In spite of the glorious weather, the importance for both sides to pick up some points and the added spice of a London derby, QPR versus Chelsea turned out to be something of a dud. However, the Blues managed to grind out a precious win courtesy of a late, late Cesc Fabregas winner, strengthening their grip on the Premier League title while sending QPR further into relegation trouble. So what did we learn from the game?
1. QPR have what it takes to stay up
After looking dead and buried under Harry Redknapp earlier in the season, QPR are now a much-improved side as Chris Ramsey stakes a serious claim to be given the job on a permanent basis. In the past three games, they have thrashed West Brom away from home, secured a creditable draw at Aston Villa when they arguably should have taken all three, and lost in galling fashion to league leaders Chelsea. The Rs were the better side against the Blues on Sunday, displaying a resilience and dogged work ethic – Joey Barton, Charlie Austin and Steven Caulker the standout players – which suggests that they may have enough to avoid relegation, despite this sucker-punch of a defeat.
2. Win, lose or draw, the title is Chelsea’s
Arsenal fans would have been gutted to see Cesc Fabregas – a former Gunners idol – grabbing a late winner against QPR to send the Blues seven points clear at the top with a game in hand, but the reality is that the title belonged to Chelsea a long time ago anyway. Jose Mourinho’s men were not at their best against the Rs, but they didn’t need to be – their rivals have left it too late to mount a serious title challenge. Jose would have been relieved that his side managed to secure a win, but in truth they can afford to slip up between now and the end of the season.
3. Crowd ensures the game is not a derby to forget
On the pitch, entertainment and thrills were at a premium with the only major incident happening at the very end, but the wonderful supporters at least ensured that this game did not turn into a complete borefest. This game had a feel of a genuine London derby, with both sets of fans urging their players on from first until last. If only other Premier League clubs could take note.