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Chelsea see red as QPR record famous victory – full match report
Chelsea see red as QPR record famous victory – full match report
Monday, 24th Oct 2011 20:54 by Clive Whittingham

Against all odds QPR came out of a highly controversial West London derby on top in front of a raucous Loftus Road crowd on Sunday afternoon.

Modern football, we're told, is about money. The few teams that have it do well, the majority that don't bankrupt themselves trying to keep up. Football crowds now are made up of Korean tourists paying £60 a throw to come and see the players that have graced their television screens on the other side of the world. Prawn sandwiches have replaced pies, billionaire foreign airline owners sit in director's boxes once occupied by the local used car salesman or lifelong supporter made good and the old style loyal supporters now pick and choose their games as ticket prices rocket.

There is little to like about any of this, and so how reassuring it was to see football return to its roots for 90 minutes in West London on Sunday afternoon. Sure the ticket prices for QPR v Chelsea were extortionate, the directors box was a battle between the richest man in the UK and the richest man in Russia, and out on the pitch 21 millionaires and Clint Hill trotted around in cycling shorts on a pristine playing surface.

But on Sunday one of the world's best teams, player-for-player the most experienced side in the league, boasting a host of players who have performed on some of the toughest stages and situations in the game were rattled by 15,000 QPR fans shouting at them.

In the summer much was made of the perceived advantage QPR would gain through playing at Loftus Road. It's been 15 years since the ground last staged a Premiership match involving Rangers and almost a decade since Fulham shared here and the game has since moved on to the point where West Ham want to give up their perfectly adequate and atmospheric home to play in the vast open spaces of the Olympic Stadium. But with no home win this season, no home win since the beginning of April in fact, and teams as diverse as Aston Villa and Rochdale leaving W12 with positive results recently it seemed the strength of that weapon had been overplayed. Strangely, both QPR's wins prior to this game had actually come away from home.

The look on the faces of first Juan Mata and then Frank Lampard as they dared to try and take a Chelsea corner in front of the R block in the first half said it all. All the experience, all the money, all the ability, all the skill, all the attitude – but they don't like it up em Mr Mainwaring.

Perhaps too many games in front of people waving inflatable clapping sticks and claiming it counts as an atmosphere at Craven Cottage had lulled Chelsea into a false sense of derby security. If it had, the cobwebs were well and truly blown away during this pulsating and highly controversial encounter. This was a victory for good old fashioned hostility and proper football supporters as much as it was for the QPR players.

You could say the signs were there before kick off with Chelsea missing influential pair Fernando Torres and Ramires through suspension and injury respectively, had failed to keep a clean sheet in seven matches and they had won just one of their last six London derby games, but you'd be lying. They came into this match in electric form, scoring 18 goals in their last five matches which yielded four wins and one draw. Our fellow newly promoted sides Norwich and Swansea had already been vanquished by an aggregate score of 7-2 and they hadn’t lost to a side newly arrived from the Championship for ten years and 64 matches. For Torres came Drogba, all muscle and anger, while Ramires was replaced by Meireles.

Such strength in depth is a pipe dream to the likes of Queens Park Rangers. A muscle injury for left back Armand Traore meant he had to drop out at late notice – his absence had been a precursor to a humiliating 6-0 defeat at Fulham in a previous all-London clash so this was ominous news as it filtered through prior to kick off. Unlike at Craven Cottage Neil Warnock placed his faith in Clint Hill, a grizzly left back of Championship vintage hastily recalled from a loan at Nottingham Forest and thrust into the action to terrific effect. Danny Gabbidon's continued absence meant Fitz Hall, who'd struggled to cope with the meagre attack of a mediocre Blackburn side, continued alongside Anton Ferdinand, who spent most of the week on his sick bed, and Luke Young. Paddy Kenny started in goal.

Warnock rolled the dice further forwards as well. Adel Taarabt, who seems to share a PR agency with Mario Balotelli, won a recall at the expense of Jamie Mackie with Joey Barton, Alejandro Faurlin and Shaun Derry making up the midfield. Shaun Wright Phillips played wide of Heidar Helguson who occupied the lone striker role. After the hotch-potch mess against Blackburn where Barton and Derry seemed to be doing the same job Rangers had a much more rigid structure about them in this game and finally seemed to have realised that wonderful things happen when the ball is worked to Wright Phillips wide and early.

