Liverpool 1 QPR 0 match report: Jamie Carragher departs with a clean sheet, a win and a standing ovation
The Liverpool defender was playing his last game for the Reds
Sunday 19 May 2013
It was a day of goodbyes across the Premier League but none more poignant than at Anfield.
The Kop - holding aloft cards reading 'JC23' - bid farewell to their homegrown legend Jamie Carragher.
"He's an incredible player. That's my biggest regret - I wanted longer to work with him," Brendan Rodgers reflected.
"Jamie's been absolutely first class and a colossal player for this club. It's with great sadness we have to move on. There's not many around of his type with that quality."
The icon isn't one for plaudits, so it came as no surprise that he sheepishly accepted the guard of honour and quickly urged his teammates to get on with beating Queens Park Rangers.
That they did - with consummate ease. And while the curtain came down on Carragher's career, yesterday signalled just the beginning for Jordan Ibe.
Cutting in from the left, he teed up Philippe Coutinho who fizzed a lovely effort past a helpless Rob Green. The 17-year-old wasn't fazed on debut, looking more defensively disciplined and aware of his job than Raheem Sterling earlier this season.
But this was all about Carragher, the result immaterial given that Liverpool have been playing in their own mini division for a number of weeks and QPR stopped competing a long while ago.
The central defender, only having scored three league goals in his entire career , almost signed off in style with an astonishingly out of character 30-yard bullet which thundered the post. The shot was celebrated as if it had flown in.
Harry Redknapp frustratingly gesticulated at his side's lack of attacking endeavour, and it might also be the last we see of him in the top flight. If it is, this was an undignified way to go. QPR were limp going through the motions; they shan't be missed. The manager now has the unenviable task of trying to offload the bad apples.
They are in stark contrast to Carragher. Off he went, with four minutes remaining, to rapturous applause in what ended being an elongated celebration of all things Liverpool. "I'd just like to say thanks to everyone who's supported me since my debut," he said afterwards. "I've had lots of great times and memories that I'll never forget - especially those of the supporters dragging us over the line during those special nights and in Istanbul."
It certainly won't be the last they see of him.
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