Brendan Rodgers admits Liverpool were ‘very, very lucky’ to leave Queens Park Rangers with three points following a dramatic 3-2 win.
The visitors struggled to get going at Loftus Road and failed to match the energy of a home side rooted to the foot of the Premier League table.
QPR twice hit the woodwork in the first-half through Leory Fer, with fortune very much on Liverpool’s side in the capital.
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In the end, two own goals from Richard Dunne and Steven Caulker helped Rodgers’ men over the line, with the second of those arriving in the 95th minute following a frantic finale which also saw Philippe Coutinho on target and substitute Eduardo Vargas net twice for the dejected hosts.
Rodgers told Sky Sports afterwards: “They certainly didn’t deserve to lose, QPR. We were very, very lucky to get the win.
“We showed tremendous character and were a little bit better in the second half, but QPR definitely deserved something.”
He added: “We put players on to play a game, which is a technical game. The first half, we didn’t pass the ball, we had no rhythm in our game, movement was too slow, no speed in the game.
“Coutinho coming on gives us that technical lift in the game and we then started to create that bit more.
“I thought Raheem Sterling was outstanding today in his running and desire. It was really quick thinking for the first goal and he broke away on the other one.
“Overall we were fortunate, but it’s a long season and you’re going to not play well in games. You hope to get points and today we got three points, but QPR were unfortunate.”
Sterling was handed a starting berth at the end of a week in which his ‘tiredness’ had led to him dropping to the bench for England’s European qualifier against Estonia, and Rodgers believes that decision was fully justified.
He said: “Good players come alive when the ball goes dead, and he did that – spotted the play. Harry will be disappointed with that (Dunne’s own goal) because they had defended well up until that point. It’s just those moments where you switch off.
“He was excellent. The build-up to the other goal, his speed, his touch, his movement was exceptional.”
Pressed again on whether he will be seeking to speak with England boss Roy Hodgson – who was in attendance at Loftus Road – in an effort to clear the air regarding his handling of Sterling, Rodgers said: “No. It’s all gone and been blown up. My concentration is on Liverpool.
“Roy and I speak through the season. He’s a good man. My focus is on my players now and getting ready for the next game.”