QPR were positive from the off Taarabt pepering the Chelsea area with a couple of early free kicks and Heidar Helguson heading well wide as a signal of early intent. At the Loft End, Daniel Sturridge cut in from the right flank attempting to make it five goals in as many games but dragged a shot wide.

Football, we know, can be a strange old game sometimes. Neil Warnock wanted Peter Crouch to lead his line this season but in the end settled for Jay Bothroyd. When the former Cardiff man failed to fire in the early games the boss was set to turn to DJ Campbell only for the gold-toothed front man to fracture a bone in his foot the day before he was due to return to the starting line up. Step forward Heidar Helguson – a wily 34-year-old Icelandic striker who has been there, seen it and won a free kick from it in his long and journeyman like career. I'm sure Jay Bothroyd afforded himself a wry smile when Helguson's cross dropped into the corner of the net last week – 17 minutes it took him to open his account for the season, Bothroyd is still waiting three months in.

No second invitation required.

Helguson v David Luiz and John Terry is a modern day heart-warming tale from the writers who brought you Leroy Griffiths v Marcel Dessaily. For all the intricacies of the modern game, and Warnock's QPR side, it was a goal right out the Championship manual of route one football that gave QPR the lead ten minutes into this match. Paddy Kenny, rotund and resplendent in yellow, launched a drop kick down the field which Helguson manoeuvred himself onto in the penalty area and then hit the deck under a moronic challenge from David Luiz. It seems that while your talented Brazilian centre back costs you £20m these days, the brain is an optional extra that Chelsea scrimped on. Did Helguson make the most of the push in the small of his back? Absolutely. The trick, as Luiz should know full well, is not to give him the opportunity.

The now traditional row between Adel Taarabt and everybody else over who was to take the crucial spot kick ended with Helguson stepping up and finding the top corner with a shot that Peter Cech in the Chelsea goal got a strong hand to and probably should have done better with.

A thing of pure beauty.

Too early? Perhaps. Chelsea seemed riled by the early set back but could only muster wild shots off target from long range from first Frank Lampard, then Ashley Cole and finally Didier Drogba while QPR more than matched them for workrate and endeavour with Shaun Wright Phillips willingness to work back and defend a particular highlight.

Much is said and written about Adel Taarabt, most of it unhelpful and much of it his own fault, but Neil Warnock may well resolve after this game that his partnership with Shaun Wright Phillips is worth having him on the field for more often than not. Their link up play against Newcastle on this ground earlier in the season was more than the still unbeaten Magpies could handle and although both have been quiet of late they combined wonderfully on the half hour to set up the second of three key moments in the first half.

Taarabt's through ball was out of the top drawer and Wright Phillips had the awareness to position himself inside Chelsea fullback Bosingwa and the pace to accelerate away from him. He was felled, quite clearly, on his way to goal – Chelsea appeals that John Terry was coming round to cover are ludicrous unless the use of high-powered motorcycles has suddenly been legalised for England international defenders in tough situations. Referee Chris Foy swooped in, awarded the free kick and sent Bosingwa off. The cheer from the Loft will have been heard in the Chelsea heartlands of Surrey and Sussex. Sadly Taarabt's salt rubbing exercise found only the hands of Cech as he curled the resulting free kick around the wall.

Bosingwa’s entry into the big book of schoolboy defending

Manager Andre Villas Boas reacted immediately, removing Sturridge and sending on Ivanovic to reconvene the defence. Chelsea were quite obviously rattled. They’d come into this fixture expecting just another game against an inferior side and suddenly found themselves a goal and a man down to a niggly, committed team in a raucous atmosphere. Juan Mata briefly visited the R Block corner of the ground for a set piece but quickly retreated and left it to Frank Lampard who was subjected to the sort of abuse normally reserved for sex offenders being removed from the magistrates' court in a prison van. Mata left the field before half time, citing a shoulder injury – a sensible lad, if a little cowardly.

