Nine-Man Chelsea Stunned By QPR
Newly promoted Queens Park Rangers won the West London derby against Chelsea whom they edged 1-0 yesterday at the Loftus Road where the Blues conceded seven yellow cards and two red ones.
Helguson scored the only goal of the meeting from penalty, while Chelsea finished the game inside the opposite half. Chelsea were the first to trouble the rivals in the second minute when Daniel Sturridge finished a one two action with Didier Drogba wide. Former Chelsea midfielder Shaun Wright Phillips then hindered Raul Meireles of increasing the danger on the other end.
Chelsea dominated the early minutes with ease but the unexpected was yet to come for Andre Villas Boas’s side. Heidar Helguson earned his team a penalty in the tenth minute after being taken down inside the box by David Luiz with the referee showing the white spot despite the Blues claims. The same Helguson converted home though Chelsea keeper Petr Cech managed to touch the ball.
Sturridge tried his luck with a shot from distance in the 15th minute but the finish was blocked by Hill who gifted the visitors a corner. Chelsea won a corner in the 21st minute which the Blues failed to manage properly, allowing Ferdinand to clear the air.
Phillips got his first chance in the 31st minute following an action on the left which the former Blues player finished into the stands. Two minutes later Bosingwa was sent off due to a tough challenge on the same Phillips. Taarabt took the responsibility for the eventual free kick but his delivery was saved by Cech.
Boas was forced to strengthen his defence so the Portuguese manager replaced Sturridge with Ivanovic. Mata created a personal exquisite on his side but the finish could not find anyone inside the box. With four minutes left in the first half Drogba conceded a straight red card for a crazy two foot intervention on Taarabt.
Down to nine, Chelsea could only think of a draw at most. Didier’s elimination forced Boas made another change, introducing Anelka for Mata. The half time went 1-0 as Chelsea were inclined to provide a super effort.
The Blues started the second half with a dangerous action developed by Meireles and continued by Lampard whose finish went just wide from good position. Chelsea managed to create plenty of chances despite playing in nine men. Anelka then picked Ivanovic but the Serb was denied by Kenny at the death.
Mikel saw his first yellow card in the 50th minute for a foul on Taarabt who earned his side an edge of the box set piece. Alejandro Faurlin arranged the ball only to strike it into the stands. Queens Park Rangers picked another yellow card two minutes later through Derry. The hosts then edged their second goal through Young whose finish missed the target.
John Terry tried his luck with a shot from distance in the 56th minute but the Blues captain found the stands. Newly introduced Ivanovic also conceded a yellow card for a challenge on Wright Phillips, while Joey Barton was cautioned by the referee a minute later.
Coach Neil Warnock made a change in the 60th minute, introducing Tommy Smith for Taarabt who looked pretty disappointed about the replacement. A controversial moment occurred in the 67th minute when Frank Lampard was taken down inside the box. The referee showed the game to move on despite Blues penalty claims.
David Luiz saw his first yellow in the 70th minute for a late tackle. The Brazilian was then taken down inside the Queens box with the referee refusing to blow for penalty. Chelsea introduced Florent Malouda for Meireles in the 74th minute as Boas looked decided to fight for a point.
Ashley Cole got his name on the book card in the 77th minute for a foul on Barton. One minute later, Rangers missed a big chance through Helguson who was perfectly picked by Barton. The striker hit it wide to his own dismay. The Blues broke back immediately through Anelka who mocked the biggest chance of the game, following a superb cross from the right which the French striker headed straight at keeper from five yards.
Rangers made a nother change in the 80th minute, replacing Derry with Jamie Mackie. David Luiz also missed a golden opportunity in the 84th minute when the Brazilian, who spent much of the time in attack, took advantage of a poor clearance, hitting the ball with an overhead execution which hit Lampard’s foot before going over the bar.
John Terry was the last Blues player to see a yellow card for fights with the keeper Kenny. Chelsea thus conceded the second loss of the season, but remain third in the standings with 19 points, six behind leaders City and one behind United. Newcastle United are just behind them with the same number of points.
Said Boas after the game: “I am very proud of the team. I don’t have a problem with discipline, I have a problem with referees applying discipline. Penalties can be given or not given, but if he gives a soft penalty like that he has to give soft penalties in the box in our chances on the opposite side as well.”
Chelsea will next host another local rivals, Arsenal, on Stamford Bridge next Saturday, while Queens Park Rangers will also stay in London to face Tottenham Hotspur on the White Hart Lane.
Queens Park Rangers – Kenny; Hill, Ferdinand, Hall, Young; Wright Phillips, Derry, Faurlin, Barton; Helguson, Taarabt. Reserves: B. Orr, J. Bothroyd, Buzsaky, J. Mackie, J. Puncheon, T. Smith, B. Murphy.
Chelsea – Cech; Bosingwa, David Luiz, Terry, Cole; Mikel, Raul Meireles, Lampard, Sturridge, Mata, Drogba. Reserves: O. Romeu, J. McEachran, N. Anelka, F. Malouda, R. Turnbull, S. Kalou, B. Ivanovic.11