Chelsea marched into the fifth round of the FAcup after beating local rivals QPR in a one sided encounter. QPR, who failed to sell all their tickets for the derby, lost 1-0 to the Blues who won the game courtesy of a penalty that looked harsh on the home side.
The match began with the usual boos and abusive chants hurled at John Terry by QPR fans, in return he was brilliant for the whole game and won almost every challenge he attempted, Likewise the Blues faithful did the same with Anton Ferdinand, who had an average game, there was more fun in the stands than on the pitch in the opening half an hour.
Both sides lacked attacking flair in the final third and didn’t have any creativity in the first half. As a result, the game was restricted to long range shots – All but one, were off target. The only shot on target came in the 12th minute when Mata’s shot from 15 yards was too close to Kenny.
A lacklustre performance from both sides resulted in a goalless first half and probably killed all the hype that surrounded the game.
In the second half, Chelsea began with much more urgency and intent and the game was finally thrown into life.
At the hour mark, Chelsea were awarded a penalty by referee Mike Dean after Clint Hill’s challenge on Sturridge – Replays suggested that contact was minimal.
Mata converted the penalty after wrong footing the goalkeeper and put Chelsea ahead and went on to celebrate in front of 3000 Chelsea fans. Delighted and in-good voice, the fans chanted “Anton, what’s the score?”
A few minutes later, Chelsea’s ‘Blue Kenyan’ Ramires suffered a serious injury after he appeared to twist his ankle after attempting to stop a powerful shot. Several minutes later, he was stretchered off the field, he was replaced by Oriol Romeu.
Chelsea controlled possession for the rest of thematch and QPR posed no real threat to the Blues’ defence. But in the final few minutes of added time, Young shot from 20 yards which was parried by Cech. The resulting corner was neatly dealt with by Chelsea, and with that, the final whistle blew.
Sweet revenge for Chelsea, who saw the most important decision of the game go their way – some may say for a change.
Chelsea hold the bragging rights now until the sides meet again at the Bridge late in April.
By Abhishek Easwaran