Perhaps Andre Villas Boas' plan was to go in at half time, have a quick reminder of who everybody actually was, and then come out and return to business as usual. If it was, then a minute before the breakit had to be torn up and re-written. Drogba, completely dominated by Anton Ferdinand playing the game of his life, miscontrolled a ball on the QPR side of the halfway line and in a foolhardy attempt to retrieve it launched into a vile two footed lunge on Adel Taarabt. It could kindly be described as a striker's tackle. More accurately it was an obvious straight red card and for all Chelsea 's protestations Chris Foy had almost no option.

Drogba takes the long walk.

I can recall seeing QPR play against nine men on three separate occasions in my time following the club – Everton at home on Boxing Day 1992 when a comfortable 3-0 was suddenly turned into a nervy 3-2 by the numerically disadvantaged visitors before Rangers finally finished them off, against Wycombe at home in another Boxing Day clash a decade ago when lower league maniac Phil Prosser wreaked card havoc and QPR laboured to a 4-3 farce, and at Luton during the dark Vauxhall Motors days when Ian Holloway’s team had extra players for more than an hour but drew 0-0.

QPR, in their various guises, have never been very good against nine men because they constantly ignore the two fundamentals of doing it successfully. Firstly you have to maintain possession of the ball, secondly you have to station to pacy attackers as wide as they possibly can be right and left and feed them the ball regularly. The likes of Barton and Ferdinand will be remembered along with the banisters, Byrnes and Gallens of QPR v Chelsea history after Sunday but by God did the QPR team play some dumb football in the second half.

Possession was treated with outright contempt, passes were given away almost as if Rangers were being sponsored to do it - £100 for a charity of your choice for every lousy pass or stupid free kick conceded. In the first half Adel Taarabt and Shaun Wright Phillips gave all the indications that they had the attributes and form to really rip into Chelsea but after half time their team mates starved them of the ball to the point where Neil Warnock removed them both. Taarabt skulked off down the tunnel after being replaced by Tommy Smith, Wright Phillips later made way for Jamie Mackie but still QPR made the nine men look like 12. Every time David Luiz crossed the halfway line with the ball at his feet it panicked the home side in a way that never should have been possible given the logistics of the situation. I wondered if the fresh legs and legendary work rate of Jamie Mackie may have helped earlier and thought it would have been an ideal time for a second try with Jay Bothroyd but was left wondering, and fretting, throughout a needlessly fraught second half.

The story of the game summed up in one image.

Chelsea reverted to a tight three man midfield set up with Anelka alone in attack and rarely did they look like a team with two less players. They peppered the QPR penalty box with crosses and shots in the first five minutes of the half with Kenny required to command his goal mouth and show expert handling to relieve the pressure. It was shaping up to be a long half.

That said, presentable chances came and went. Luke Young, highlighting the profit to be made from dwelling in wide areas, accelerated into the penalty are but dragged a poor right footed shot across the goal and wide. And Chelsea were by no means perfect, their indiscipline permeating every facet of their game throughout the second half. Mikel was shown a yellow card for a hack at Taarabt which gave Faurlin a shooting chance with a free kick but he could only find the Chelsea wall. Ivanovic took a turn at chopping the Moroccan down five minutes later and was booked, as was Luiz for tripped Ferdinand as he marauded forward from the back. Then, in a moment that only QPR could conjure, Taarabt was worked into a prime shooting position on the edge of the penalty area only to be tackled brilliantly by Luke Young. Farce.

There were cards too for Shaun Derry and Joey Barton who both fulfilled the dreams of many in the stands by kicking Frank Lampard but it was Chelsea drawing Chris Foy’s attention more often than not.

The Blues have conceded three of their nine goals this season from free kicks in wide areas and although QPR’s delivery in such situations has been poor this term they got one right fifteen minutes from time when Barton swung over to the back post and Heidar Helguson volleyed over when it seemed easier to score. For everything that the Icelandic striker brings to the QPR team, and his performances and goals record for Rangers speaks for themselves, he is still prone to the odd missed sitter.

