Match in a sentence
A dull London derby at Stamford Bridge saw bottom of the table QPR defeat Chelsea and potentially knock them out of the Premier League title race.
- Rafa Benitez decided to give Eden Hazard, Juan Mata, Ramires and Ashley Cole a rest after playing a key role in Chelsea’s 2-1 victory against Everton on Sunday. Benitez replaced them with Ryan Bertrand, Oscar, Victor Moses and Marko Marin made his first Premier League start since joining the club in the summer. Also Ross Turnbull was in goal for the injured Petr Cech.
- Harry Redknapp preferred to set up in a 4-3-3 that saw Adel Taarabt lead the line with Junior Hoilett and Jamie Mackie on the flanks. Redknapp selected Shaun Derry, Esteban Granero and Stephane Mbia to form his midfield three.
- The Blues were always going to dictate the game in terms of possession, and they did, but they struggled to create goal scoring chances for large portions of the first half.
- QPR became a compact 4-5-1 without the ball and the wide men (Hoilett, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Mackie) did a great job in the first half making sure Cesar Azpilicueta and Bertrand were unable to go forward. Marin and Moses also failed to make any significant impact in the first half.
- Redknapp’s men were composed and unlucky not to be playing against a 10 man Chelsea when Marko Marin made a reckless challenge on Mbia. QPR had multiple opportunities to hit Chelsea on the counter but lacked quality going forward, they failed to deliver a final ball and didn’t test Turnbull.
- Chelsea started to create chances in the second half and it was down to Bertrand being able to get past Mackie, which allowed him to overload Nedum Onuoha with Marin. Chelsea was moving the ball quicker in the second half, which allowed spaces to be opened up and QPR legs tired.
- Chelsea nearly took the lead as Frank Lampard smashed a low shot past Julio Cesar, but the linesman rightfully called him offside.
- Benitez introduced Hazard, Mata and Ramires into the game and despite providing an influential spark the Blues were wasteful in front of goal.
- Chelsea was punished in the 77th minute and they were unable to respond. Chelsea failed to clear their lines on a QPR corner kick, and it fell to Taarabt who provided Wright-Phillips with a lovely layoff ball and the former Chelsea player made no mistake smashing his shot past Turnbull.
- Alan Pardew announced in his pre-game interview that Demba Ba will be a Chelsea player, and it may come to some relief for most Chelsea fans. Fernando Torres had another dire performance and with Romelu Lukaku coming back in the summer and Ba on his way, the Spaniard’s days are certainly numbered.
- Many will blame Rafa Benitez for his team selection, but ultimately his players weren’t good enough on the day. They lacked creativity, hunger and they never looked like they were going to score. It also shows that Chelsea lack depth, which is the reason why it’s almost certain that they will be fighting for a European spot rather than the Premier League title.
- On the other hand, Harry Redknapp and his men picked up an unlikely three points that could prove to be significant in their relegation battle. It was QPR’s second win of the season in another London derby and it leaves Redknapp’s men five points away from safety. Although this win might not turn their season around, it does give them belief that they can stay in the Premier League. With so many poor sides in the Premier League anything is possible.
- It was QPR’s first win at Chelsea in a league match in nearly 30 years, since a 2-0 win in the old Division Two in April 1983.
- It was Wright-Phillips’ 1st Premier League goal in 54 matches in the division, since netting for Manchester City at West Ham in May 2010: 1-1.
- Shaun Wright-Phillips scores against his former team. He made 82 Premier League appearances (4 goals) for Chelsea from 2005 to 2009.
- Frank Lampard played in his 534th Premier League match against QPR and he is 1 short of entering the top 3 of all-time Premier League appearances.
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