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Liverpool Lose Again

QPR – 3
LIVERPOOL – 2
 
 
Jamie Mackie

21 March 2012Last updated at 22:49 GMT

courtesy of BBC

By Mandeep SangheraBBC Sport

Jamie Mackie got the winner as QPR came from two goals down with 13 minutes left to beat Liverpool and move out of the relegation zone.

Sebastian Coates scored a spectacular volley and Dirk Kuyt prodded in a second to put the Reds ahead.

Shaun Derry gave QPR hope with a header before Reds old boy Djibril Cisse also nodded in to haul the home side level.

A Jose Enrique error left Mackie clear to slide in an injury-time shot under keeper Pepe Reina for the QPR winner.

QPR’s REMAINING FIXTURES

  • Sunderland (a)
  • Arsenal (h)
  • Man Utd (a)
  • Swansea (h)
  • West Brom (a)
  • Tottenham (h)
  • Chelsea (a)
  • Stoke (h)
  • Man City (a)

The victory was as vital for the home side as it was unlikely and helped move them two points clear of the drop zone, although third-from-bottom Bolton have a game in hand.

The loss left Liverpool’s already faint hopes of a top-four finish in tatters, with the Reds a massive 12 points behind fourth-placed Tottenham after a fourth league defeat in five games.

The latest setback for the Reds was much of their own making in a turnaround which was as spectacular as the opener from centre-back Coates.

QPR seemed to be feeling the pressure of their precarious position early on, particularly after relegation rivals Blackburn had won on Tuesday.

 

QPR gave Liverpool too much respect – Hughes

The home side constantly gave the ball away and Liverpool had plenty of chances to take advantage as they swarmed all over their hosts.

Suarez left Nedum Onuoha trailing to burst clear on goal only to have his shot fended away by keeper Paddy Kenny before Derry blocked a Stewart Downing strike when the Reds winger seemed set to have a free shot on goal.

Kuyt had a great chance when he latched on to a Steven Gerrard corner to the far post but he was denied by another save from the overworked Kenny.

Liverpool’s profligacy has been a hallmark of their season and, while it appeared to drain their belief, QPR took plenty of encouragement from weathering the early storm.

The home side eventually managed to get a view of the visitors’ goal and Reds keeper Reina was a relieved figure when former Liverpool striker Cisse’s 22-yard shot went just wide.

 

No explanation for defeat – Dalglish

QPR began to look comfortable but it proved a false sense of security. A Stewart Downing shot was cleared off the line by Bobby Zamora and, as the ball fell in the QPR box, Coates produced an acrobatic scissor kick to finally reward Liverpool’s domination.

A Luis Suarez shot hit the post and Kenny saved from Downing before Kuyt stole in to pounce on the rebound and extend Liverpool’s lead on his 200th Premier League outing.

There was little sign of things to come until Derry pulled one back with a 77th minute header from a corner to galvanise the home side.

Cisse nodded in another after 86 minutes and, when Reds left-back Enrique missed a clearance in added time, Mackie took full advantage to seal QPR’s remarkable comeback.

LINEUP, BOOKINGS (0) & SUBSTITUTIONS (6)

Queens Park Rangers

  • 01 Kenny
  • 13 Traore (Taiwo – 46′ )
  • 18 Young
  • 35 Ferdinand
  • 42 Onuoha
  • 02 Diakite
  • 04 Derry
  • 07 Taarabt
  • 17 Barton (Mackie – 62′ )
  • 23 Cisse (Buzsaky – 88′ )
  • 52 Zamora

Substitutes

  • 24 Cerny
  • 06 Gabbidon
  • 34 Taiwo
  • 14 Buzsaky
  • 32 Wright-Phillips
  • 10 Bothroyd
  • 12 Mackie

Liverpool

  • 25 Reina
  • 03 Jose Enrique
  • 23 Carragher
  • 34 Kelly (Coates – 34′ )
  • 37 Skrtel
  • 08 Gerrard
  • 19 Downing
  • 20 Spearing
  • 26 Adam (Henderson – 46′ )
  • 07 Suarez (Carroll – 82′ )
  • 18 Kuyt

Substitutes

  • 32 Doni
  • 06 Aurelio
  • 16 Coates
  • 38 Flanagan
  • 14 Henderson
  • 33 Shelvey
  • 09 Carroll
Ref: H Webb
Att: 18,033

Man City V Chelsea

 

Team news from Man City v Chelsea, Spurs v Stoke, QPR v Liverpool, and Everton v Arsenal

Updated: Wednesday, 21 Mar 2012 07:13

courtesy of RTE

After a six-month absence - Tevez is set to return from the cold
After a six-month absence – Tevez is set to return from the cold

 

Manchester City v Chelsea, 7.45

Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez could be named on the bench for the crucial clash against Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium.

