BEWARE the old boy. Shaun Wright-Phillips returned to Chelsea to give QPR their first win at Stamford Bridge in almost 30 years.
Those Chelsea fans are anticipating more new faces arriving this month, with Demba Ba who completed his £7,5million move from Newcastle today in time to play at Southampton in Saturday’s FA Cup tie. With Daniel Sturridge left for Liverpool, a new striker was an absolute necessity.
Ba arrives in top form. He has 13 goals in a struggling side and 29 in 59 appearances for Newcastle. Not a bad return for a player said to have dodgy knees and one who was rejected by half a dozen clubs as his career struggled to get started. He will also give the Blues a more muscular presence in a side packed full of fleet-footed midfielders. And the need for that was evident in the first half, as the hosts dominated possession yet failed to find a killer pass.
David Luiz, went close as his miscued shot bounced into the turf and over the bar. Torres, who has had a decent season himself, with 14 goals, revealed his more frustrating side by shinning a good chance and then shrugging nonchalantly at his poor technique. For QPR, this was the start for which they were hoping. Manager Redknapp said it was vital that his team kept a clean sheet for 20 minutes or they could “do a Villa” and ship a hatful of goals. They lost Junior Hoilett after just 15 minutes to a hamstring injury, which brought Chelsea old boy Wright-Phillips into the action.
And he soon had Turnbull scrambling with a well-struck shot that drifted wide of the far post. The Blues went close to scoring just before half-time when Frank Lampard inadvertently deflected an Oscar shot, which brought a great save from Julio Cesar. Victor Moses smashed the rebound over the bar. Shaun Derry, who was incensed when Marin was not sent off, exacted revenge just before the break with a forearm across the German, which went unpunished. Marin chose to showcase his skills instead. He turned Derry inside out at the start of the second half and fired a great low ball across the face of goal, with no one supplying the tap-in.
Chelsea turned the screws, Ivanovic heading Marin’s corner on to the top of the bar. QPR could not get the ball out of their half and looked rattled. Even skipper Clint Hill caught the bug, making a dreadful clearance straight to Luiz on the edge of the area. His shot cannoned off Wright-Phillips and straight to Torres 10 yards out. The Spaniard hit it first time, hard, and Cesar made a brilliant save.
Marin was clattered by Hill and made way for Hazard, who was instantly in the game, probing and running at the Rangers defence. QPR finally broke free and almost claimed the lead as Taarabt, playing a lone striker role, slipped in Jamie Mackie only for Gary Cahill to make a great tackle to deny him. Derry, unmarked at the back post, then headed the corner straight at Turnbull. The respite was brief. Moses shot just wide and Lampard had the ball in the net but was pulled up for offside.He was swiftly joined by Mata as Benitez looked for inspiration to break down a QPR defence that were, at last in a torrid season, battling like you would expect of a team stuck at the bottom of the table.
“I don’t regret the changes because we can’t carry on with the same players in every game,” said Benitez, whose appointment in November was unpopular with many fans. “If you’re playing a team at the bottom of the table at home, you have to trust your players.” -Rafa on rotation policy after the game
- Chelsea 0-1 QPR (guardian.co.uk)
- Chelsea 0 QPR 1 match report: Shaun Wright-Phillips scores winner (dailymail.co.uk)
- Chelsea vs. QPR: Shaun Wright-Phillips’ Winner Gives Rangers a Shocking Win (bleacherreport.com)
- Chelsea 0-1 QPR: Match report, pictures and video highlights (thesun.co.uk)
- QPR win at Chelsea for first time in 30 years (ibnlive.in.com)