Tense derby encounter ends in stalemate

QPR 0 Chelsea 0

The west London derby at Loftus Road ended goalless after Chelsea were twice denied a penalty.

Roberto Di Matteo’s side felt they should have been awarded a spot-kick when Eden Hazard was brought down in the box by Shaun Wright-Phillips and when John Terry was wrestled to the floor by Ryan Nelsen.

And Hazard missed a glorious late chance, blazing over from 10 yards out after the ball had been pulled back from the right by Victor Moses.

It meant QPR, who gave as good as they got and had the better of the second half, secured a deserved point.

Terry and Anton Ferdinand were under the spotlight in the first meeting between the clubs since Chelsea’s skipper was cleared in court of racially abusing the Rangers defender in the corresponding fixture last October.

Ferdinand refused to shake Terry’s hand during the traditional pre-match routine and also snubbed Ashley Cole, who appeared as a character witness for his Blues and England team-mate during the court case.

Tensions were running high – Terry was of course barracked by the home supporters throughout – but a banner displayed among the Chelsea fans before the game proved that, even on occasions like these, tribalism can be put aside.

The banner read ‘RIP Ben Harrington’ – a young QPR fan who recently died in an accident while on holiday.

Once the action got under way, Chelsea started on the front foot and Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar was called into action only four minutes into his R’s debut, producing a point-blank save to thwart Hazard after the Belgian had been found by Ramires’ low cross.

Rangers put the European champions under plenty of pressure and Bobby Zamora’s shot brought a save from Petr Cech.

But Chelsea looked the more dangerous side and went close when David Luiz headed wide from Frank Lampard’s right-wing corner.

It was a different story after the break, however, and Rangers should have gone ahead when Esteban Granero’s ball into the area found an unmarked Ji-sung Park, who headed straight at Cech.

Di Matteo responded by bringing on Moses for the forward’s debut, but his team continued to soak up pressure and were almost undone by a mistake by John Obi Mikel.

The midfielder’s error let in Zamora, who took an age to round Cech before seeing his shot blocked by Terry – one of four defenders who had time to get back and cover.


QPR (4-4-2): Cesar; Bosingwa, Ferdinand, Nelsen, Fabio (Onuoha 20); Wright-Phillips (Cisse 70), Granero, Faurlin, Park; Johnson, Zamora.
Subs not used: Dyer, Hoilett, Green.

Chelsea: (4-4-1-1): Cech; Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole; Ramires, Lampard, Mikel, Bertrand (Moses 58); Hazard; Torres (Sturridge 81).
Subs not used: Romeu, Oscar, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Turnbull.

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