The Argentinian has not played since September due to his infamous dispute with the club but has now been back in training for five weeks.

City have central defensive problems with Joleon Lescott (groin) out and Vincent Kompany (calf) very doubtful but right-back Pablo Zabaleta (hamstring) and midfielder Gareth Barry (back) are fit.

John Terry will miss the game at Eastlands.

Blues captain Terry has been feeling the strain of playing twice in four days following his remarkable recovery from knee surgery.

Caretaker manager Roberto Di Matteo is confident the defender will be fit for Saturday’s game with Tottenham.

Manchester City squad: Kenny, Cerny, Murphy, Young, Gabbidon, Onuoha, Ferdinand, Taiwo, Traore, Hall, Hill, Derry, Diakite, Barton, Buzsaky, Taarabt, Smith, Mackie, Wright-Phillips, Hulse, Bothroyd, Zamora, Cisse.

Chelsea squad: Cech, Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Luiz, Cahill, Cole, Bertrand, Mikel, Essien, Meireles, Ramires, Lampard, Mata, Malouda, Drogba, Torres, Sturridge, Kalou, Turnbull

Tottenham v Stoke City, 7.45

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has stressed anyone “not in the right frame of mind to play” following Fabrice Muamba’s cardiac arrest at White Hart Lane on Saturday will be allowed to sit out the visit of Stoke City.

Striker Emmanuel Adebayor is again a doubt (hamstring) and defender Ledley King (knee) will be assessed.

Winger Aaron Lennon remains sidelined with a hamstring problem while William Gallas is fit again following a calf injury.

Defender Michael Dawson (ankle), goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes (knee), and midfielder Tom Huddlestone (ankle) are out.

Goalkeeper Asmir Begovic is set to return to the Stoke team. Begovic has regained his spot as first-choice keeper for league fixtures and should come back in to replace Thomas Sorensen, who played in the 2-1 FA Cup quarter-final defeat at Liverpool on Sunday.

Striker Ricardo Fuller misses out again through suspension following his sending off against Chelsea.

Tottenham squad: Friedel, King, Assou-Ekotto, Kaboul, Walker, Parker, Livermore, Bale, Modric, Sandro, van der Vaart, Adebayor, Saha, Defoe, Gallas, Cudicini, Nelsen, Rose, Kranjcar.

Stoke squad: Begovic, Sorensen, Huth, Upson, Shotton, Shawcross, Wilkinson, Wilson, Woodgate, Whelan, Whitehead, Etherington, Diao, Pennant, Delap, Palacios, Jones, Jerome, Crouch, Walters.

Everton v Arsenal, 8.00

Everton are likely to be without Darron Gibson, Jack Rodwell and Seamus Coleman for the visit of Arsenal to Goodison Park.

Gibson is still struggling with a knee problem, while fellow midfielder Rodwell has suffered a slight recurrence of a hamstring injury and winger Coleman picked up a knock in the FA Cup draw with Sunderland on Saturday.

But playmaker Steven Pienaar is back available to Toffees boss David Moyes after being cup-tied for the Black Cats clash.

Everton squad: Howard, Mucha, Neville, Hibbert, Distin, Jagielka, Heitinga, Duffy, Baines, Cahill, Drenthe, Fellaini, Pienaar, Osman, Barkley, Gueye, Jelavic, Stracqualursi, Anichebe, Vellios.

QPR v Liverpool, 8.00

Adel Taarabt is back in contention for QPR’s home tie against Liverpool.

Playmaker Taarabt missed Rangers’ controversial defeat at Bolton 10 days ago with a hamstring strain but has had plenty of time to recover.

Injury-plagued striker DJ Campbell is back in training and could return early next month, as could top scorer Heidar Helguson (groin).

Liverpool’s Glen Johnson and forward Craig Bellamy are both likely to miss the trip to London.

