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September 15, 2012
• Loftus Road Stadium, London
Referee: A. Marriner
• Attendance: 18271
Queens Park Rangers
And that's it from Loftus Road this afternoon. I'm Tom McKeown, many thanks for joining me for this thoroughly entertaining match. I hope to see you all again soon.
Mark Hughes' side have another derby next week as they travel to Spurs, while Chelsea face Juventus in midweek as they bid to defend their Champions League crown, before hosting Stoke City next weekend.
It was feisty. It was tense. But, in the end, it was goalless. Chelsea's poor away form continues but they remain unbeaten in the Premier League this season. QPR will be delighted to keep a clean sheet and hold the European champions for a point this afternoon.
90' + 5'
FULL TIME! And the answer is no. It finishes 0-0 here in what has been a truly fascinating London derby.
90' + 3'
Ferdinand is back on the pitch but is merely a passenger standing on the right wing. The hosts still have the ball but can't work it into the danger areas. Seconds left here at Loftus Road. Will we see a winner?
90' + 2'
Ferdinand is still off for treatment but it is QPR who press forward. Cisse tries to get a shot away but loses his balance and Chelsea clear.
90' + 1'
Break in play here as Anton Ferdinand hobbles off. The physios are hard at work putting strapping on what looks like might be a hamstring injury.
QPR push forward and Zamora causes problems in the box, but Chelsea clear for a corner. The visitors produce another fluid counter-attack, and Ramires rolls it back into the path of Lampard, but the midfielder blasts over.
WHAT. A. CHANCE. Moses fires a low cross back into the path of Eden Hazard. You'd bet your house on the 21-year-old as he meets the ball 12 yards out, but he blasts it over and QPR survive. No idea how he missed the target there.
The home side manage to relieve the pressure and now have the ball in the Chelsea half. Park climbs superbly in the area to beat Ivanovic in the air and nod back towards Cisse, but the substitute's touch is too strong and it rolls out for a goal kick.
Chelsea camped in the QPR half now. Mikel tries to fire in an early cross but the home side manage to clear and the Blues come back again.
Sturridge straight into the action as he bursts down the left and tries to run along the by-line. He manages to pull it back towards Ramires but the ball apparently crossed the line and QPR get away with a goal kick.
Torres has endured a frustrating afternoon at Loftus Road, and his day is over as the Blues throw on Daniel Sturridge. The Spain international is either injured or unhappy with the decision as he marches straight down the tunnel.
Chances at both ends! Zamora is released for a one-on-one and rounds Cech but is forced wide and can't find a shot or a killer pass. Chelsea break and Moses tries to sneak one in the near post from the right, but Cesar is able to parry the ball away. Fantastic game, this.
Possession swinging all the time and it's the visitors who are on top now. Hazard can't break through the defence and the Rs are holding firm. An Ivanovic long throw reaches Lampard, but the volley rolls harmlessly into Cesar's arms.
Fantastic challenge from Ryan Nelsen there. Victor Moses was bearing down on the area but the New Zealand captain timed his tackle superbly and launched the ball into the stands.
One of the biggest cheers of the day as John Terry pulls up with an injury. The Blues skipper seems to have shrugged whatever was troubling him off though, and he's back on the pitch after receving treatment.
Mark Hughes clearly thinks the points are there for the taking as he throws on Djibril Cisse for Shaun Wright-Phillips. We're in for a cracking final 20 minutes here.
Chelsea fly forward on the counter through Hazard after Onuoha was dispossessed. The Belgian then rolls it into the path of Torres, who tries to cut inside only to be greeted by Ferdinand, who challenges superbly and clears the danger.
Chelsea have survived that period of pressure and work it to the far corner. Hazard floats a cross over and Ivanovic rises well above Bosingwa to meet the ball, but can't direct the header on target.
The hosts have another effort on goal after Mackie works the ball towards Park, but the midfielder's shot from 20 yards is wayward and goes well over the bar.
QPR definitely having more of the possession, but not much is coming from it. Jose Bosingwa tries to get past former team-mate Branislav Ivanovic, but the big Serb defends well and wins a goal kick.
Brief respite from the action as Mikel goes down after an aerial challenge. The Blues midfielder gets up gingerly but looks ok to carry on.
A signal of intent from Roberto Di Matteo perhaps as he throws on Victor Moses in place of Ryan Bertrand. The Blues have a wealth of attacking talent on the pitch now.
