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Reds must learn from meltdown - Dalglish

22 March 2012, 15:09

England - Kenny Dalglish admits Liverpool must learn from their stunning meltdown against QPR if they are to avoid their Premier League season drifting to a disappointing end.

Dalglish's side threw away a two-goal lead in the final 13 minutes to lose 3-2 to struggling QPR at Loftus Road on Wednesday.

And the Reds boss admits he is concerned his side may suffer in the FA Cup semifinal, when they face Everton or Sunderland at Wembley, if they continue to fail to close games out.

But Dalglish was puzzled as to how Liverpool managed to go from being in control thanks to goals from Sebastian Coates and Dirk Kuyt, to leaving west London with nothing after Shaun Derry, Djibril Cisse and Jamie Mackie had hit back.

Dalglish, who had admitted ahead of the game that his side need to win all 10 of their fixtures if they were to hope for a top four spot, said: "I don't think anybody saw it coming.

"We started fantastically, the only thing that was missing was a bit of luck in front of goal.

"We could have been three or four-nil up by halftime. There is not much more we can say, we don't have any answers as to what happened. We have to find them if we are to learn from it.

"The main thing we have to learn is that it is not over until it's over.

"There was a fair bit of feeling about how we would approach the game and how the players were feeling after qualifying for the FA Cup semifinal.

"Most of the game we were dominant, professional. They did concentrate for most of the game and we were constructive in so many parts of it. But QPR have walked away with three points.

"We never got what we deserved, but that is life, I suppose. I can't explain it."

For QPR, both Mackie and manager Mark Hughes believe the result could be the catalyst for survival.

The win was only their second in 17 games and took them out of the bottom three and two points clear of the relegation zone.

Hughes said: "It could be a defining moment. I think we have to make sure it is. We might look back at tonight and say this is where it all turned for us.

"It's huge in terms of the belief we can take out of it, but it is important we look to the weekend and make sure it doesn't go to waste."

Goal-hero Mackie added: "You could see the reaction of the fans, that changes our season now. It was a great performance and we really dug in."

Liverpool had started the game well and could have been 4-0 up inside the opening 12 minutes, as Luis Suarez, Martin Skrtel and Kuyt had chances denied.

Coates fired Liverpool in front nine minutes after the break with a spectacular overhead kick, before Kuyt latched onto the rebound from Paddy Kenny's save off Stewart Downing's shot to double the visitors' lead.

But Derry rose to meet Adel Taarabt's corner to head in his first goal for QPR, before Cisse did the same to level the scores against his old employers.

And Mackie took advantage of some sloppy defending in stoppage time to race onto Luke Young's through-ball and score what could be a crucial goal for both ends of the table.

Hughes added: "I have possibly have had a comeback like this as a manager but I can't think of one. Tonight is right up there and I think everyone sensed the emotion and significance of the result.

"We may look back at this result and say this is where it all changed for us. We have to make sure this is the case."

Sapa / AFP


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