They don’t like it up em Mr Mainwaring.

Chelsea's post match fury was directed almost entirely in the direction of the match officials – as you would expect from a side reduced to nine men and losing to a disputed penalty. But somewhere deep within the bowels of Stamford Bridge must be an acknowledgement that the discipline required of a team in this situation was almost completely lacking. John Terry became the latest Chelsea player booked when he got embroiled in an argument with Paddy Kenny who objected to being deliberately taken out after he'd claimed a high cross. Our former England captain, the son of a drug dealing father and a shoplifting mother, reduced to deliberately knocking a fat goalkeeper to the ground and forced after the game to deny he’d racially abused QPR defender Anton Ferdinand. This is England.

Elsewhere David Luiz continued his giant hairy wrecking ball act with an obvious elbow on Clint Hill as the pair waited for a loose ball to fall from the sky. Had Foy not already dismissed two visiting players I'm convinced Luiz, already booked remember, would have walked.

The giant hairy wrecking ball in action.

Chelsea will be fined £25,000 for totting up seven yellow cards and two reds in this match and they have little grounds for complaint in any of the nine cases. But the hackles of manager Andre Villas Boas (quite a young fella apparently) were justifiably raised by two quickfire penalty decisions that should have gone their way. First Frank Lampard, full of self pity and sporting the seemingly fixed expression of a man who believes he’s terribly hard done to, fell in the area under significant contact from Fitz Hall. The ball would probably have run through to Kenny anyway but that’s not strictly relevant, this looked like a penalty to me. As did Heidar Helguson’s overly familiar wrestle with David Luiz under a cross from the opposite flank minutes later. Again the Chelsea fans and players appealed, again Foy showed no interest – they have every right to feel aggrieved on both counts and Meireles was booked for his protests.

Lucky escape part one…

Frustration with the officials was no excuse for the appalling lack of sportsmanship on show ten minutes from time after QPR had kicked the ball out so that Shaun Derry could be treated and then replaced by Jamie Mackie. Chelsea, through Lampard, played on instead of returning the ball and then attacked to a cacophony of boos. There was some poetic justice in the fact that it was Lampard who inadvertently deflected Luiz’s goalbound bicycle kick over Kenny’s crossbar and one senses that the Metropolitan Police match commander was rather grateful that he did. Had that gone in they’d have been turning over cars and looting shops in Shepherds Bush for days.

When a Chelsea player inadvertently deflects a Chelsea shot over the bar you sense it might be your day. When Anelka plants a free header straight into Kenny’s arms from half a yard out with ten minutes remaining you know it is. The Frenchman took too long over a shot and lost the opportunity when racing through on Kenny’s goal as the clock ran down as well but by then belief was starting to course through the home ranks.

The sense that it was just QPR’s day didn’t stop a torturous five minutes of added time dragging by at a snail’s pace. At the death of it all Alejandro Faurlin gave Chelsea another chance to put a ball into the QPR penalty area with a foul wide on the right flank – game intelligence was not a feature of this match from either side. Chelsea sent giant goalkeeper Peter Cech forward and for one horrifying moment it looked like he was going to head home substitute Malouda’s cross at the back post but QPR cleared the ball away and suddenly, with the Loft End goal gaping, Joey Barton was racing away down the field with the ball at his feet. Only Ashley Cole stood between him and certain glory and in true Cole style he responded to the challenge with a studs up, two footed, deliberate, cynical hack at the Rangers man as he ran past.

Ashley Cole, a “wonderful man” according to Ray Wilkins.

Barton crashed to the earth leaving the already carded Cole facing the prospect of an increasingly crowded early bath but Foy took pity on him and blew for full time instead. Cole, reprieved, spent the immediate post match squaring up to any QPR player he could get within shouting distance of, adding further doubt to Ray Wilkins’ assertion during a commentary earlier this season that he is a “wonderful man”.

Still, in his defence, it had been at least two hours since his last cigarette so perhaps a little crankiness was to be expected. No doubt the arms of a Croydon hairdresser or the vibration setting on his mobile phone provided solace later in the evening. A shame that a second roof raising goal had been denied, a shame that we were denied the sight of Cole traipsing off with a suspension to come, but shame wasn't exactly the word on the lips of QPR fans after this one.

