Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has admitted his penalty miss against QPR may have been partly due to his emotions surrounding his impending departure from his boyhood club.
The 34-year-old, playing his penultimate match at Anfield before leaving for Los Angeles Galaxy, saw his spot-kick saved by Robert Green on Saturday as he tried to put his side back in front at home to QPR.
As he has so often before, the talismanic skipper went on to win the match, this time with an 87th-minute header which secured a 2-1 win.
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Gerrard’s penalty miss was his 10th in 57 spot-kicks and his sixth at Anfield, five of which have strangely been against London clubs.
"It was a poor penalty from myself and I am very disappointed with it," he told liverpoolfc.com.
"I changed my mind on my run up, which is something you can’t do when you’re a penalty taker."
Not one for sentimentality, he nevertheless admitted: "Maybe it was the game, the emotion, being desperate to score and get on the scoresheet… I don’t know.
"I was looking at Rob Green for as long as I could and I felt like he was going to go to his right, my left, which made me change my mind.
"I should have had the confidence that I could still score even if he went the right way.
"I take full responsibility for that but it was nice to make up for it and help get the team three points. It’s very big for us.
"I’m delighted with the header and everyone goes home happy because we’ve got three points."
The win brought to an end a miserable fortnight for the Reds which saw them lose a Wembley FA Cup semi-final to Aston Villa, held to a goalless draw at West Brom and then lose at Hull. Their Champions League hopes have been kept alive however by fourth-placed Manchester United’s surprise home defeat to West Brom.
Liverpool now just four points behind with three to play, although those dropped points in the last week may well come back to haunt them.
"I suppose in the last couple of performances we’ve had a bit of a hangover from that setback.
"The manager has made it clear we want to finish as strong as possible, try to get maximum points in all of our remaining games and keep putting pressure on the teams above us.
"It was a big disappointment at Wembley, but when you play for a big club you’ve got to get over it, move on and look to the future.
"Hopefully, next year, this team and club can compete for all the trophies available."