It was derby time in West London, when Harry Redknapp’s struggling QPR visited the Stamford Bridge to lineup against Jose Mourinho’s league toppers Chelsea, in what was the 10th league game for both the teams.
Jose Mourinho, after resting his key players in the midweek game, made one change to the team that drew 1-1 at Old Trafford last weekend, with Diego Costa starting upfront in place of Didier Drogba.
Here’s the initial reaction to the game:
- The big news this evening at Stamford Bridge was the return of the striker Diego Costa, after a recurring hamstring problem kept him out of the team for nearly a month. Chelsea started the game strongly, enjoying the possession in the middle and forcing QPR on the backfoot with their short passes and dangerous link up play in the final third.
QPR, on the other hand, looked to sit deep and defend in numbers, while they tried to hit us on the counter-attacks and set-pieces.
- Ivanovic and Oscar had couple of half chances to put Chelsea in front even before the 15-minute mark, but both of them failed to do so. The difference in the quality of these two teams was clearly at display as we reached the half an hour mark, with Chelsea completely dominating our neighbour at every aspect of the game, but lacking a bit of creativity in the final third.
- It was a sensational goal from Oscar to put Chelsea in front in the 32nd minute. Fabregas, after playing a brilliant one-two with Costa, lays the ball for Oscar outside the edge of the box.Now, how the hell was Oscar able to finish from that angle? Am still trying to figure that out! It was a combination of some brilliant technique and class by the Brazilian, that put Chelsea 1-0 up.
- Our pressing game was way too good for the Redknapp’s side, and the way we got the ball back every time we lost the possession was the most impressive thing about this team.
- The first half ended with the Blues leading the game 1-0, after Oscar put us in front with a moment of brilliance. The scoreline probably didn’t do justice to the Blues performance in the half, as we were all over the QPR side, dictating the game in every department. With the Blues in this kind of form, it looked almost impossible for the Redknapp’s side to salvage any point from this game while Jose went for the kill in the second half.
- The second half started with no changes from Jose Mourinho, as we looked to add a few more goals to our tally. The second half started in a similar fashion as the previous one, with the Blues dominating the major part of the possession game while the R’s looked to catch us on the break.
- For all the hard work we put up, it was QPR who levelled on the hour mark, after Charlie Austin put one behind Courtois with a lovely, clever backheel. It was some clumsy defending from the Blues that created the confusion inside the box, which ended in the worst way for us. Chelsea 1 QPR 1. Game on!
- Mourinho introduced Drogba in place of Willian as an answer to the QPR goal, as Chelsea changed to a 4-4-2 formation with Costa and Drogba upfront. What seemed like an easy win had turned to a proper derby, but Hazard stepped up for the Blues after he earned a penalty in the 75th minute and converted it calmly to send us 2-1 up. It was an excellent work from the Belgian on the left wing that saw him fouled by Eduardo Vargas inside the box and earning a deserved penalty.
- Andre Schurrle was subbed in place of Diego Costa as Chelsea reverted back to 4-2-3-1 after going in front. The German winger almost killed off the game in the 82nd minute but was denied by an excellent stop from Green, so was John Terry from the resulting corner.
- The game ended in a 2-1 win for the Blues, as Jose Mourinho’s side were able to see off the final few minutes, to strengthen their position at the top of the league, 4 points clear of second-placed Southampton. Top of the league and having a laugh!!