Faurlin celebrates a famous win with his manager.

They’d arrived as 9/1 underdogs and left as a new entry into QPR folklore. It was more in hope than expectation that we filed into the home of football at 4pm on Sunday, but as a wise match previewer said on Friday – it’s that faint hope that keeps us coming back. Occasionally, the rewards for faith are indescribably brilliant.

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QPR: Kenny 7, Young 7, Ferdinand 9, Hall 8, Hill 8, Derry 7 (Mackie 81, -), Faurlin 7, Wright-Phillips 7, Barton 7, Taarabt 7 (Smith 61, 6), Helguson 8

Subs Not Used: Murphy, Orr, Bothroyd, Buzsaky, Puncheon

Booked: Derry (foul), Barton (foul)

Goals: Helguson 10 (penalty, won Helguson)

Chelsea: Cech 6, Bosingwa 5, Terry 6, Luiz 5, Cole 6, Mikel 6, Meireles 7 (Malouda 72, 6), Lampard 7, Sturridge 6 (Ivanovic 36, 6), Drogba 5, Mata 6 (Anelka 45, 7)

Subs Not Used: Turnbull, Romeu, McEachran, Kalou

Sent Off: Bosingwa (33), Drogba (41)

Booked: Mikel (foul), Lampard (foul), Ivanovic (foul), Luiz (repetitive fouling), Meireles (dissent), Cole (foul), Terry (ungentlemanly conduct)

QPR Star Man – Anton Ferdinand 9 A player who apparently spent most of the week on his sick bed, but somebody who stood up to be counted at the heart of the QPR defence. Won every header, timed every tackle, and even found times to go on a few marauding runs down the field. As good a centre half display as you’ll see from anybody in the Premiership all season.

Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside) 5 Chelsea are clearly fuming with the officials, as you would expect them to be given the circumstances. I can’t imagine Neil Warnock and the QPR fans bemoaning their own ill-discipline had the roles been reversed – a witch hunt is more likely. Obviously as a QPR fan I’m very happy with the decisions Mr Foy made on Sunday and the three biggest ones of all I think he got right – the penalty was a penalty, the first red card was an obvious goalscoring opportunity, the Didier Drogba tackle was one out of the Alan Hutton house of horrors. But there were other big calls he got wrong. Having awarded Heidar Helguson a penalty it then seemed odd that he waved away appeals from first Lampard and then Luiz in very similar circumstances. Both looked like penalties to me. Similarly having sent off Drogba and Bosingwa correctly why was first Luiz and then right at the end Cole allowed to escape without reds when they clearly deserved them? I thought he deserved credit for being brave in the face of huge pressure and dissent but it’s impossible to mark a referee too highly when, in my opinion, four big decisions in the game were wrong.

Attendance: 18, 050 (3,100 Chelsea) Jamie Redknapp, clearly flustered by the treatment doled out to Cousin Frank, said afterwards that he hadn’t even realised this was much of a derby. We’ll leave a debate about his research skills aside for now but I presume that both he, and the Chelsea players who seemed surprised by what they found inside Loftus Road as well, know exactly what this fixture is all about now. Loftus Road was at its raucous, intimidating best and it will need to be so again for the similarly difficult home games we have coming up. The place was rocking.

Photo: Action Images



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GloryHunter added 21:14 - Oct 24
"21 millionaires and Clint Hill". I love you, Clive.
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BrianMcCarthy added 21:17 - Oct 24
One for posterity, Clive.

You had a hard job in doing justice to a great day in Rangers' history, but you've managed it in style. Well done, and thanks.
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Neil_SI added 21:20 - Oct 24
Meireles should have actually been booked for his deliberate hand ball too, after tackling himself and falling over, before wrestling the ball back with his hand, which stopped us from countering the situation.

The situation where they didn't play the ball back to us after Shaun Derry went off was disgusting as well. It would have turned very ugly had they scored from that, which they nearly did.

