Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Carragher Bids Farewell On A High

An emotional farewell by Jamie Carragher in his 737th and final game for Liverpool saw a victory over QPR end his glittering seventeen years courtesy of a super strike by Philippe Coutinho.

A surprise entry on the final team-sheet was 17-year old Jordan Ibe who has impressed in the youth ranks this season and will hope to repeat the feat of one Michael Owen who's debut on the final day in 1997 began an amazing career which incidentally came to an end today as he retired at Stoke.

Liverpool came out of the blocks quickly as Coutinho was unlucky to be denied a goal by the official as he connected to a Downing corner with a header which appeared to cross the line but appeals were ignored.

As has been a tradition recently, Coutinho was the driving force for Liverpool and set himself up in the 18th minute as he evaded a challenge with ease before sending a shot wide of the post but he avenged the wayward shot with a stellar strike five minutes later as a cool assist by debutant Ibe saw the Brazilian waste no time in unleashing a 25-yard bullet that flew past Green and into the corner to send Anfield wild.

Liverpool pushed for a second as they maintained their pressure on the already relegated QPR and a surging run by Johnson saw him lift a left footed chance over the bar while QPR had a chance via Townsend from long range which blazed wide of the target.

A good debut for Ibe nearly became great as he swished down the left and aimed a bullet of a shot that flashed narrowly across the face of goal and saw the Reds go into the break at 1-0.

Five minutes after the restart and Green was called into action as Johnson hit a strong shot which arrowed towards the top corner forcing a improvised palm from the England stopper.

One dream that everyone in Liverpool red had in their mind was a Carragher goal in his final match and only the upright of the post denied the dream as an uncharacteristic screamer of a shot from the legendary number 23 agonisingly crashed back from 25 yards out to deny him a magic farewell.

Ten minutes to go and Suso stung the palms of Green from a tight angle only for the rebound to go to Downing who's goalbound shot was duly blocked.

As the end approached, Anfield saw a standing ovation as the stalwart Jamie Carragher was replaced by Sebastian Coates to bring an end to his amazing career as he bid farewell to Anfield for the final time before retiring to go into a media career for Sky Sports next season.

As the final whistle went, Liverpool had secured the win to end the season on a high and send Carragher off on a high as the future looks bright for the club with the hero again being the 20-year-old Coutinho who with Sturridge has turned the fortunes of the club around in recent months and makes many wonder how the season would have gone had they both been signed last summer rather then midway through the campaign.

Hopefully, I will sign off 2012/13 with a review and compilation of my magnetised scores within the week so watch this space....