Chelsea vs. Queens Park Rangers  0 - 1


Benitez puzzled by ´tired´ Chelsea

3 January 2013 02:59

Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez said he was frustrated by 1-0 home defeat to struggling QPR on Wednesday.

Substitute Shaun Wright-Phillips scored the only goal in the 78th minute as Harry Redknapp's side collected only their second win of the season, their first away from Loftus Road, to move level with Reading on 13 points.

The defeat shocked most fans at Stamford Bridge, especially Benitez.

"We were playing well and had confidence that we could carry on performing well," he said.

"We changed some players but, in fairness, only Marko Marin wasn't playing regularly. You could see that some players were a little bit tired.

"They sat deep; we were not precise in possession.

"We were not passing the ball with accuracy and with the high tempo that we were expecting. At the end, we made a mistake and gave them a chance. Too many things all at once were not working for us."

Benitez said resting players should not have been a problem.

"In the last games (Juan) Mata has been playing, Oscar has been playing too," he said.

"It was just Marko Marin that was the difference, but we cannot carry on with the same players in every game. If you play against a team that are bottom of the table at home, then you have to trust your players and I trust them.

"They were doing well and we thought we could be fine. Maybe in other areas we were a little bit tired, and we then lacked the intensity and the pace in the pass and in the movement that we have come to expect."

QPR manager Harry Redknapp said the win showed they have what it takes to stay in the Premier League.

Rangers ended a three-game losing run with Wednesday's shock victory, their first top-flight win at Stamford Bridge since 1979.

"After Sunday's defeat by Liverpool it was difficult to convince anyone we could survive," said Redknapp.

"But the players have set the standard with this win and to get out of this mess they have to do it every week.

"That was our first away win in the league since October 2011 and let's hope we can build on it. There's still a long way to go but that was encouraging.

"The players worked their socks off and they got their rewards. We deserved it and it was a fantastic performance.

"We had a good meeting after the Liverpool match and I convinced the players we can stay up.

"Everybody else thought I was mad but I do genuinely believe it. We're not doomed, we can turn it around."

Things do not get any easier for QPR, who face Tottenham (home), West Ham (away) and Manchester City (home) in their next three League games.


Premier League: Chelsea 0 QPR 1

2 January 2013 23:10

Queens Park Rangers stole a shock win against Chelsea as former Blue Shaun Wright-Phillips scored the only goal of a game.

The away side barely troubled all night but Rafa Benitez's side were unable to capitalise on their possession as, without Eden Hazard and Juan Mata, they struggled to create against a stout QPR defence.

The relegation strugglers managed to make Chelsea pay as, after a corner broke to Wright-Phillips on the edge of the area, the winger made no mistake and fired an effort into the bottom corner.

Just three minutes in, Chelsea could count themselves lucky to still have 11 players on the pitch after Marko Marin, eager to impress after being awarded a rare start, put in a dangerous challenge on Stephane Mbia – fortunately for the German, Lee Mason deemed it only a booking.

The only real chance of the first half came just two minutes before the break, as an Oscar shot, deflected on its way by Frank Lampard, required a smart save from Julio Cesar to keep the first half goalless.

After that fairly tepid start to the game, the opening of the second half brought a welcome increase in tempo as Chelsea began to create clear-cut chances.

First, Moses was unable to meet a delightful Marin cross and then, minutes later, a Branislav Ivanovic header from a Marin corner clipped the bar on its way over.

The early second half onslaught reached its peak with an excellent chance for Fernando Torres; a deflected David Luiz effort fell to the striker 10 yards out but the Spaniard fired straight at Cesar.

The home side's pressure almost told after 65 minutes as, after sterling work from Victor Moses in the penalty area, the ball fell to Lampard who, after duly firing into the bottom corner, was deemed just offside by the linesman.

As Chelsea were unable to capitalise on their pressure, the second half wore on and, with 10 minutes remaining, a rare corner led to a shock opener for the away side.

After the corner was cleared at the near post, Taarabt deftly laid the ball to Wright-Phillips who found the corner of the goal from 25 yards out.

Chelsea's response was frenetic but chances remained hard to come by, the best chance falling to Ivanovic as he headed a Mata cross just over the bar.


Redknapp tells Chelsea to re-sign Lampard

2 January 2013 04:07

Harry Redknapp feels Chelsea would be wrong to let Frank Lampard leave the club.

Redknapp's struggling QPR travel to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday to face their London rivals, who earned a hard-fought victory over Everton thanks to a double from veteran midfielder Lampard.

The England international's current deal with Chelsea expires in the summer, and with a new agreement yet to be reached, speculation regarding the 34-year-old's future has been rife.

However, Redknapp, who managed Lampard, his nephew, during his time at West Ham, believes the Blues would be best served by agreeing terms on a new contract for the midfield talisman.

He told the Daily Mirror: "I personally think they would be making a big mistake in letting Frank go. I don't think you'll find anywhere a better attacking midfield player who will score more goals in the Premier League.

"I don't think they can upgrade from Frank. He is an amazing goal-scoring midfielder, so I still think there is every chance that he will still be at Chelsea next year.

"I think the importance of age can be overstated. I've said many times he is the best trainer I have ever seen in football, without a doubt.

"I saw him as a 16, 17-year-old - when all the other kids had gone home, he would be practising every day. I've never seen anyone even come close to him.

"He's still in great shape and has still got that desire. Frank just gets on with it.

"Every club needs players like that, but you can't put it into people, they have to want to do it."


Premier League preview: Chelsea v QPR

31 December 2012 08:50

Frank Lampard was reportedly told to look for a new club in January but his brace against Everton could help win a contract extension.

According to reports in England, Lampard was free to move elsewhere after 11 years at Stamford Bridge.

However, the experienced English midfielder sent a timely reminder to all involved at Chelsea, netting a brace in the club's come-from-behind 2-1 win at Everton on Sunday, his third goal in as many Premier League matches.

Lampard's recent form should earn him a starting berth for Wednesday's home encounter against cellar-dwellers Queens Park Rangers - the club he has been linked with in recent weeks.

As a result of Chelsea's triumph at Goodison Park, the London outfit are four points adrift of Manchester City in third position with a game in hand.

And since Rafael Benitez's arrival, they have lost just twice in their past 11 league and cup fixtures.

Sitting at the other end of the spectrum is QPR, who have managed only one win in 20 Premier League games thus far.

Despite Harry Redknapp's arrival at Loftus Road, the club is still facing relegation from England's top-flight.

Redknapp's appointment sparked a four-game unbeaten run but QPR have failed to remain consistent, losing three matches on the bounce, including Sunday's 3-0 defeat to Liverpool.

QPR have never beaten their London rivals in a league fixture at Stamford Bridge, with last season's 6-1 drubbing still fresh in the memory.

And more worryingly for Redknapp and his troops is the fact they are yet to win on the road this season.

Captain John Terry is working his way back to full fitness, while midfielder Oriol Romeu is still facing an extended stint on the sidelines.

Park Ji-Sung headlines a group of experienced QPR players, including Jose Bosingwa, Bobby Zamora and Nedum Onuoha, who are set to miss Wednesday's game.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +43 89
2 38 +32 78
3 38 +36 75
4 38 +35 73
5 38 +20 72
6 38 +15 63
7 38 +28 61
8 38 -4 49
9 38 -4 46
10 38 -8 46
11 38 -17 44
12 38 -10 43
13 38 -11 42
14 38 -11 41
15 38 -22 41
16 38 -23 41
17 38 -13 39
18 38 -26 36
19 38 -30 28
20 38 -30 25