What a day though...what...a...day!
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Martin63 added 21:25 - Oct 24
A lovely piece Clive. What a great, great day......10 years ago I thought a day like that would probably never ever come again. That victory was so sweet. And the SW6 knuckle draggers have woken up to the fact that the real derby is v the Rs (see below from one of their boards)

"The return fixture has taken on a bit of significance after that today. I hope we hammer them and more than that I hope that there is a tasty reception for everyone from QPR when they come to Stamford Bridge. The behaviour of their fans towards our players was such that I'm amazed no one did a Cantona."

Rattled? I think so!
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N12Hoop added 21:28 - Oct 24
In 30 years of watching QPR this is obviously one that will live forever etched in my mind. An unbelievable day.
A few observations: firstly everyone talks about what a brilliant tactician avb is yet he took off the pacy Sturridge effectively removing a key threat against Hill's lack of pace. He looked a real threat and his removal helped us big time.
Secondly, when we were so desparately in need of someone to hold up the ball why did NW ignore Buszaky and Bothroyd, especially Bothroyd who could have helped at defending set pieces as well as holding the ball up in attack?.
Finally, why remove Taarabt when Chelski were down to 9 men and he could have exploited the space? Whilst the result is the be all and end all it is embarrassing that, not withstanding the quality of the 9 remaining players, we were unable to eke out quality opportunities for the killer goal and had less possession than the scum.

I'm afraid that I am starting to have major doubts about NW's ability to take us forward to a Prem standard (although this does not effect the enormous respect I have for him for what he has achieved for us), but when you watch the fluid passing and movement of other Prem teams you have to accept that we are so far behind and, dare i say, Norwich and Swansea appear more adept at the Prem game then we are.
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Aunt_Nelly added 21:33 - Oct 24
West London is R's
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Norfolk added 21:34 - Oct 24
Superb write up again Clive, totally agree with your report, as for Redknapp, the fact he is employed by Sky and it was advertised as Derby Day I would have thought that would have given him a clue.
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MrSheen added 21:35 - Oct 24
Pristine pitch? I heard it was slippery. Pity no-one told poor innocent Didier.

Fair play to Taraabt, looking at the highlights afterwards, he played some brilliant passes and reaped plenty of cards.
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Monkey added 21:39 - Oct 24
Spot on as ever. Thanks a lot.
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RedbourneR added 21:41 - Oct 24
I don't think Luiz deserved a penalty. There's no movement from Heider at all - it's all from Luiz, jumping away from him as if prodded by a Taser and falling hopefully to the ground.

Still who cares? Not given, so doesn't count.
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DesertBoot added 21:58 - Oct 24
It was an incredible day. 99% of me elated. 1% slightly niggled that we made it so difficult for ourselves in the second half.
What a remarkable improvement on recent weeks and we would have learnt so much from the game too.
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JB007007 added 22:38 - Oct 24
Well done Clive, all wrapped up superbly.
I felt Chelsea were a bit arrogant going into this, they didn't really seem to acknowledge and grasp the importance of this on any level. Well they bloomin well will now.
The more I saw the last "kick" from that despicable little man Cole the more annoyed I am that he got away with it. Well done to Joey for not knocking his block off. The throw in ten minutes before the end was terrible sportsmanship too.
After the game, I was trying to work out my MOM. I went from Barton to Faurlin to Ferdinand who was superb, but for me it was Heidar. What a performance. He's come back in, he's won plenty in the air and led the line brilliantly. Cleverly won us the penalty and the game.
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westolian added 22:51 - Oct 24
I thought Clint Hill and SWP also deserved 8's

Adel seemed to be really getting into the game in the 2nd half and he was definately growing with confidence and I can sort of sense frustration but he really shouldn't show it

Am amazed Bothroyd didn't get on - is Tommy Smith everyone's first choice "go to" player in those circumstances ? Thought not !
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extratimeR added 23:07 - Oct 24
Thanks Clive!

Great report, and well done for for going to print so quick,( I have spent most of day sobering up but feeling great).

