Last-placed Queens Park Rangers shocked the European Giants today as they cruised to a win at Chelsea for the first time in 30 years.
Shaun Wright-Phillips, who had formerly played for Chelsea, stole a much-needed 3 points from the Blues as they fell short of Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League table. On the 78th minute, Wright-Phillips found the bottom-left corner of the net after Chelsea failed to fend off a corner kick, ending Chelsea’s 4-game winning streak.
The last time QPR recorded a victory in the West London Derby was in April of 1983, before the existence of the Premier League, which ended in a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge.
In addition to that, this was QPR’s first away win of the entire season. In fact, QPR’s last away win was in November of 2011, over 1 year ago, which certainly makes their triumph an achievement worthy of celebration. Delighted with the results, QPR manager Harry Redknapp said:
“I can’t remember many better wins than this one, with Chelsea flying at the moment.”
QPR’s win could be vital to their staying in the Premier League for next season. They are still tied for last place in terms of points (with Reading) and are in the Relegation Zone, but they are also fairly close to Wigan Athletic and Southampton. Providing QPR has a more successful 2nd half of the season, we could see them dodge relegation just as they did last season, arriving in a close 17th place before Bolton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers, and Wolverhampton Wanderers. Talking about the situation, Redknapp noted:
“They’ve set the standard what they’ve got to do if we are going to get out of this mess.”
On the other hand, Chelsea’s loss could possibly be detrimental. This was yet another defeat recorded under Benitez’s leadership, proving Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich’s decision to sack Roberto Di Matteo a dire mistake. Now they are in 4th place in the league, far behind leaders Manchester United.
Chelsea had already met with QPR this season in September, back when Di Matteo was in charge, and ended scoreless. Benitez made numerous changes to their starting lineup, but failed to avert the threat. He benched Juan Mata, who had been extremely successful this season and started their last 9 games, in favor of inexperienced Marko Marin.
Meanwhile, Fernando Torres continued his season-long starting streak despite Benitez’s promise to rest the Spanish striker. Torres, who had been seemingly dormant for the beginning of the season, partially recovered his fire when Benitez arrived, scoring 7 goals in 6 consecutive games. But in the last 3 games, he has once again been unable to find the net for Chelsea.
In fact, Torres barely even tested QPR goalkeeper Julio Cesar, and with Demba Ba’s transfer from Newcastle to the Blues, he must up his game if he wants to keep his position as Chelsea’s star striker.
The first half saw few shots from either squad. That changed, though, after 45 minutes. Strikes from Ivanovic and Moses were continually shot at the QPR goal, but all had gone wide. Frank Lampard actually scored a goal, which was later ruled offside.
But the tide changed for QPR at the 60 minute mark, when they began setting up dangerous situations for Chelsea. They finally took the lead by virtue of Shaun Wright-Phillips, ending the historic game in a 1-0 win for QPR.
Chelsea have recorded their 4th loss this season against QPR and are now in 4th place with 38 points. They are a total of 14 points behind league leaders Manchester United (52 points), followed by Manchester City in 2nd (45 points) and now Tottenham Hotspur in 3rd (38 points). Meanwhile, despite their win, QPR are still in last with 13 points. They are tied with Reading in terms of points, and are 5 behind Wigan and Southampton. If results hold, QPR will be relegated from the Premier League to the English League Championship next season.