Action-packed game sees two sent off, and controversial penalty decisions given and not given as Warnock's side record first home Premier League win of campaign
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.
Chelsea were still without Fernando Torres, who was suspended, 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 Helguson was seemingly going nowhere until David Luiz showed a lack of composure as he bodychecked the Icelandic international.
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.
Both sides were in expected 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 didn’t dampen the noisy and bubbling atmosphere at Loftus Road.
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.
And before half-time, the visitors were down to nine. Drogba allowed the ball to squirm away from him, and recklessly lunged in Taarabt with two feet and studs showing. The referee was left with no alternative but send the strike from the field.
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 opening did come Chelsea’s way Frank Lampard tumbled to the ground under a challenge from Fitz Hall. Chris Foy wasn’t 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 lead 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 directly to Paddy Kenny who gratefully clutched onto the ball.
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 feel they missed an opportunity to close the gap at the top of the table.