Premier League: Chelsea 0 QPR 1
By Football News
Queens Park Rangers stole a shock win against Chelsea as former Blue Shaun Wright-Phillips scored the only goal of a game.
The away side barely troubled all night but Rafa Benitez's side were unable to capitalise on their possession as, without Eden Hazard and Juan Mata, they struggled to create against a stout QPR defence.
The relegation strugglers managed to make Chelsea pay as, after a corner broke to Wright-Phillips on the edge of the area, the winger made no mistake and fired an effort into the bottom corner.
Just three minutes in, Chelsea could count themselves lucky to still have 11 players on the pitch after Marko Marin, eager to impress after being awarded a rare start, put in a dangerous challenge on Stephane Mbia – fortunately for the German, Lee Mason deemed it only a booking.
The only real chance of the first half came just two minutes before the break, as an Oscar shot, deflected on its way by Frank Lampard, required a smart save from Julio Cesar to keep the first half goalless.
After that fairly tepid start to the game, the opening of the second half brought a welcome increase in tempo as Chelsea began to create clear-cut chances.
First, Moses was unable to meet a delightful Marin cross and then, minutes later, a Branislav Ivanovic header from a Marin corner clipped the bar on its way over.
The early second half onslaught reached its peak with an excellent chance for Fernando Torres; a deflected David Luiz effort fell to the striker 10 yards out but the Spaniard fired straight at Cesar.
The home side's pressure almost told after 65 minutes as, after sterling work from Victor Moses in the penalty area, the ball fell to Lampard who, after duly firing into the bottom corner, was deemed just offside by the linesman.
As Chelsea were unable to capitalise on their pressure, the second half wore on and, with 10 minutes remaining, a rare corner led to a shock opener for the away side.
After the corner was cleared at the near post, Taarabt deftly laid the ball to Wright-Phillips who found the corner of the goal from 25 yards out.
Chelsea's response was frenetic but chances remained hard to come by, the best chance falling to Ivanovic as he headed a Mata cross just over the bar.