QPR 1-0 Chelsea – Match Review

Heidar Helguson’s penalty was enough to hand QPR their first home win of the season at the expense of London rivals Chelsea who had two players sent off before half time.

The R’s had failed to win in four attempts at Loftus Road and were expecting that run to continue as Andre Villas-Boas’ Blues came to town looking to make it seven wins from eight games and keep pace with both Manchester rivals at the Premier League summit. It wasn’t to be though as Helguson struck from the spot after 10 minutes before Jose Boswinga and Didier Drogba were sent off in a horror first period. The win lifts Neil Warnocks side back into the top-half of the table with 12 points from nine games representing a fantastic return for the newly promoted side. With the Manchester derby proving to be the showcase of the weekend this London derby was pushed into the shadows but emotions still ran high in a heated contest that saw seven yellow cards brandished alongside two reds. Rangers went into the game knowing they hadn’t beaten Chelsea in over 16 years and dominated possession from the moment referee Chris Foy blew his whistle to start the game.

A fiery opening 10 minutes saw QPR put their visitors under pressure at every opportunity with David Luiz struggling to contain Helguson’s movement in and around the 18 yard box. The Blues struggled to get into their usual rhythm and it was no surprise when they fell behind after 10 minutes. Brazilian Luiz was the culprit barging his chief tormentor Helguson over in the penalty area giving Foy no choice but to point to the spot. The Icelandic striker took the ball away from Adel Taarabt and fired the spot kick past Petr Cech for his second goal in consecutive games. It was a lead the hosts throughly deserved and they didn’t rest on their laurels as they bombarded Chelsea with their pace and power proving too hot for the visitors to handle. Their cause wasn’t helped as Boswinga was dismissed on 29 minutes for hauling down former Blues winger Shaun Wright-Phillips who was clean through on goal. Foy instantly flashed a red card in the Portuguese fullback’s direction who will feel hard done by. It got even worse for the away side as Drogba was sent off was sent off five minutes before half time for a wild two-footed lunge on Taarabt.

Half time couldn’t come quick enough for Chelsea and they came out a different proposition despite being down to nine men. Branislav Ivanovic was thrown on after the restart forcing Paddy Kenny into a smart save with a long range effort after Frank Lampard saw his header deflected wide from close range. That was as good as it got for the Blues until the final minutes and Luke Young should have doubled the Hoops advantage missing two good chances. Firstly he fired wide after being put through by Taarabt before hesitating minutes later after finding himself with the ball in front of goal. Chelsea rallied in search of an equaliser but just couldn’t find a way past Kenny who kept out Nicolas Anelka’s powerful header from a superb Ivanovic delivery. Lampard then deflected Luiz’s overhead kick onto the bar in a frantic final few minutes as QPR held on for a valuable three points.