Queens Park Rangers’ Greater Purpose Helps Explain Liverpool’s Baffling Defeat

Queens Park Rangers' Greater Purpose Helps Explain Liverpool's Baffling DefeatKenny Dalglish couldn’t even explain the “hows” or “whys” behind Wednesday’s defeat. Reds everywhere are struggling to come to grips with what they witnessed, and looking for answers.

Like the end of a twisted murder mystery, the simplest possible explanation just might have to suffice (for now). If it leaves readers wanting more, then so be it.

Queens Park Rangers won their Premier League game against Liverpool FC because they wanted it more. They needed it more.

LFC was comfortably leading by two goals with 15 minutes left to play. Then QPR scored. And then QPR scored again. Unbelievably, QPR scored one more time to win the game.

“I don’t think anybody saw it coming,” Dalglish said after the game. “There is not much more we can say. We need to find answers and make sure we’re going to learn from it.

“For most of the game we were dominant. We were really creative, thoughtful and professional, but they’ve walked away with three points. We never got what we deserved, but it’s a tough life, I suppose.”

Liverpool has reached the back end of the season in a strange position. It has already booked a place in next season’s Europa League (by virtue of its Carling Cup success). But Champions League qualification is looking increasingly out of reach for the seventh-placed Reds.

Although Dalglish and the players will say otherwise, the FA Cup remains the last great pursuit of Liverpool’s 2011-12 season. That’s not to say the Reds won’t approach league games with the same sense of urgency and purpose as they have since mid-August. They will, as that is part of the responsibility that comes with representing Liverpool FC.

But relative to some other teams in the league — QPR being one of them, Liverpool’s season doesn’t hinge on each point gained or lost.

QPR’s situation is the polar opposite. It is in a classic relegation dogfight, sitting 17th in the standings with nine games left to play.

For a team facing such a challenge, mentality can either be a prized asset or heavy liability. Only the world’s greatest fortune-tellers could have predicted Shaun Derry‘s 77th-minute goal.

He somehow discoved enough spring in his 34-year-old legs to take him towering over Martin Skrtel, where he headed a corner kick past Pepe Reina. It brought a belief in impossible possibilities to his teammates and the supporters at Loftus Road.

Djibril Cisse‘s goal less than 10 minutes later added the multiplier effect. When Jamie Mackie scored the stoppage-time winner, it merely capped the game’s emerging trend.

Liverpool may be stuck in relative purgatory for the remainder of the league season. But teams like QPR can still determine whether they reach heaven or hell come mid-May.

Review all the action from Wednesday’s game in our Liverpool Live Blog.

Have a question for Marcus Kwesi O’Mard? Send it to him via Twitter at @NESNsoccer, NESN Soccer’s Facebook page or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

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