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Carragher bows out as Reds defeat QPR
Published : 19 May 2013 18:47:11Rss feed
The veteran centre-back brought the curtain down on a first-team career spanning 16 years 131 days - the seventh longest in the club's history. Such is his longevity the 35-year-old has served under six different permanent managers at Anfield but his own influence on the team during that time cannot be underestimated
And while the day was rightly a celebration of his achievements, the fact the game had the slight feeling of a testimonial would not have impressed the ultra-competitive, ultra-professional Carragher.
Coutinho's sweet strike provided the only goal but the difference between the two sides was huge and Liverpool should have put a hatful.
There was a sense of out with the old and in with the new as 17-year-old Jordon Ibe, signed from Wycombe, made his debut. He was 13 months old when Carragher made his first Liverpool appearance but the youngster was not over-awed by the occasion, and after growing into his left-wing role provided the assist for the only goal
Cutting in from the left he teed up Coutinho to fire home a low shot from 25 yards.
The Brazilian should already have had one to his name as in the opening couple of minutes his low, diving header from Stewart Downing's corner was cleared by full-back Michael Harriman but only after it appeared to have crossed the line.
Loic Remy provided the visitors' only threat, firing one shot wide and then mis-kicking from close range trying to convert Armand Traore's cross.
All afternoon the Kop had been urging Carragher to shoot - from a varying degree of ridiculous angles and distances - but he declined them all until just past the hour.
The ball dropped to him 25 yards out and he smashed a first-time effort which cannoned back off the post with goalkeeper Rob Green well beaten.
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