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West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
January 2, 2013
• 2:45 PM
• Stamford Bridge, London
Referee: L. Mason
• Attendance: 41634
Queens Park Rangers
S. Wright-Phillips 78'
That's all from me Rhys Turrell this evening, head over to Goal.com's main site for all the reaction to tonight's upset at Stamford Bridge, as well as reaction from all of tonight's other Premier League games.
All praise must go to QPR, though. They came here and grew in confidence as the game wore on, and when they snatched the opening the goal, they didn't really look like conceding their advantage. Very impressive stuff, and that'll be a real fillip in their bid for survival.
Chelsea were poor from the first minute to the last, and failed to play at the tempo required for a feisty derby, with so much on the line. Benitez made too many changes to his side, and they lacked fluency and creativity against a very well set-up QPR side.
How about that for a start to 2013! QPR thoroughly deserved their win over their west London neighbours Chelsea this evening, and perhaps Harry Redknapp was right when he said they could stay up.
90' + 2'
90' + 2'
Luiz plays a one-two on the edge of the area, but his left footed shot is high and wide.
90' + 1'
Chelsea have still not really done anything to merit getting a point from this game, and they now look certain to slip to defeat.
There will be three minutes of added time.
Close! Mata whips in the ball from the edge of the area, and his in-swinging ball is met by Ivanovic, but his header is over the bar. Why oh why hasn't Mata been playing from the start?
Jamie Mackie might not be a refined player, but he does work very hard, and he's done well both defensively and in attack tonight.
Taraabt has been outstanding this season, he's done a great job high up the field winning and retaining the ball. He could be massive in QPR's survival fight.
Yellow Card Clint Hill
It's terrible from Luiz, who blasts it straight into a nine-man wall. A real waste, and QPR survive - for now.
It would be an understatement to say this is not a fair scoreline. Chelsea have failed to create many clear-cut chances and have been slow and predictable. They have a free-kick right on the edge of the area now though, after a poor foul by Clint Hill.
Here's Liam Twomey's take on the goal: "Oh my. QPR have barely mustered an attack tonight, but they stand on the brink of a sensational victory. With typical poetry, it is a Chelsea old boy who has done the damage, and Shaun Wright-Phillips graciously refused to celebrate his well-taken goal. Rafa Benitez's team have been below-par all evening, and now look increasingly desperate."
This will hardly help endear Rafa Benitez to the Chelsea fans. His side have been poor, and they are now resorting to long shots from range, with little quality.
Torres gets his head to a cross, but its easy for Cesar. Chelsea have been poor all night, how are they going to get back into this?
Assist Adel Taarabt
Goal Shaun Wright-Phillips
And they have scored! Well, the shock of the night is on. The corner is cleared to the edge of the area, where Mbia is standing, he touches the ball to Taraabt and he delicately tees up the ball on the right-side of the penalty area where it is met by Wright-Phillips who smashes the ball across the goal and into the bottom corner of the net. Great goal, and boy do they have a big 10 minutes coming now.
Excellent play from QPR to earn themselves a corner.
Cesar is seeing a lot of the ball, but is not being troubled, several Chelsea attacks are getting as far as the edge of the area before breaking down, and the ball running loose to the goalkeeper.
The Spaniard comes on, and my do Chelsea need him. They've really missed their attacking maestro, and they'll hope his arrival is not to late in the game.
Hazard has been a little quiet since coming on, but he's not the only one who has flattered to deceive tonight. QPR are sitting deeper and deeper however, and that may come to haunt them later in the game.
Ivanovic leads by example by driving the ball forward from the back, and Mbia is forced to clear into touch. Chelsea need that sort of attacking intent in the final 20 minutes.
Liam Twomey: "Chelsea are growing increasingly frustrated. They have upped the pace significantly since half-time, created several presentable chances and even found the net through Frank Lampard, only to be denied by the assistant referee's flag. Eden Hazard has already come on, and Juan Mata looks set to follow if no breakthrough comes soon."
Thankfully for him, Eden Hazard overhits the ball, and Torres cannot reach it as it sails out for a goal kick to QPR.
Shaun Wright-Phillips really is having a dreadful game - and he's just given away a free-kick outside the area in a dangerous position.
The magic moment for Frank Lampard - is denied by the offside flag. The England man shoots past Cesar and into the bottom corner, but he is rightly ruled to be offside as the defenders all stepped up together. A good sign of intent from Chelsea, though.
Oscar is coming more and more into the game. He nips past Derry on the right-side byline, but his cross in not met in the area, and the chance breaks down.
Luiz perhaps shows why he's a defender not an attacker, as his shot from the edge of the area troubles the floodlights rather than the goal of Julio Cesar.
Fantastic tackle by Gary Cahill. Adel Taraabt plays in Jamie Mackie and as the Rangers attacker creates a shooting angle, Cahill comes in and slide-tackles the ball off the QPR man and clear. Fantastic defending by the England man, who almost certainly saved a goal there.
