Action packed game sees two sent off, controversial penalty decisions given as Neil Warnock's side records first home Premier League win of campaign over local rivalsA frenetic and extraordinary first half of football set the tone for a enthralling and event packed west London derby as QPR made the best of Chelsea’s misfortune to record its first home win of the season with a Heidar Helguson penalty separating the two rival clubs. Andre Villas-Boas's 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 was still without Fernando Torres who was suspended from action but could still field Didier Drogba, Daniel Sturridge and Juan Mata in the starting XI.
The start to the game for QPR couldn’t have been better. A strong run from Heidar Helguson was seemingly going nowhere until David Luiz showed a lack of composure as he body checked the Icelandic 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 allowing Helguson to take and subsequently convert. Petr Cech did well to get a hand on the rising ball but in it went, and the Rangers’ fans went wild.
A delicious through ball from Taarabt just after half an hour provided an opening for the pacy winger Shawn 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 insert 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 reset on the fly.
With Chelsea playing with huge gaps in its 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.
Chelsea’s best chance of leveling up the affair fell to Anelka whose close range header from an Ivanovic cross from the right was directed directly to Paddy Kenny who gratefully clutched onto the ball. The Chelsea fans couldn’t 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.