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Premier League

  • 23 October 2011
  • • 16:00
  • • Loftus Road Stadium, London
  • Referee: C. Foy
  • • Attendance: 18050

QPR 1-0 Chelsea: Jose Bosingwa & Didier Drogba see red as nine-man Blues blow chance to leapfrog Manchester United

QPR 1-0 Chelsea: Jose Bosingwa & Didier Drogba see red as nine-man Blues blow chance to leapfrog Manchester United

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Action-packed game sees two sent off and controversial penalty decisions as Neil Warnock's side record first home Premier League win of campaign over local rivals

A frenetic and extraordinary first half of football set the tone for an enthralling and action-packed west London derby as QPR made the most of Chelsea’s misfortune to record their first home win of the season with a Heidar Helguson penalty separating the two rival clubs.

Andre Villas-Boas' side played for the entire second half with nine men as Jose Bosingwa and Didier Drogba were both sent off in a fiery and combative game.

Neil Warnock’s men had been beaten 6-0 the last time they faced a team from the capital, and were pumped up as they welcomed their fierce rivals to Loftus Road.

Chelsea were still without Fernando Torres, who was serving the last game of his three-match Premier League suspension, but could still field Didier Drogba, Daniel Sturridge and Juan Mata in the starting XI.

The start to the game for QPR could not have been better. A strong run from Helguson was seemingly going nowhere until David Luiz showed a lack of composure as he body-checked the Iceland international to the ground. The fall from Helguson was dramatic, but it was a foul.

Helguson made for the penalty spot only for Adel Taarabt to show his intent on taking the spot kick, which sparked a minor altercation between the two. The intervention of Shaun Derry and Joey Barton cooled the situation, though, allowing Helguson to take and subsequently convert. Petr Cech did well to get a hand on the rising ball but in it went, much to the delight of the home support.

Both sides were in competitive mood, not wanting to give an inch in a local derby, and this throttled the creative flair on offer. Most attempts at goal were long range or half-chances at best, but it did not dampen the noisy and bubbling atmosphere at Loftus Road.

A delicious through ball from Taarabt just after half an hour provided an opening for pacy winger Shaun Wright-Phillips, who set off in a foot race with Bosingwa, only to be brought down as he approached the penalty box. Referee Chris Foy had seen enough and pulled the red card from his pocket to send the Chelsea man to the dressing room.

The Chelsea players protested as they felt cover was sufficient to rule out Bosingwa being the last man, but the verdict was made and Villas-Boas had to reorder his troops with only 10 men. Taarabt took the resulting free kick but it failed to trouble Cech.

Sturridge, who had looked good to this point, was brought off as Villas-Boas was forced to bring on Branislav Ivanovic to rearrange his side to account for the loss of Bosingwa.

With the half coming to an end, matters got a whole lot worse for Chelsea as a mindless two-footed lunge from Drogba reduced his side to nine men and Neil Warnock’s side were in heaven.

The Ivorian had lost possession of the ball and was clearly frustrated as he flung himself at the ankles of Taarabt, who needed treatment following the foul.

Another enforced substitution followed with Juan Mata, who had earlier taken a nasty tumble, being replaced with Nicolas Anelka as Chelsea frantically tried to reorganise with their nine men.

The half-time cups of tea did not dampen the spirit and derring-do of both sets of players as the second period continued in the same vein as the first. Tackles were flying in and the commitment of all involved were sustaining the excellent spectacle, and when Derry and Frank Lampard had stern words with one another, referee Foy booked them both to quell any further silliness.

With Chelsea playing with huge gaps in their formation, space was always open for QPR to exploit and Taarabt did just that when his defence splitting pass found Luke Young. Had his right-footed shot not flashed across the face of goal the home side could have sealed the win right there, but Chelsea were reprieved and fought on.

A pair of possible openings did come Chelsea’s way. Frank Lampard tumbled to the ground under a challenge from Fitz Hall but Chris Foy was not interested and replays highlighted that Lampard made the most of the contact, but it will be argued that it was no different from the Luiz foul that led to the only goal. Only moments later it was Luiz himself who was held by Helguson but once again the officials were not impressed.

Chelsea’s best chance of levelling up the affair fell to Anelka, whose close range header from an Ivanovic cross from the right was directed at Paddy Kenny, who gratefully clutched onto the ball. The Chelsea fans could not believe the Frenchman had missed from such a short range and were cursing their luck once more.

On a day which saw a historical result at Old Trafford, the game at Loftus Road will live long in the hearts and minds of QPR fans as Chelsea will be left wondering what went wrong.

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