Arise, Sir Chris

“I didn’t even regard this as a derby match – but I’ve quickly learnt that it is!” The words of Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp after the final whistle had blown at Loftus Road on Sunday.

He wasn’t the only one. Half the Chelsea side looked shell-shocked as they stepped into the Shepherd’s Bush bear pit – a world away from the plush confines of Stamford Bridge.

The players were berated the minute they stepped off the coach as 15 years’ worth of emotions were unleashed by Rangers fans, the more sinister of whom were quite literally frothing at the mouth.

“This was the biggest humiliation witnessed in Chelsea colours since David Mellor was mocked up on the front page of The Sun under the headline ‘Toe job to no job’.”

Holed up inside my little enclave in the Lower Loft, I couldn’t help but feel a little sorry for Juan Mata, Chelsea’s designated corner-taker, as time after time he slunk into the lions’ den, desperately wishing his huge salary could buy him an invisibility cloak.

In the event, the little Spaniard was taken off after failing to be convinced that ignoring the baying mob was simply a case of mind over Mata.

And his wasn’t the only unscheduled departure, with Jose Bosingwa and Didier Drogba both playing with their rubber ducks in the bath before the half-time whistle had sounded.

Throw in nine yellow cards, a penalty, QPR’s first win over their old enemy for 16 years and an allegation of racism and it’s fair to say this was no Sunday school outing.

Blues boss Andre Villas-Boas was incensed by the refereeing decisions that went against his team, while conversely fans on Rangers messageboards were calling for an addition to the New Year’s honours list – Sir Chris Foy.

Taking off the blue and white-tinted specs for a moment, I think Hoy got most of the big decisions right.   

Yes the penalty was a little soft, but a penalty nevertheless (in fact the biggest argument was over who was going to take it) – although admittedly Frank Lampard had a case for a spot-kick of his own.

As for the red cards, Bosingwa was the last man, while even a fired-up AVB – who appeared to have swapped heads with the strangely docile Neil Warnock – could have no arguments with Drogba’s horror tackle on Adel Taarabt.

The fact Chelsea performed far better with nine men than 11, playing Rangers off the park in the second half, only added to the intensity and when the final whistle finally sounded after the longest five minutes of injury time ever (if you were a Rangers fan) the relief was palpable.

The visiting support rightly applauded the heroic efforts of their team, but it was clear this was the biggest humiliation witnessed in Chelsea colours since David Mellor was mocked up on the front page of The Sun under the headline ‘Toe Job To No Job’

It was certainly not how the Blues hierarchy thought it would pan out, at least not according to the match preview on their official site.

It read: “The noises from the R’s camp are redolent of the clichés produced by the underdog before a cup final.

“It will be our first league meeting with Queens Park Rangers for 15 years and it is fair to say the hosts are quite worked up about it. Least so Blues supporters.”

You suspect that may not be the case ahead of the return leg at Stamford Bridge in April, when the mocking chants of “Who are ya?” might be replaced by “How dare you?”

The day after the game, we interviewed Shaun Derry for QPR podcast Open All R’s.

Owner of the world's cleverest dogs

The midfield enforcer came out on top in a ding-dong battle with Lampard on Sunday and decided not to push his luck by swapping shirts at the end, with one of my colleagues mischievously suggesting it would have been several sizes too big for him.

Derry added that he celebrated by taking his dogs to a pub quiz, with the hounds getting more correct answers than he did. Sample question: ‘How will most QPR fans feel tomorrow morning?’ Answer: ‘Wuff.’

The hors d’oeuvre to the big derby of the day was a fairly minor affair at Old Trafford between the two Manchester clubs.

City, as some of you may know by now, won 6-1 with Mario Balotelli helping himself to a double, two days after setting his bathroom ablaze with a firework.

Never mind the football, characters like Balotelli are what makes the Premier League so compelling.

Messi and co are wonderful to watch, but can you really imagine the little magician driving around the city centre in his soft top, high-fiving supporters immediately after a derby win?

And it got better as the week went on, with news that old mother Balotelli was in town and had ordered her son to go out and buy an ironing board and iron.

Five hours later he came back empty-handed but was followed shortly afterwards by a John Lewis lorry delivering a giant trampoline, Scalextric set, two vespa scooters and a table-tennis table.

All Balotelli needed was a cuddly toy for a classic Generation Game conveyor belt – although he wouldn’t be much good at the 1970s gameshow after forgetting the two things he was originally sent out for: the iron and the ironing board.

If he carries on at this rate, the Italian is quickly going to become Britain’s favourite footballer. And if he gets himself a Twitter account, Joey Barton could find himself relegated to the also-rans.

"Bring me sunshine..."

In other west London news, 10 out of 10 for Brentford manager Uwe Rosler after the German was given his marching orders for persistently stepping in front of Notts County’s Alan Sheehan as he went to take a free-kick – a skit Morecambe and Wise would have been proud of.

And things have still not improved for Fulham on the pitch, but off it owner Mohamed Al Fayed had plenty to say.

Incensed by former manager Mark Hughes’ comments that the club lacked ambition, Al Fayed blasted: “He was a forgotten man when I rescued him to become manager of Fulham.

“He is not just disrespectful but entirely wrong. If people are looking for a flop, they have to look no further than the man who has lost his spark.”

Ouch. Although I have it on good authority that the real reason Hughes decided he no longer wanted to be associated with Fulham was the day he caught sight of the blueprint for the Michael Jackson statue.

That’s all folks. Have a good weekend and think of me and the other walkers as we set off on our trek from Loftus Road to White Hart Lane on Sunday, raising money for the QPR Tiger cubs – the team for kids with Down’s syndrome. You can give generously (or not) by clcking here.