Premier League, Stamford Bridge - Chelsea 2 (Oscar 31, Hazard pen. 76) QPR 1 (Austin 61) 1
Chelsea returned to winning ways in the Premier League with a 2-1 victory over QPR at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea got the first of the game when Cesc Fabregas found Oscar in space on the right of the box, and the Brazilian curled in a shot with the outside of his right foot, scoring with a wonderful finish. Either side of that, Chelsea were reduced to shots from distance in the first half.
In the second half, QPR hit back when Leroy Fer’s scuffed shot fell to Charlie Austin, who then back-heeled the ball to wrong-foot Thibaut Courtois as the ball rolled into the goal.
For a while it looked like the careless Chelsea of last season, until Eduardo Vargas saved them, barging Eden Hazard to the ground for a penalty. The Belgian then expertly converted to get Chelsea back on track after a draw at Manchester United.
10’ - COSTA SHOT: Hazard is felled, fairly in the box. Willian finds Costa in the box, who flicks the ball behind him for Oscar, but he drags a shot just wide.
11’ - IVANOVIC MISS: Costa brings down a ball excellently and finds Willian on the right. Willian picks out Ivanovic at the near post, but he flicks his shot at the side netting from just a yard or so out.
25’ - FABREGAS SHOT: Chelsea exploit a loose QPR pass in QPR's half, and Fabregas drills a low shot from distance that Green does well to palm behind.
31’ - GOAL! Chelsea 1-0 QPR. Oscar scores: Fabregas slides the ball right for Oscar, who flicks a shot with the outside of the right foot to curl the ball against the far post and in.
61’ - GOAL! Chelsea 1-1 QPR. Austin scores: Vargas' cross is palmed miles away by Courtois, it drops to Fer, who scuffs a shot into the box, and Fer flicks it the other way with his heel and past the 'keeper.
74’ - PENALTY: Vargas trips Hazard in the box, barging him in the box as he was heading out of the penalty area.
76’ - GOAL! Chelsea 2-1 QPR. Hazard scores: Hazard stares at the keeper, waits, Green dives right and Hazard slots it to his left.
83’ - GREEN DOUBLE SAVE: Schuerrle comes onto his right foot outside the box, and fires in a low shot towards the goal that Green does brilliantly to push away for a corner. From the corner, Terry sends in a header at the near post that Green gets down with firm wrists to beat away.
Cesc Fabregas has been involved in 10 goals (one goal, nine assists) in 10 league games for Chelsea.
Queens Park Rangers have won just one of their last 19 away trips to rival London clubs in the Premier League (D3 L15).
In their last 13 league matches at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea have kept 10 clean sheets and conceded just five goals in total.Harry Redknapp has seen his teams lose all six league clashes with Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea.
Charlie Austin has scored 24 league goals for QPR since the beginning of last season (incl. play-offs); 18 more than any other player (Ravel Morrison – 6).
Are Chelsea in need of rotation? Against Manchester United, admittedly missing Loic Remy and Diego Costa, Chelsea seemed lacklustre compared to their previous outings. The same was true against QPR, and though it is impressive that they came back after Austin’s equaliser, the side would previously not have put the result in danger. Jose Mourinho has kept faith with many of the same players throughout the season, and with the Champions League and winter coming, now might be the time to give other players in the squad time on the pitch.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Eden Hazard (Chelsea): Oscar scored a brilliant goal in the first half, and Cesc Fabregas was a menace playing behind him, but they both faded in the second half. It was Hazard’s persistence, stamina and skill that won the penalty, and his confidence to score it.
Chelsea: Courtois 6, Ivanovic 7, Cahill 6, Terry 6, Filipe Luis 6, Matic 6, Fabregas 7, Willian 6, Oscar 7, Hazard 7, Diego Costa 6. Subs: Ramires 6, Schurrle 6, Drogba 6.
QPR: Green 7, Isla 6, Caulker 6, Dunne 6, Suk-Young 6, Hoilett 5, Sandro 6, Henry 6, Fer 6, Austin 7, Vargas 5. Subs: Traore 6, Zamora 6.
THE MATCH IN A TWEET