Clint Hill fouls Marin on the edge of the area, but the referee plays as advantage as the ball falls towards Moses, but he cannot get a shot off and the play ends as Cesar grabs the loose ball.
Turnbull makes his first save of the half. Wright-Phillips hares down the right, plays a ball into Taraabt, and he finds Granero just outside the area, and his shot is gloved well by the Chelsea goalkeeper. Good play all round there.
Liam Twomey reports: "Chelsea have started this half with far more urgency than they finished the first, and have already created a couple of good openings. Moments after Victor Moses could only glance Marko Marin's low cross wide on the stretch, Frank Lampard sees a shot from the edge of the box blocked behind and Branislav Ivanovic skims the crossbar with a powerful header. At this rate, a goal is surely coming, and soon."
Demba Ba must be watching tonight and thinking "I could do better than that" when looking at Torres. The Spaniard has not been at his best, but his side are at least creating more chances for him now.
Great save Cesar! Chelsea batter the QPR area, and the ball falls to Torres on right-side of the six-yard box, and his low near post effort is acrobatically turned around the post by the Brazilian goalkeeper. Much better from the hosts here.
Another good chance. Marin swings in a corner, and it's met by the head of Ivanovic who's header clips the bar as it sails over. There was sufficient pressure put onto him by QPR's defence there.
Chelsea have started the second-half much the better, as Marin and Lampard link-up well on the edge of the area, but the latter's shot is blocked and goes wide.
The ball stays in play though, and Marin kinks past Shaun Derry and pops a ball into the area, that Moses can't quite convert. Good chance though, best for Chelsea so far.
Corner for Chelsea, won by Ivanovic, but Marin's delivery is not great.
You have to feel that Esteban Granero is a fine player, so why does he look a bit poor in this team? He's being asked to play deep and lob balls over the top for his team-mates to run onto, and it just seems like a bit of a waste of his talent.
QPR kick-off, and the second half is underway. There are no substitutions to report.
The players are out, and we're ready for the second period at Stamford Bridge.
Here's Liam Twomey's half-time report: "Rafa Benitez has yet to see any reward for mixing things up with his team selection tonight. Chelsea have been slow, narrow and devoid of imagination in the first half, with Marko Marin, Oscar and Fernando Torres particularly disappointing. Shaun Derry has been the best player on the pitch, shielding the QPR back four and stopping Blues attacks by fair means and foul. Is this kind of situation the reason why Chelsea want Demba Ba?"
Chelsea have been very tepid, their pace has been slow, and they have looked too often to attack down the flanks rather than through the middle, and that has made them predictable. Oscar has been quiet, and they miss their little Spanish magician Juan Mata. I wonder how long Rafa Benitez will wait to introduce him into the fray.
Harry Redknapp will no doubt be happy with his side's defending, but they have offered almost no quality going forward, and you feel they may have to improve there if they want to claim three points.
The QPR fans cheer the referee's half-time whistle, whilst there is a muted response from Blues fans - their side have been poor.
Lampard takes a shot from the edge of the area, but his cross-goal lob is wide of Cesar's goal.
45 minutes are up, there will be two minutes of added time.
Oscar goes close for Chelsea. The Brazilian spins inside the area, and his shot takes a deflection of Frank Lampard, forcing Cesar to save with his feet. Good chance, and well done to the goalkeeper.
Perhaps a sign of desperation? Ivanovic takes one look at the crowd of bodies in front of him, and from around 35 yards decides to take a shot. It's well wide, and a total waste. Chelsea need to be more patient than that.
Shaun Wright-Phillips has just not been on the same wavelength as some of his team-mates tonight, and you can see why he started tonight on the bench. His touch is good, and he looks willing, but seems to lack the know-how some of his fellow players have.
Feeble effort from Torres. He gathers the ball on the right side of the area, but his left footed shot dribbles towards goal, and it's easily gathered by Cesar.
Shaun Derry gets some revenge for his midfield partner Mbia with a 'clothesline' on Marko Marin. It was a needless foul, but might make Marin think twice about lunging into a QPR player again...
Here's Liam Twomey's view: "Chelsea aren't playing well enough to create the opening goal, but QPR are doing their best to help the Blues by giving the ball away in their own half. This time, Marin picks the pocket of Mbia and feeds Oscar, but the Brazilian's curler is delected wide by Clint Hill, and the resulting corner comes to nothing. Rafa Benitez's men have several more gears to go to, but they've got to start using them."
Chelsea are starting to put a lot of balls into the box, and they are having some success in causing corners and half-chances, but nothing more than that so far.
A high-hanging ball into the box creates mild panic in the Rangers' area, and Cesar comes through the pack of bodies to punch the ball clear. Kind of. It was hardly an authoritative clearance.
Good chance for Chelsea. Mbia is robbed centrally by Marin who feeds Oscar on the left-side of the area, and he curls for the far corner, but his effort is nodded wide by a well-positioned Clint Hill.
Chelsea look a little lifeless without Mata and Hazard. A lot of the play is slow and predictable - and they are certainly missing their Spanish playmaker on the evidence before us so far.