The former has not played since the Carling Cup final victory over Cardiff last month while Bellamy has sat out the last two matches.
Centre-back Daniel Agger is still recovering from a broken rib.

QPR squad: Kenny, Cerny, Murphy, Young, Gabbidon, Onuoha, Ferdinand, Taiwo, Traore, Hall, Hill, Derry, Diakite, Barton, Buzsaky, Taarabt, Smith, Mackie, Wright-Phillips, Hulse, Bothroyd, Zamora, Cisse.

Liverpool squad: Reina, Kelly, Carragher, Skrtel, Enrique, Spearing, Gerrard, Henderson, Downing, Carroll, Suarez, Doni, Flanagan, Coates, Adam, Shelvey, Rodriguez, Kuyt.

Blackburn V Sunderland

Blackburn are seeking a seventh league win of the season

Blackburn are seeking a seventh league win of the season
courtesy of RTE

Tuesday’s Premier League team news

Tuesday, 20 March 2012 07:57

Blackburn Rovers will look to pull further away from the relegation zone when Sunderland visit Ewood Park.

Rovers manager Steve Kean has virtually a fully-fit squad to choose from.

Defender Bradley Orr missed the win at Wolves last time out with a hamstring problem but has returned to training and played in a practice match last week.

 

Midfielder David Dunn has recovered from an Achilles injury so only Vince Grella is unavailable.

Sunderland full-back Phil Bardsley is fighting to be fit for the trip to Lancashire.

The former Manchester United defender is battling to shake off a rib injury to retain his place in the team, although left-back Kieran Richardson has been ruled out with the calf problem which kept him out of Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final draw at Everton.

Striker Stephane Sessegnon completes his three-match ban and will be available for Saturday’s league clash with QPR, a game midfielder Lee Cattermole will sit out as he serves the last instalment of his four-match suspension, and defenders Wes Brown (knee) and Titus Bramble (Achilles/calf) remain on the sidelines.

Blackburn squad: Robinson, Orr, Dann, Givet, Hanley, Lowe, Martin Olsson, Pedersen, Petrovic, Nzonzi, Hoilett, Dunn, Yakubu, Formica, Modeste, Goodwillie, Marcus Olsson, Rochina, Vukcevic, Henley, Blackman, Bunn

Sunderland squad: Mignolet, Gordon, Bardsley, Bridge, O’Shea, Turner, Kilgallon, Kyrgiakos, Lynch, Gardner, Larsson, Elmohamady, McClean, Vaughan, Meyler, Colback, Bendtner, Wickham, Ji, Campbell.

BUTTON WINS DOWN UNDER

McLaren's Jenson Button has won the Australian Grand Prix

McLaren’s Jenson Button has won the Australian Grand Prix
courtesy of RTE

Button makes perfect start Down Under

Sunday, 18 March 2012 12:27

Jenson Button rekindled memories of his title-winning campaign of 2009 with a season-opening victory in today’s Australian Grand Prix.

Button took the chequered flag that year in Melbourne, then with Brawn GP, and went on to claim his maiden crown in glorious fashion.

Three years on and Button was again triumphant in Melbourne for McLaren, romping to his third success Down Under in the past four years and the 13th win of his Formula One career.

 

Despite a safety car event two thirds of the way through the 58-lap race, Button was relatively untroubled, finishing 2.2 seconds clear of reigning double world champion Sebastian Vettel, with Lewis Hamilton third.

Red Bull’s Mark Webber was in close attendance in fourth, whilst Ferrari will view Fernando Alonso’s fifth place as a triumph of sorts given their troubled winter and the fact he started 12th.

Williams’ Pastor Maldonado should have finished a stunning sixth, which would have given the team more points from this one race than they scored in the whole of last season.

However, the Venezuelan crashed out on the final lap, seemingly through no discernible reason, hitting a wall and leaving his car stricken on track.

There was no safety car, though, as instead the field behind went past under yellow flags, albeit bunching up and sparking a furious fight to the finish.

Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi grabbed sixth, with Kimi Raikkonen seventh on his Lotus debut and return to F1 after two years away in rallying.

The second Sauber of Sergio Perez was eighth, and despite a previously troubled race Daniel Ricciardo was ninth in his Toro Rosso on home soil, whilst Paul Di Resta jumped from 13th to 10th on the final lap to grab the last point in his Force India.

