Goalkeeper Rob Green admits QPR need a perfect finish to the season if they are to avoid relegation from the Premier League. An unmarked Leroy Fer volleyed home a corner with 17 minutes to go but Nedum Onuoha’s afternoon took a disastrous turn within the space of five minutes as he was booked for the shirt pull on Martin Skrtel which led to a penalty – which Green saved from Gerrard – before seeing yellow for a second time for a hack on substitute Jordon Ibe. Liverpool ramped up the pressure and three minutes from time Gerrard nipped in to head in Coutinho’s corner. QPR have the worst record in the Premier League for the number of points conceded in the last 10 minutes and it left the players deflated. “It is a feeling of immense disappointment really the way the game went,” added Green. “It is another defeat in the last few minutes against a team no-one would have expected us to take anything from. “It comes down to a good ball into the box and Stevie G meeting it like he did. “Those are the finite details you are working with in the Premier League against top-quality players. “You have a player like Coutinho who can whip in a ball like he can and Steven Gerrard who can attack a ball like he can. “If you concede a lot of corners at some point they are going to be able to meet one.” Head coach Chris Ramsey was equally frustrated. “I have said it week after week: I would rather start the game at 80 minutes,” he said. “We have left so many points on the table after 80 minutes. At 87 (against Liverpool), 88 at Chelsea, 89 at Hull, after 80 at Aston Villa. “Our lapses in concentration are there for everyone to see. We were admirable even after we went down to 10 men.” Steven Gerrard’s 88th-minute header in Liverpool’s 2-1 win at Anfield left the Hoops needing a miracle to stay up. They are seven points from safety with three matches to go and head to the Etihad Stadium to face Manchester City next Sunday knowing they realistically have to win that. However, should other results go against them – although it would involve the improbably scenario of all four teams who are catchable winning – the previous day there is a chance they could already be down before they reach Manchester. But Green is in no doubt they have to win at the Etihad to ensure their remaining two fixtures against fellow strugglers Newcastle and Leicester do not become irrelevant. When the England goalkeeper was told of how other results had gone against them he said: “Great. We need to win all our games. “We probably need a perfect run between now and the end of the season, starting at the Etihad – which is a big ask.” Green said news of the death of team-mate Rio Ferdinand’s wife Rebecca to cancer hours before kick-off had not affected their performance. “We had to go about our business the same as we always do,” he added. “You have adversity in football and everyone at the club is with Rio and his family at this moment.” QPR looked to have given themselves a fighting chance at Anfield as they weathered a storm – mainly helped by Liverpool’s lack of a cutting edge up front – after going behind to Philippe Coutinho’s 19th-minute goal. Press Association
After opening its season on the road and coming away with a victory against defending NCAA champion UC Irvine, the USC men’s volleyball team returns to the Galen Center to host one of its biggest rivals.Spiking it ·Junior Tanner Jansen finished with eight kills in USC’s straight-set victory over the top-ranked UC Irvine Anteaters on Jan. 11. He has 13 kills on the season entering Friday’s match against Stanford. – Ralf Cheung | Daily TrojanThe No. 7 Trojans (1-1) will take on No. 2 Stanford on Friday night, facing off against a squad that has amassed a 4-0 record to begin the season.“They’re a really skilled team,” USC coach Bill Ferguson said. “They’re going to want to get [Stanford middle blocker] Eric Mochalski the ball quite a bit. Brian Cook and Steven Irvin are two of their pin attackers, and those three are what really make them go.”After being swept by UC San Diego in their opening match, the Trojans rebounded with an emphatic win over the Anteaters in straight sets (25-21, 25-23, 27-25). The victory not only enabled USC to earn its first win of the season but also allowed the team to avenge its tough loss at home to UCI in last year’s NCAA championship match.Sophomore middle blocker Robert Feathers shined on both sides of the court, registering a team-high 12 kills to go along with six blocks. Freshman outside hitter Alex Slaught and redshirt junior opposite Tanner Jansen each notched eight kills to pace the Trojan attack alongside Feathers, while the defense was anchored by freshman libero Brooks Varni (eight digs) and sophomore setter Micah Christenson (seven digs).“I liked that no one major stood out,” Ferguson said. “I thought everybody brought something to the table and it was a team victory. The thing that was very important to me was us responding to a bad loss and showing the perseverance to leave that behind and do well in the next match.”Ferguson’s club is attempting to make up for the departures of two key players in the team’s 2012 championship run–outside hitter Tony Ciarelli, the 2012 national player of the year, and All-American middle blocker Steven Shandrick. The Trojan squad consists of 18 underclassmen; of the nine players to start in each of the team’s first two games, only one — opposite Tanner Jansen — holds junior status.“We came out of our staff meeting wanting to make sure our guys were as professional as possible,” Ferguson said. “There are going to be some young guys who aren’t playing as much right now who need to be ready when their number is called. What we really want to see from our younger guys is how well they’re going to respond to adversity, because it’s going to come as the season progresses.”Though Stanford poses a tough challenge, the key to success for the Trojans will be limiting the strong Cardinal attack.“We’re going to expect to see a heavy load of Mochalski, Cook and Irvin. If we can hopefully alter or slow them down a little bit, we’ll have a better shot if we limit one or maybe even two of them,” Ferguson said.Last season, the Trojans defeated the Cardinal in each of the teams’ two meetings, once in Palo Alto in February and again in a late season home game in March. In the first matchup, USC knocked off then-No. 1 ranked Stanford behind 12 kills from Jansen. Senior opposite hitter Maddison McKibbin also chipped in 10 kills in the team’s 3-2 win.In the second meeting, USC again outmatched its foe, this time more handily in a 3-1 win. The Trojans’ defense was particularly strong, limiting the trio of Mochalski, Cook and Irvin to just 27 combined kills The defense will have to contain those three again in order to improve their record to 2-1.USC and Stanford are set to square off at 6 p.m. at the Galen Center.