Queens Park Rangers 3 Liverpool 2
I am in no doubt that tonight will go down in history as one QPR's greatest comebacks. I am also in no doubt that we were not the best team on the pitch tonight for most of the game. For 70 minutes of the match, and at different points, we looked nervy and lost. And Barton really had a terrible game. I believe over the last few months he has become a bit of a scapegoat - in some games he does make the most awful passes but usually more than makes up for it with his efforts up and down the pitch. But tonight I am sorry that he was pretty shocking, and I am so glad that Hughes had the guts to take him off with plenty of time still left on the clock.
It was a Liverpool fan who came to the game - a good friend of mine - who said that when Barton came off, it changed everything. He was absolutely right. Mackie brought pace and passion as he always does. But for me, the man of the match was Shaun Derry. Apart from scoring a goal, he played some really classy football and was solid from the off. I am told by a source that Derry has really come in to his own this season in part due to improved fitness and work rate at training. All power to him for that, it's an inspiration to anyone who thinks they may have be 'past it' in whatever they love to do. Amazing that we are talking about our players from last season - but I guess @sandyhoops was right, and no wonder it rattled Joey Barton enough to make her the first QPR fan he has ever responded to directly on twitter.
As I mentioned, a couple of good friends who are Liverpool fans were at the game. One of them was hiding a few rows behind me among QPR supporters. I tell you. We were so bad and when we had 30 minutes left, I was already quite calmly thinking about the future in the Championship. One of the guys next to me stopped watching - he had his head down between his legs. It was just awful. I wasn't even praying for a miracle anymore.
When we scored the first goal, the minutiae a second's delay in cheering showed just how unsure we were that we had actually scored. There wasn't a huge amount of time left on the clock but I saw Cisse shout at the other team members positively - he was looking like he thought we could still take something out of the game. I was really impressed by that there and then. But did I really think we'd score the second, or the third? In my wildest dreams.
I am not going to write a long philosophical blog tonight. It's a 'school night' and I'm busy watching Match Choice and Match of the Day. For once I'm really looking forward to it.
Suffice to say, that it was nice to meet @sandyhoops properly, who has actually been sitting in front of me more years. And that I hugged about 6 people I really don't know. I hugged them after the second goal we scored thinking 'we've got a point yippeee'. And after the third goal it was almost an orgy. I actually cried some tears tonight because it felt like the most miraculous win ever. And even if Liverpool probably deserved to win, I think the QPR fans deserved this one tonight. It's been a long time coming.
As I say, this has got to go down in history whether we are relegated or not. Something like that Port Vale 4-4 draw all those years ago. Except this time, it's Liverpool. And it's a 3-2 win.