Forming on the grid, it was the first all-British front row for 17 years – the last in Adelaide in 1995 with Damon Hill on pole ahead of David Coulthard – and McLaren’s first for two and a half years.

That followed a captivating qualifying showdown yesterday in which Hamilton claimed the 20th pole of his Formula One career.

But once the five reds lights disappeared to signal the start of the 2012 F1 season, it was Button who made the better getaway in comparison to his compatriot, getting his nose in front going into the first corner.

Further down the field the starts for Ricciardo, Nico Hulkenberg in his Force India, as well as Williams’ Bruno Senna, were not what they would have wished for.

A midfield tangle saw Ricciardo clip Senna, momentarily sending the Brazilian up into the air, the collision forcing both men into an early pit stop.

As for Hulkenberg, who had qualified in a fine ninth place, the young German retired almost instantly as he was tagged from behind, picking up a flat tyre and was unable to make it back to the pits.

He was followed into retirement on lap two by Romain Grosjean, whose dream of qualifying third in his Lotus yesterday turned into a nightmare just three minutes into the race.

Having appreciably dropped down the pecking order at the start, Grosjean was tagged by Maldonado which led to a break of his front-right suspension.

Ahead, though, it was the perfect start from Button who simply had the edge on Hamilton who appeared not to do anything wrong.

A rare mistake from Vettel on lap six almost proved costly as he came under pressure from behind from Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg and Alonso.

That was at a point when he was attacking Michael Schumacher in his Mercedes, the seven-times champion retiring five laps later due to a loss of drive under braking into turn one.

For Button, there followed a stroll around Melbourne’s Albert Park, although there would have been some consternation on lap 37 when the safety car was brought into play.

That was due to Vitaly Petrov on his Caterham debut retiring his car along the start-finish straight.

Having pitted for a second time moments earlier, the safety car cost Hamilton and aided Vettel who had yet to stop again, the latter leapfrogging the Briton into second.

Four laps behind the safety car followed, with half of one of those comically behind the flatbed recovery truck sent out to collect Petrov’s car as it would have been too dangerous for the entire field to lap the vehicle.

Once the safety car disappeared, though, it was a straightforward run to the line for the leaders, with the exception of the highly-unfortunate Maldonado.

If you believe in omens five of the past six winners of this race have gone on to win the world title.
Savouring his latest success Button said: “As we all know every win means a lot, and for us as a team it shows how important the winter is.

“We’ve had a atrong winter, so it’s nice to come away with a victory. The guys back in the factory in Woking have done a fantastic job.

“This will help them push harder so a big thank you to everyone. It’s a fantastic day.”

Vettel appreciated the safety car probably aided his cause as he said: “We would have had a good shot at it anyway even wthout that, but surely it did help a little.

“Congratulations to Jenson, he drove a fantastic race, he was unbeatable today.

“But I’m very happy with second, it’s good points and a lot of people would not have throught this possible after yesterday.”

Hamilton naturally looked downcast as he said: “Congratulations to Jenson and McLaren.

“But we’ve plenty more races ahead, so I’ll just have to keep my head down.

“This was a tough race, but quite a positive to come here with good pace, and we can build on that.”

  •  
Nico Rosberg

19 March 2012Last updated at 08:39 GMT

Australia GP 2012: Gary Anderson’s technical review

By Gary AndersonBBC F1 technical analyst

The foundations for Jenson Button’s victory in the Australian Grand Prix were laid long before Sunday afternoon in Melbourne.

Button lost out on pole position to team-mate Lewis Hamilton but he drove away to a dominant victory after taking the lead at the start.

His good getaway gave him the track position he needed, but it was his preparation work throughout the weekend that allowed him to beat Hamilton.

In my opinion, Button plans a race better than Hamilton, while Hamilton is better at driving by the seat of his pants.

So a one-off special qualifying lap is Hamilton’s speciality.

“McLaren look like they’re going to have a good year, but whether they can stay ahead depends on their pace of development compared to the others”

I think Button concentrated more on the car with race levels of fuel in it and made sure he knew what the car was going to do in that state.

Button’s race pace was faster than Hamilton’s but they wore their tyres out at the same pace.

If you’re going to drive slowly to look after the tyres, you’re going to get beaten. So what you need is the set-up to allow you to drive quickly at the same time, which is what Button had.