Ferdinand was great, very cool, as he has been since he arived, I was surprised that some of the Chelsea players lost their cool, (considering they are very experienced pro's), hard to believe, but I think atmoshere got to some of them.

Quick ask around in F block after game, and general consensus was that the atmoshere was on a par with Oldham, and( showing my age) the Leeds game.

Warnocks right, we will remeber this day for a long time.
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nadera78 added 00:20 - Oct 25
Whilst the Helguson - Luiz incident should probably have been a penalty, there are at least a dozen of those in every single premier league game. The amount of holding going on at set pieces these days is ridiculous.
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RangerKIK added 00:24 - Oct 25
What a game. I personally think that was the greatest referreeing display I have ever seen not only did he get every decision right but he even returned my suitcase after depositing all the money into his bank account.

The way we harried them high up the pitch and the amazing atmosphere completely threw Chelsea off their game. Totally disagree with N12Hoop re Warnock. I think he got the tactics spot on. Yes we played like a bunch of idiots second half but trust me Warnock's half time team talk was not 'right lads, good first 45 but in the second half I want you to panic everytime you get the ball, over hit most of your passes and remember you only have 25 seconds on the shot clock before you must have an attempt at goal!!!!!!!' Honestly he must have been as bemused/frustrated as the rest of us. Still we got there in the end.

Ended up a weird day for me though. The final whistle went and I am leaping about, checked my phone to read all the'you were lucky' messages from my friends only to find out one of the stars from my other great passion, Moto GP, had died.
I know it's a bit tedious reading other peoples personal experiences sometimes but thought in this case it was worth mentioning. Simoncelli was a great talent and will be very much missed in the world of motorsport.

To finish I would like to say the atmosphere was great and played a big part in us getting a good result. Let's make Loftus Rd as intimidating as yesterday for all our home games. In fact let's make it even more scary for the opposition!! The more noise we made the faster the talent drained out of Drogba's legs. Superfrickinhoopas!!



On a personal note but still worth mentioning was
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carrotcrunch_R added 01:08 - Oct 25
great report as usual clive the only thing i disagree with are the so called chelsea penalties both were deliberate theatrical dives which everytime the ball was in the box and any close contct they were trying to dupe the ref and gladly he wasnt buying it helguson was different he was clearly nudged in the back which was a stupid challenge although i was pleased he did :) the ref deserved at least a 9 imo he didnt allow them too cheat or intimidate him like other refs would.
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NorwayRanger16 added 01:10 - Oct 25
1: Re Chelseas two penalty shouts. The first one on Lampard theres no clear video evidence, think it's 50/50 though as both Lampard and Hall normally either dive/construct situations (Lampard) and tug shirts (Hall). The second one is never a pen, Luiz cynically tries to con the ref in hope of him evening the pens up.

2: There is a coherence between Chelseas second half performance and the aggression/indicipline that brought about all the yellows and fouls. Theres no way they could go out in the second half without upping their aggression (i know, sounds strange re the first half) and gambling with small margins in their tackles to have any chance of success. Villas-Boas showed that he has a back up plan for any situasion, even going down to nine men. The way he used either Terry or Luiz as a second striker depending on who brought the ball out of defence really impressed me, and that's what made them so difficult to defend against as they attacked with the same numbers as when they where 11. Just disapointed we didn't take advantage of all the space afforded to us.

3: They say that when you doesn't notice the ref he's had a good game (my point is not re Foy), i think the same apply to Fitz Hall. I'm biased though as i actually rate one size, but have to say he handled himself very well when a lot of questions where asked of him yesterday.

4: Anton, what a signing! He was immense!
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sipower added 01:40 - Oct 25
Clive - awesome - I agree with everything except the ref score ...too often Chelsea, United and especially Arsenal get the benefit from "decisions that could go either way" sportstalk crap for "bottled it for a big club".

