It was a brilliant derby win for Chelsea on a Sunday afternoon at Loftus Road as Cesc Fabregas struck very late in the game to restore the 7 point cushion at the top of the table.
It was one of the most frustrating games of the season as QPR held their ground and made life hard for the Blues. Not only this, but they even managed to create a fair share of chances for themselves in the game. The first half wasn’t anyone’s game as Chelsea looked out of sorts, and QPR couldn’t take much advantage.
Then came the winning goal late in the 2nd half when QPR’s shot stopper Green failed to give a clean kick to the ball. Hazard then made the most of it as he took off into the box and played a neat one-two with Oscar before finally setting it up for Fabregas who slotted the ball into the bottom-left corner of the net.
Here are the things that stood out during the game:
COURTOIS PUT UP BRILLIANT PERFORMANCE
Thibaut Courtois certainly showed today why he is one of the best in the business as he was phenomenal between the posts today.He was tested late in the first half by Charlie Austin when he unleashed a venomous shot from outside the box, and Courtois put on a diving save to deny QPR the lead. Then came a moment of panic for Chelsea as Matt Phillips managed to pull off a brilliant turn-and-shot just outside the 6-yard box only for Courtois to push it wide of the posts.
NOT A BRIGHT PERFORMANCE DESPITE THE WIN
Yes, it was an important win but two points were almost dropped owing to a poor performance in almost every department. The attack was crying for creativity as Oscar started from the bench and Ramires certainly couldn’t offer any. Drogba wasn’t winning any crucial headers up front but went on to improve as the game progressed. The midfield department wasn’t at its best either as Fabregas put up another below par performance, and Matic too wasn’t his usual self.
THE OSCAR EFFECT
Oscar started from the bench after putting up some ‘not so great’ performances in recent games, but his introduction in the second half certainly had a positive effect on the game. He added some much-needed creativity to the attack that was pretty much toothless for most of the game. The Blues managed only one shot on goal that certainly sums up Chelsea’s day. He also played a crucial part in the goal as it was his presence of mind that allowed Hazard to set up the goal for Fabregas.
MAKE OR BREAK PERIOD THE NEXT TWO WEEKS
This win will definitely prove to be a very important and a motivational one as the next opponents we will be tackling are Manchester United and Arsenal. Those two games are going to be the biggest ones in our title charge, and it is important for the team not to stutter this close to being English champions. However, with Costa out with injury and Remy’s return uncertain, it looks like it’s going to be a difficult period for the West Londoners.
GAMES LIKE THIS ONE
It was one of the most frustrating and tough games of the season and despite a low-key performance the result was grinded out. We have been doing this a lot this season as opposed to last season, and it is crucial to get results like this to be the champions. So 12 more points is what Chelsea require for ultimate glory irrespective of other teams’ results and the team is certainly capable of doing so.
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Edited By: Vikram Vadiganeni