2013 got off to a bad start for Chelsea as they lost 1-0 to QPR after possibly their worst performance of the season.
The worst Chelsea performance of the season happened in the first half of this London derby. The main talking point of the half occurred just 3 minutes in with Marko Marin lunging in on Mbia and should have seen red. Lee Mason fortunately decided it was only worthy of a yellow and Marko Marin became a very lucky little man. Chances were very scarce with Julio Cesar only having to make one save – a smart reflex save from a deflected Oscar shot on 43 minutes. The only time the Chelsea fans were really heard was in the 16th minute, with “One Di Matteo” being sung quieter than in recent weeks.
The second half started much improved with Chelsea looking sharper and hungrier after the interval. For the first time in the game we had sustained pressure but nothing came of it. Turnbull was forced into some decent saves – first from Granero and then from a close header from Derry as QPR looked for a route back into the game. Hazard was brought on to replace the reckless and pretty disappointing Marko Marin on 60 minutes and gave Chelsea new life with his movement and vision.
Frank Lampard thought he’d equalled Dixon’s goal scoring record and had put Chelsea ahead in the 66th minute only to see it ruled out for offside. Replays showed it was possibly the correct decision. Chelsea continued to pile the pressure but no clear chances were created and Mata was brought on for Moses on 75 minutes to create an opening. It was all too late. Former blue Shaun Wright-Phillips struck home from the edge of the area after a lovely lay off by Adel Taarabt with QPR gaining a surprise lead. It was Wright-Phillips’ first goal since 2010.
Ramires was brought on for Lampard in response to the goal but it was all too late, an extremely below-par performance from Chelsea and a result that will give QPR fans euphoria. Chelsea were booed off at the final whistle and deservedly so, a great deal of improvement is needed if we consider ourselves title challengers.
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Turnbull; Azpilacueta, Cahill, Ivanovic, Bertrand; David Luiz, Lampard; Moses, Oscar, Marin; Torres
Subs: Hilario, Cole, Ferreira, Ramires, Mata, Hazard, Piazon
QPR (4-5-1): Cesar; Onuoha, Hill, Nelsen, Fabio; Derry, Mackie, Mbia, Granero, Hoilett; Taarabt
Subs: Green, Ferdinand, Park, Cisse, Wright-Phillips, Dyer, Faurlin