Moses does well again down the right, and Taraabt tries to foul him, but the Nigeria international skips past the Moroccan.
Chelsea need to up the work-rate and tempo here in order to break down the visitors. They have been too casual so far, and QPR have been comfortable.
Fernando Torres is on the deck 'injured'. Actually, Clint Hill just robbed him of the ball, and the Spaniard did not deal with the situation properly.
Shaun Wright-Phillips has a chance. The tiny winger drifts inside and controls a long-ball forward from Esteban Granero, but he rather hurries the chance and the ball goes comfortably wide.
Our man Liam Twomey is at Stamford Bridge, and reports: "A scrappy game is interrupted by a moment of panic as David Luiz accidentally floors countryman Oscar with a forearm smash to the head. But with Chelsea physios sprinting onto the pitch and paramedics poised on the touchline, the little Brazilian gets gingerly to his feet and play resumes."
Taarabt is dispossessed by Branislav Ivanovic and he plays in Marin down the left, but his slide-rule pass is intercepted and QPR try to launch a counter-attack through Shaun Wright-Phillips, but it comes to nothing.
Twenty minutes on the watch, and it's been quiet at Stamford Bridge.
Mackie runs into Ryan Bertrand on the edge of the penalty area, but it was an accident and is dismissed by referee Lee Mason.
Taarabt tests Turnbull for the first time with a shot from distance, but it's easily gathered by the Chelsea reserve goalkeeper.
Victor Moses is looking good tonight, he's been quick and powerful in midfield, and he almost finds Frank Lampard with a through ball, but it's blocked by Clint Hill.
We're currently enjoying the 'Roberto Di Matteo Celebration Minute'...it will be interesting to see how much longer this 'tradition' goes on for in the long-term...
The former Chelsea man comes on for an injured Hoilett. He's not had the best start to life at Loftus Road, has the former Blackburn man.
David Luiz has a chance on goal. Victor Moses crosses in from the right, and the deflected ball falls to Luiz on the edge of the area, but his half volley is scuffed and it goes comfortably over Julio Cesar's goal.
We've seen the best and worst of Adel Taraabt there. He showed great strength and composure to slide past David Luiz, but he totally wasted the chance with an aimless lob which went off for a goal kick. Bizarre.
It's worth remembering that QPR's only win this season came in another west London derby, when they defeated Fulham 2-1 at Loftus Road. What chance of a repeat this evening?
Chelsea are pretty much camped in the QPR half so far, but the visitor's defensive shape has been good, and they haven't allowed the hosts much time on the ball.
There might not be much action on the field, but there is a healthy atmosphere at Stamford Bridge for this west London derby.
There's been little action other than the foul so far, however Chelsea have looked comfortable on the ball, and are just teasing with Rangers at the moment.
Yellow Card Marko Marin
Marko Marin is a lucky boy not to see red after a very vicious tackle. If that happened later in the game, it would almost certainly have been a dismissal. He over-ran the ball and launched into Stephane Mbia's standing leg. It was poor, dangerous and cowardly.
A confident start from the visitors, who enjoy a period on the ball, but are unable to create an opening...
We're underway at Stamford Bridge
Demba Ba is here tonight, after Newcastle were forced to accept a fee of around £7million which activated a clause in his contract. With Daniel Sturridge leaving Stamford Bridge for Liverpool in a £12million deal, have Chelsea done some of the best business in recent seasons?
That said, Chelsea have found their stride under Rafa Benitez and should be able to record a comfortable win over their near-neighbours this evening.
You would be hard-pressed to predict anything other than a home win tonight, but QPR will be under almost no expectation to do anything, and that may count in their favour.
Right, kick-off is 10 minutes away at Stamford Bridge.
QPR: Cesar; Onuoha, Nelsen, Hill, Fabio; Mbia, Derry; Hoilett, Granero, Taarabt; Mackie. Subs: Green, Ferdinand, Park, Cisse, Wright-Phillips, Dyer, Faurlin.
QPR boss Harry Redknapp makes a few changes to the side which were so comfortably beaten by Liverpool on Sunday, with Fabio, Shaun Derry and Esteban Granero coming into the side.
Chelsea: Turnbull; Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Bertrand; David Luiz, Lampard; Moses, Oscar, Marin; Torres. Subs: Hilario, Cole, Ferreira, Ramires, Mata, Hazard, Piazon.
Chelsea: Rafa Benitez makes a host of changes to his side, with Ryan Bertrand, Marko Marin and Ross Turnbull replacing Ashley Cole, Juan Mata and Petr Cech. Victor Moses and Oscar also gets starts.
Without further ado, here is how the two teams line-up...
I'm Rhys Turrell, and I'll be taking you through all the action from Stamford Bridge, as the hosts look to close the gap to leaders Manchester United, and QPR hope for some unlikely-looking points in their bid for Premier League survival.
Good evening, and welcome to Goal.com's coverage of this evening's west London derby between Chelsea and QPR.
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