If you’re like me you’ll have only just removed your head from your hands, such was the frustration of Chelsea’s second defeat of the season.
On the one hand there is the utter fury at the lack of discipline shown in some quarters, not to mention a referee who couldn’t have had a lesser hold on the game if he’d officiated from his sofa. But on top of that having to stomach losing to such a horrible side as QPR, and seeing an opportunity to leapfrog United and kick them while they’re still smarting from that pasting makes it a pretty awful day all round.
Addressing the main issues, firstly, David Luiz needs to be tranquilized before every game from now on. Yes, the blind determination and passion is refreshing in the mercenary modern footballer, but the Brazilian is starting to look more like a headless chicken, and not for the first time he had a direct influence in our downfall today.
It has to be said that the penalty was a soft decision, but we’ll get to the performance of Chris Foy in a moment. Luiz walked a tightrope for most the game, getting in unnecessary tangles and jumping into challenges he had no chance of winning, and in the end burnt himself out meaning late on he could hardly put up a fight defensively. It was lucky Rangers had Shaun Wright-Phillips as their main creative outlet otherwise the scoreline may have been worse.
I suppose, after a deep breath, credit must be given to the home side, they had a game plan and they stuck to it. From the first minute they hassled and niggled at Andre Villas-Boas side, and it clearly wound the Blues up. Its not often you see Frank Lampard lash out in frustration, but on his 500th Premier League appearance Lampard looked anything but chuffed, clashing with Shaun Derry and kicking a post in the second half.
Of course, Chelsea didn’t help themselves with a style of play that just didn’t suit the occasion. QPR were never going to let us play out from the back, and while it would have been a difficult task with eleven men, to try and do it with nine was plain suicidal. Time and time again The Blues were caught in possession in their own half, handing the initiative to a side that were already very pumped up thanks to a numerical advantage.
Now to the real talking point of the afternoon; the complete ineptitude of Chris Foy. The standard of referring is often bemoaned in this country, and today its easy to see why when officials are put in charge who seem more interested in ensuring they are talked about the next day than a fair game being played out.
The penalty is the perfect example of this, as Helguson has quite clearly waited for any contact before throwing his portly frame to the floor. One pundit called it ‘clever’, something Chris Foy will never be called. He could barely wait for Helguson to hit the deck before blowing up. It’s a soft, soft decision and better refs would’ve waved it away so early in other big games.
As for Bosingwa’s red card there are two big issues. One, John Terry is alongside the incident so Bosingwa can not be the last man, and its clear that Wright-Phillips is pulling Bosingwa just as much pulls him down as well. But with 18,000 Rangers fans on his back Chris Foy took the easy way out.
It’s probably a good time to point out that the Drogba red card was a good decision, and another example of the enigma that is the Ivorian; you can always depend on him to be undependable as well as unpredictable.
After all this The Blues did put up a valiant fight, with Anelka and Lampard coming close to equalizers with headers in the second half. The Frenchman in particular was guilty of being wasteful.
But I suppose none of it matters now and we must turn our attentions to Everton in the Carling Cup and then Arsenal next Sunday, a game which suddenly looks massive in the grand scheme of things with United stumbling for the second time in as many games.
Chelsea and our young manager must learn from the mistakes of today, use them to push ourselves on towards the big things we know we can achieve this season.
QPR: Kenny, Hill, Hall, Young, Ferdinand, Derry (Mackie 81), Taarabt (Smith 61), Faurlin, Barton, Wright-Phillips, Helguson
Chelsea: Cech, Cole, Luiz, Bosingwa, Terry, Lampard, Mikel, Meireles (Malouda 72), Mata (Anelka 45), Drogba, Sturridge (Ivanovic 36)