I've Never Felt More Like Singing The Blues...
QPR 1-0 Chelsea
If there was anyway to record your first home Premier League win of the season, then this was it, as the R's beat local rivals, Chelsea at Loftus Road, in a derby that had just about everything this afternoon...
In many ways, this is a report I have been dreading writing. Mainly as at some point, I would have to refer to our local rivals, as a quality side, which undoubtedly they are and proved it this afternoon. Testament to this would come amongst the gang who assembled at the Springbok to whom none, including myself, predicted anything much positive, especially after Sam had texted through the line ups. My personal attitude was that win, lose or draw, if Rangers played with heart and passion in a game that means so much to the supporters, I would be more than happy. But as we all know, in a game of football, anything can happen... and it certainly did...
We all took our seats nice and early to take in the atmosphere and be there for when the teams came out.... and when they did, it was something I had never witnessed before at Loftus Road. As the P.A. announcer read out the Chelsea line up, it resulted in 15,000 R's fans all booing as one and must have been so initimidating, especially for the many foreigners in the Chelsea side.
As the game kicked off, it looked as though the R's fans had their wish come true, with Rangers chasing down everything giving Chelsea little time on the ball. They did however have the first chance of the game but Sturridge badly scuffed his effort well wide.
On 9 minutes, we were in dreamland as Helguson chased and collected a long ball, Luiz barged him over and referee Chris Foy didn't hesitate in pointing to the penalty spot. After a tug if war with Taarabt for the ball, Helguson stepped up and made no mistake to cue absolute bedlam amongst the R's fans.
There were half chances for Lampard and Drogba as the R's were forcing the visitors into long range efforts. More good play from the R's saw Taarabt put Wright-Phillips away on the left on 33 minutes. The Rangers winger was then bundled to the ground by Boswinga when through on goal and when the referee raised the red card aloft to the Chelsea right back, it was celebrated like it was a second goal by the jubilant R's fans. The resulting free kick saw Cech make a fine save from Taarabt.
Things went from bad to worse for Chelsea on 41 minutes as the referee's red card made another appearance - Didier Drogba this time getting his marching orders for a quite awful two footed lunge on Taarabt. It was party time at Loftus Road!!
Despite being down to 9 men, Chelsea started the second half the better with Frank Lampard seeing a header deflected wide only a minute after the restart. But on 52 minutes, Rangers started finding the gaps and Taarabt found Luke Young on the right, who perhaps should have done much better than firing wide of Cech's goal. Shortly after it was Barton's turn as he ran half the length of the pitch before firing just wide.
Chelsea had a penalty claim of their own turned away by Foy as Hall looked to have bundled over Lampard on 67 minutes and 5 minutes later, the Chelsea end were crying again as Foy waved away a second protest, this time as Luiz claimed he was held by Helguson.
With the lack of numbers, Rangers always looked dangerous when breaking away and as Taarabt was felled on the edge of the box on 77 minutes, the resulting free kick from Barton was blasted over by Helguson from close range. A goal that surely would have sealed it and calm R's fans nerves.
It was hearts in mouth time on with 9 minutes to go when Ivanovic swung in an superb pinpoint ball on to the head of Anelka, but thankfully his effort was straight at Paddy Kenny. Chelsea then increased the hostility in the crowd - as the ball was kicked out for Shaun Derry's injury, they unsportingly played on instead of giving the ball back and it nearly led to an equaliser - Luiz hit an overhead kick, but Lampard, placed in front of the goal, deflected the ball over the bar.
The Chelsea frustrations boiled over in injury time with Meireles, Luiz, Cole and Terry all being booked and that lovely, charming man that is Ashley Cole, would surely had seen his marcing orders after bundling over Mackie - but Foy instead chose to blow the final whistle and cue the celebrations amongst the Loftus Road faithful.
QPR: Kenny, Hill, Derry (Mackie 82), Hall, Taarabt (Smith 62), Faurlin, Barton, Young, Helguson, Wright-Phillips, Ferdinand Subs: Murphy, Orr, Bothroyd, Buzsaky, Puncheon.
Man of the Match - could quite easily be given to the entire team today. Sky gave it to Faurlin, Joey Barton had his best game in a QPR shirt to date and Taarabt was causing Chelsea plenty of problems. Jess picked out Heidar Helguson as her choice and a good shout it was too. However, unfortunately for her, the rest of the gang went for the same player, making it unanimous for an awesome display from Anton Ferdinand.
Well how can I begin to summarise that? A magical day for all involved at QPR. The tactics were spot on, the players to a man, were magnificent, as were the supporters who so deserve a day like this!! As Andres Villas-Boas already has, Chelsea will criticise the referee and Terry, Lampard and Cole were in his face all afternoon. But this was QPR's day and no one can take that away from us!!
The gang will be well represented once more at White Hart Lane next Sunday but until then, let's keep the smiles firmly on our faces!!!
Come on You R'ssssss!!!!!