Now enjoy all that and the lovely points - but we need to to fight for every single point to stay up - the next few games look daunting and the run in nightmarish - Warnock is the right man in the right place - we will need to dig trenches and sit in them if we are to stay up - we lost opportunities against Blackburn, Bolton and Fulham - now we need to get points against Chelsea, United Spurs and the rest - I dont know what the odds are - I still reckon we are there or thereabouts to go down - doesnt mean we cant enjoy this win - but make no mistake we have some skill and talent but we will need the grit and mentallity of a Warnock to keep us up. If we get another year - thats a different story .....
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whiffer added 09:38 - Oct 25
Crying with laughter, joy and pride! Your reports always make my day Clive.
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PinnerPaul added 09:40 - Oct 25
Love the "21 millionaires and Clint Hill" - genius!

Can't agree about the two penalty shouts and Lampard's arms aloft appeal "Look at me everyone ,I'm Frank Lampard it MUST be a penalty" makes me feel sick even now!

5 is a ridiculous mark for a referee who handled a very dificult game very well.

Had my phone counting down the 5 mins and Chelsea took the free kick on 4.55 so he was entitled to blow up when we cleared which he did. Would have LOVED to have seen Cole sent off but wouldn't have been a very sensible decision.

Terry's face when he was standing in front of T block being abused was worth the cost of my season ticket - I thought he was going to cry! Utterly utterly brilliant day!
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AshteadR added 09:53 - Oct 25
Absoulutely rocking - gret read Clive.

I don't think I've seen our players so 'up' for a game. The commitment was exceptional, although this probably had a negative impact on some of the quality - particularly 2nd half.

The Chelsea penalty appeals looked like good shouts from the Loft end, but not so much now I've seen them on TV. Foy was brave in his decisions and deserved a mark of 8 imo.

Great win. Gonna be tough at Spurs, but miracles do happen.....
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Spaghetti_Hoops added 10:21 - Oct 25
Disappointed. Report contains too much cr@p for me. What's that stupid "Had that gone in they’d have been turning over cars and looting shops in Shepherds Bush for days" nonsense and the need to regurgitate players murky past every time brings the game down to the level of the gutter. Not necessary.

The referee actually did a good job in very trying circumstances and deserves a high mark. Luckily he is a better judge of a penalty than some.

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dixiedean added 11:35 - Oct 25
Agree with Ranger KIK about NW.He got his tactics spot on in 1st half and I don't think it was his fault that the players panicked and kept giving the ball away 2nd half instead of just playing Ole football and knocking the ball around to knacker them out. Eventually a 2nd goal would have come- we didn't need to chase the 2nd goal. As usual the losing team blames everyone but themselves for losing. Stupid challenge by Luiz, mental one from Drogba who was woeful anyway ( still laughing at his 'shot' which ended up 10 yds in from corner flag for a throw-in)and bad decision by AVB to take Sturridge off and keep DD on.Not sure Hall deserves 8. Watch the Anelka header and see how he just ball-watches and lets NA drift behind him 5 yards out.If that had gone in Hall would have got a 4.Despite Terry & Cole's attempts to referee the game Foy was very brave and deserves credit. This wasn't a Styles or Andy Hall or Probert out to be controversial to get recognition, he gave what he saw. Usually when they give a 50/50 decision eg pen or red card, you always sense they look to even it up, but in fairness he gave every decision on its merits, despite constant intimidation from them.Regardless of the allegations about Terry he showed himself to be the graceless toerag we knew him to be.Sorry, but IF ( unlikely I know) England ever won anything and he accepted the trophy, I don't think I could watch. A disgrace to the country that he's our captain.Bobby Moore must be turning in his grave when that thug wears the armband.The idiot named Alan Green on 606 said our fans were to blame for creating a hostile atmosphere. Do me a favour- we should get huge praise for that ! Does he expect us to sit there and politely applaud Chelsea's pretty passing game while they tear us apart ? Probably the most idiotic thing I've heard from someone who should know better. Whether we can repoduce it on & off the pitch v Man C will be interesting.Hopefully I'll have my voice back by then.
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xian added 12:46 - Oct 25
Actually Foy's best moment and which showed that he was a good ref, was when he blew up when Mata slipped over and handled the ball, when in fact Derry had got away and there was a 3 v 2 situation. He realised he had blown up too quickly and waved his hands in the air as an apology. Not something you see from the ref and shows great confidence and understanding.
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