Chelsea booked their place in the last 16 of the FA Cup on Saturday after a controversial penalty saw them defeat west London rivals Queens Park Rangers 1-0 at Loftus Road. The first meeting of the two sides since the stormy clash which led to Chelsea captain John Terry being accused of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand never lived up to the pre-match hype. Rangers defender Ferdinand was spared the awkward dilemma of whether or not to shake Terry’s hand in the pre-match build-up after the FA ruled there would be no handshake shortly before kick-off.
The teams emerge from the tunnel to boos and cheers, aimed at Chelsea and, specifically, Terry. There is an air of anticipation in the crowd about the handshake line-up. But it doesn’t happen and the teams simply take their places on the pitch. Mata pounced on a Luke Young slip in the 12th minute and unleashed a 15-yard drive too close to Paddy Kenny. A fixture that had seen Chelsea reduced to nine men in October was also a more controlled affair and it was almost half an hour before Mike Dean brandished the first yellow card for a Shaun Wright-Phillips foul on Raul Meireles. Ramires should have done better with great cutback opportunity after being released by a wonderful Mata backheel but neither side deserved to be ahead at half-time.
QPR threw on Federico Macheda for Heidar Helguson at the restart but it was Chelsea who flew out of the blocks, with Fitz Hall booked for handball before Sturridge lashed over after great work from Fernando Torres. But the game really exploded into life on the hour mark. Cech parried a Wright-Phillips cross just too far in front of the outstretched foot of Jamie Mackie and Chelsea surged down the other end and won a penalty. QPR were furious at the award but Mata shrugged off the jeers to score, the midfielder celebrating with most of his team-mates in front of the visiting fans. Terry was a notable absentee.
Ramires appeared to have twisted his ankle while blocking a shot and after several minutes’ treatment was carried off on a stretcher to be replaced by Oriol Romeu. Meanwhile, QPR’s Rob Hulse, who was denied a penalty in the dying minutes.
And there was a flashpoint deep into stoppage-time when Young almost snatching a draw when his 20-yard drive was parried by Cech.
Meanwhile, a last-gasp goal from substitute Dirk Kuyt saw Liverpool snatch a 2-1 victory over Manchester United as the Merseysiders booked their place in the last 16. Kuyt punished poor Manchester United defending in the 88th minute, lashing a low shot past David de Gea to send Anfield into raptures after United had failed to deal with a Pepe Reina goal kick.
Booked : Cole(73′), Romeu(90+5′)
Man of the match: Juan Mata
Match rating: 6.0/10.
Possession: QPR 43% Chelsea 57%
Attempts (on target): QPR 4 (3) Chelsea 8 (5)
Referee: Mike Dean
- Chelsea come through stale Cup tie (setanta.com)
- FA Cup match report: QPR 0 Chelsea 1 (thesun.co.uk)
- Chelsea down QPR after spot-kick controversy (thehimalayantimes.com)
- QPR 0-1 Chelsea: Controversial Juan Mata penalty settles derby to send Blues through in FA Cup (goal.com)
- Chelsea beats QPR to reach 5th round of FA Cup (sportsillustrated.cnn.com)