturdy defensive performance as he captained his side to three points and a clean sheet against Harry Redknapp’s already relegated side.
Brendan Rodgers’ men, meanwhile, can look forward to another season in the top-flight after a transitional campaign under the Northern Irishman’s guidance. And they almost got off to a perfect start only as Coutinho stooped to head in Stewart Downing’s second minute corner with the ball crossing the line before it was hacked away.
With little or no threat posed by the visitors in attack it was only a matter of time before Liverpool took the lead and they did so in the 23rd minute. Debutant Jordon Ibe did well to feed Coutinho and the January signing composed himself before driving a low shot past Rob Green and into the bottom corner from 25-yards. Going behind stirred QPR into life and Loic Remy went close after turning sharply and dispatching a sweet strike from the edge of the box that flew wide.
The home side maintained their dominance after the break and Jose Enrique saw a shot spilled by Robert Green before Ibe’s effort drifted wide of the post. Carragher then went close to capping an emotional with the perfect ending but his rasping 35-yard missile struck the post instead of nestling sweetly in the top corner at the Kop.
Green continued to deny Liverpool further goals as he saved from Enrique again, while Downing had a shot cleared off the line before Carragher took centre stage once again as he was replaced by Sebastien Coates with five minutes to go, walking off the Anfield pitch for the final time to an ear-splitting standing ovation.
Brendan Rodgers post-match… “The win marks a terrific end to the season for us. We would love the season to continue as we have found our feet and form. (But) we’ve got work to do during the summer in terms of reinforcing the group.”
Harry Redknapp post-match… “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.”
Man of the Match…Jamie Carragher: Honestly, who else would it be? Bowed out of professional in typical Carragher style with a solid, if unspectacular display to earn a clean sheet. Denied a fairy tale send-off when his 30-yard thunderbolt smacked the post. Yes, you read that correctly!
Flop of the Match…Bobby Zamora: Rarely involved in the game, posed little threat to the Liverpool defence and seemed agitated by the pitiful service afforded to him. One the many big earners at QPR facing up to an uncertain future at Loftus Road.