We're really motoring in this second half now. Granero looks to burst into the area and Ramires is forced to produce a good challenge to concede a corner. Chelsea do well to clear their lines but QPR still have possession.
Should have scored! Granero dinks a delightful ball into the area and Park is completely unmarked, but the Rs captain can't direct the header and it goes straight into the arms of Cech. Best chance of the match so far.
Incredible skill from Eden Hazard, who plays an incredible chip from around his legs to find John Terry on the left. The Blues captain is dispossessed much to the delight of the home faithful, and the noise level has multiplied all of a sudden.
Not quite the intense, frantic opening we enjoyed in the first half here. Chelsea win a free-kick on halfway for handball by Wright-Phillips and look to move forward again.
Chance! Lovely bit of passing from QPR and Zamora rolls the ball to Mackie on the edge of the box. The substitute swivels and shoots in one movement but Cech is more than equal to it and comfortably gathers.
Both Hazard and Lampard try and fire shots away but a couple of excellent defensive challenges from the hosts avert the danger. Chelsea still have the ball but are forced to look backwards.
Chelsea immediately get possession, and Onuoha is busy harrying Ryan Bertrand but concedes a free-kick in the process.
QPR start the second half at Loftus Road.
Greg Stobart at Loftus Road: "Half-time at Loftus Road and most of the analysis during the interval will still be on the pre-match handshakes, when Anton Ferdinand snubbed both John Terry and Ashley Cole. On the pitch, it’s been fiercely competitive and end-to-end at times, but neither QPR nor Chelsea have made the right decisions in the final third. The best chance of the first 45 minutes fell to Eden Hazard but the Belgian fired his effort too close to new Rangers goalkeeper Julio Cesar, who has started life in the Premier League rather well."
Chelsea had a couple of decent penalty shouts but neither were given, while QPR were forced to make two changes through injury. Can the hosts shock the league leaders and repeat last year's win, or will Chelsea make the breakthrough? It promises to be a fascinating second half.
Well that was quite an entertaining 45 minutes, wasn't it? Handshakes (or the lack of) all forgotten once the whistle was blown, and both sides have thrown themselves whole-heartedly into this encounter.
45' + 3'
And referee Andre Marriner brings the half to a close. QPR will be the happier of the two sides after matching the visitors and creating a couple of chances of their own.
45' + 2'
QPR monopolising possession at the end of this half. Mackie has the ball on the counter; Zamora is there in support but he tries to go it alone and is eventually dispossessed.
Zamora draws a simple foul from David Luiz and the hosts have a free-kick 30 yards out. Granero bends a shot around the wall but it drifts harmlessly wide of the post as the fourth official indicates there will be three minutes of stoppage time.
The edge has gone from the game now. Both sides seem happy to go into the break at 0-0. QPR have the ball and are passing it across the back line comfortably, while Chelsea are content to sit off them.
A bit of pinball in and around the QPR area as John Obi Mikel fires a 25-yarder straight into Anton Ferdinand's ribs, but the hosts escape the danger with just a few minutes left of the first half.
QPR were destroyed 6-1 by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in April but look good value being level today. They'll be hoping to draw inspiration from last year's 1-0 win at Loftus Road.
It's gone a bit quieter at Loftus Road, with Chelsea starting to enjoy more of the ball. Esteban Granero then fires a free-kick into the danger area for the hosts, but the flag goes up for offside.
Decent chance for the visitors after the Blues win a corner. David Luiz skips free of his marker and has a free header six yards out, but the Brazilian can't take the chance and blast his effort high, wide, and not particularly handsome.
Johnson is down receiving treatment after going down unchallenged. It doesn't look like the Rs striker can go on and Mark Hughes will have to make another change, bringing on Jamie Mackie. Massive blow there for the hosts.
Greg Stobart is enjoying his afternoon so far, except for a ropey internet connection. Here's his view from the stands: "It’s been a fantastic start to the game here at Loftus Road, as volatile as QPR’s press box wifi connection as tackles fly in and one attack pulses after another. Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres have both tested new Rangers goalkeeper Julio Cesar but Chelsea also look vulnerable in defence in this high-octane encounter."
Shouts for a penalty for the visitors after Hazard goes down, but the referee has no interest in it and awards a goal kick, much to the disappointment of the young Belgian.