Hamilton didn’t look a happy bunny after the race, but he didn’t do much wrong. He just didn’t get quite enough right, and then the safety car caught him out.

He would probably have held on to second place if it had not been for that.

It would have been hard for Sebastian Vettel to pass him in conventional fashion using the DRS overtaking aid because the McLaren was faster on the straights.

Vettel would have had to harass him and try to dive up the inside somewhere else.

McLaren called the first pit stops too late. They dropped a second, then another second and then they brought Button in.

“Ferrari need to look at the real world and accept they’re in a bit of trouble – and I think Malaysia this weekend will be even worse for them”

Hamilton had to wait another lap and that lost him four seconds. That would be my biggest disappointment in the team if I was him.

McLaren got away with that because they were so strong in the first stint, while Vettel was still battling past other cars.

It was no-one’s fault that Vettel passed Hamilton when the safety car was deployed.

McLaren stopped their cars on the same lap, which they could do because Button had a big enough margin to Hamilton, who could in straight afterwards without losing time.

But when the safety car came out almost immediately afterwards, Vettel was inside the last circuit sector so could keep the hammer down.

Hamilton, meanwhile, had to slow down to the required caution speed. So he got caught. It happens.

McLaren look like they’re going to have a good year, but whether they can stay ahead depends on their pace of development compared to the others.

RED BULL

Red Bull were more competitive in the race than in qualifying. The reason for that was probably that the track offered more grip as more rubber was laid down in the race.

That changes the relative competitiveness of the cars – if your car lacks a little grip, you pick up a lot more from the extra rubber.

MERCEDES

Mercedes slipped back badly in the race after a strong qualifying and that was because they used up their tyres quicker than the others.

That was a fundamental problem last year, so it appears for now as if they have not fixed it.

But it would be wise to give Mercedes a couple of races to find out where they are because clearly they had a bad day.

FERRARI

Ferrari finished fifth with Fernando Alonso, which was a good result for them after he qualified 12th. But that result flattered the car.

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso battled his way up the field from 12th to finish fifth in Melbourne

They would probably say they got away with that one, but they’re not going to get away with many more because there are plenty of people who might well have finished ahead of them.

Both Lotus drivers should probably have been there, possibly a Mercedes, and the Williams looks strong enough to be a pain, too.

TECHNICAL REVIEW

MERCEDES

Mercedes were the focus of controversy in Melbourne because of their DRS-operated ‘F-duct’ speed boost system.

I’ve been poking around near the car and it’s clear how it works.

When the DRS overtaking aid opens on the rear wing, it reveals a hole in the endplates.

That allows the underneath of the front wing, which is at a low pressure, to suck air from there right through the car.

“Unless it’s banned, the others will probably all have something similar on by Barcelona in May – but it’s a very expensive thing for a small gain”

It goes down the endplates, along the lower beam wing, through some pipes and ducting in the cockpit, down the front wing pillars, into the front wing and out of a slots on the bottom of the front wing.

That reduces the front downforce of the car, which has two effects.

It cuts drag, therefore boosting straight-line speed even more than it already would be just by opening the DRS flap.

But it also makes the car more balanced front to rear in high-speed corners in practice and qualifying, where DRS use is free, because the main problem with F1 cars in fast corners is they have too much front downforce.

They’ll have a restrictor in there that they can change from track to track depending on need.

Unless it’s banned, the others will probably all have something similar on by Barcelona in May – but it’s a very expensive thing for a small gain.

Michael Schumacher's Mercedes

Mercedes’ rear wing caused quite a stir during the Australian Grand Prix weekend

It means new rear-wing endplates and tubes in the beam wing and through the car, plus lots of new rear-wing endplates. You’re looking at £150-200,000 to develop it.

And all the others will have to move their DRS actuation system. On the Mercedes it’s in the rear-wing endplates, which is what allows them to have the hole, which otherwise is illegal. The others all have theirs in the centre of the wing.

I’m not sure they get that much advantage out of it.

Their straight line speed is not as good as the McLaren, which has the same engine and the car is not as consistent.

If it did really work well you might get 0.1-0.2secs a lap, which is a lot of time, but how much engineering has gone in to get that to work, and is it always helping you?

Those are the questions that will be asked.

Gary Anderson was talking to Andrew Bens

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