Rafa Benitez gambled, got it wrong and cost us three vital points. The second coming of the ‘tinker man’. Chelsea looked tired, unsurprisingly so, but why did Benitez not play Mata? On Wednesday there was no-one playing between the lines and QPR coped comfortably with whatever we could throw at them. Benitez had clearly instructed the two wide players to make runs inside, opening the flanks for the two fullbacks. This back fired as cutting inside simply led to central congestion and the delivery from wide was simply appalling.
In essence we were six or seven players short of our first team. Missing through injury or tactics were Cech, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Mikel, Mata and Moses. A team cannot lose players of that quality and expect to get results. For QPR this was their ‘cup final’ and as such they should have been treated with more respect. If Ramires and Mata had started this match, we would not have lost.
I have now given in to the idiosyncrasies of football and nothing will ever surprise me again. We would have beaten that team on 99 occasions out of 100 but nothing is a given!
Chelsea now face Southampton on Saturday and Swansea in midweek which will define our trophy potential for this season.