Johnson comes deep to receive the ball in midfield; something we've seen a lot so far. The Rs forward is having a good game for the hosts, but his cross doesn't find a team-mate in the box and Cech claims the ball.
Yellow Card Ryan Bertrand
Ouch! Ryan Bertrand slams into Shaun Wright-Phillips with a wild challenge and rightly picks up a yellow card. The diminutive QPR midfielder is on his feet and we're back underway.
Chelsea boast a 100 per cent record so far this season in the Premier League, but they look like they'll have their work cut out this afternoon.
This is a superb game so far. Both sides well in it and there are tackles flying in left, right and centre. A proper London derby. There's a quick break in play for a foul by Park, but Chelsea give it away and the Rs have the ball in their own half.
Lampard curls one in but the danger is cleared. The Blues come back and there are half-hearted appeals for a foul on the edge of the box by Onuoha on Bertrand, who was coming through at pace, but the referee dismisses the appeals.
Fabio Da Silva
The visitors are enjoying a bit more posession new. Anton Ferdinand fouls Ryan Bertrand out on the left and the Blues have a chance to whip in a dangerous ball...
Disappointment for Mark Hughes as Fabio limps off, forcing him to make a change and bring on Nedum Onuoha. The young full-back enjoyed a lively start for the hosts so that's a blow for QPR.
First real sniff of a chance for Fernando Torres. He receives the ball deep in the area, cuts back and tries a left-footed effort which Cesar comfortably parries away.
Chance for the hosts! The referee plays on after another foul by Ramires, and Zamora is found in the box. He spins on the spot and tries to curl an effort low round Petr Cech, but the Chelsea goalkeeper gets down well to save. QPR will be very pleased with how the game's gone so far, though.
Yellow Card Ramires
Chelsea win a corner but the home side manage to clear quickly. The break is on but Ramires cynically stops the counter attack and picks up a booking.
The tempo's been excellent here so far but it's all a bit scrappy. QPR give the ball away in midfield and Ramires is brought down to give the visitors a free-kick around 40 yards from goal.
Ji-Sung Park is found on the left with a delightful ball from Alejandro Faurlin, but the Rs skipper can't find Bobby Zamora in the area and the South Korea international's cross is cleared.
Chance for a bit of a breather now as Chelsea knock the ball around and slow the tempo down. Andrew Johnson fouls Luiz on halfway and the away side keep possession.
David Luiz and Fabio clash just inside the area but the benefit of the doubt goes to Chelsea's Brazilian defender and the Blues clear their lines.
Great chance! Ramires bursts down the right-hand side and slides the ball into the bath of Eden Hazard, whose first-time shot is superbly saved low to his left by Julio Cesar. Great start for the new Rs shot-stopper.
It's a frantic opening couple of minutes here. Both sides are zipping the ball around and it's QPR who are settling into some possession.
Chelsea get us underway at Loftus Road.
Now that's past us, we can get on with the football. The teams are swapping ends before kick-off, and we're moments away from the start...
HANDSHAKE NEWS: Anton Ferdinand refuses to shake John Terry's and Ashley Cole's hand in the pre-match handshake.
Our man Greg Stobart is in the stands this afternoon: "The crowd here at Loftus Road was very sparsely populated around half-an-hour from kick-off, but that didn’t stop the home fans greeting John Terry with a huge chorus of boos when the Chelsea captain led his team out to warm up. Quite predictably, Terry subsequently spent the best part of a minute applauding the Chelsea fans behind the goal to my right who were singing his name."
So, the big talking point is of course that both Anton Ferdinand and John Terry start the match. Terry was accused of racially abusing Ferdinand in this fixture last year; he was acquitted in court but is still under investigation by the FA. The pre-match handshake is going ahead and everyone is asking - will Ferdinand shake Terry's hand?
Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole; Mikel, Ramires, Lampard; Hazard, Torres, Bertrand. Subs: Turnbull, Romeu, Oscar, Moses, Sturridge, Cahill, Azpilicueta.
QPR: Cesar; Bosingwa, Nelsen, Ferdinand, Fabio; Park, Granero, Faurlin, SWP, Johnson, Zamora. Subs: Green, Cisse, Taarabt, Mackie, Onuoha, Dyer, Hoilett.
First up, today's team news...
Good afternoon and welcome to Loftus Road for LIVE! coverage of what promises to be a tasty London derby between QPR and Chelsea this afternoon. I'm Tom McKeown and I'll be here to guide you through the action, handshakes and all.
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