HomeSportSoccerWright-Phillips stuns Chelsea

Wright-Phillips stuns Chelsea


LONDON — Shaun Wright-Phillips dealt a major blow to Chelsea’s Premier League title hopes and boosted Queens Park Rangers’ chances of survival by giving his side a shock 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

Report by Supersport

Wright-Phillips struck against his former club in the 78th minute to secure his side’s second league win of the season and their first away victory since November 2011, as well as their first win at the home of their near neighbours since 1983.

The result took bottom club QPR to within five points of safety and ensured Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez’s decision to rest a number of leading players back-fired as his side missed out on the chance to move third.

The Blues’ performance will also strengthen their resolve to tie up a deal for Demba Ba.

The Newcastle United striker had travelled to London during the day for talks about a move to Stamford Bridge after Chelsea agreed to trigger the player’s £7 million release clause.

With Fernando Torres failing to take the one clear opportunity that came his way, this was certainly a game when Benitez would have liked to have been able to call on another striker.

But the manager’s team selection left him open to charges of over-confidence against a Rangers side who have endured a grim season and had performed dismally against Liverpool three days previously.

Juan Mata, Ashley Cole, Ramires and Eden Hazard were left on the bench ahead of the weekend FA Cup tie at Southampton, although three of those four were on the pitch at the final whistle, reflecting Chelsea’s frustration.

Rangers manager Redknapp also rang the changes, although that was hardly unexpected after his side’s meek capitulation against Liverpool.

Redknapp had insisted before the game that his team would not repeat the defensive mistakes that had scarred that performance and he was good to his word.

It quickly became clear that Chelsea would have to work to find a way through the visiting defence and it took them until the 43rd minute to hit the target, when QPR goalkeeper Julio Cesar saved well with his legs from Oscar’s shot.

But by then, Redknapp’s side were already convinced they had been the victim of an injustice when Marko Marin — making his Premier League debut — somehow escaped with only a yellow card following an ugly tackle on Stephane Mbia after just four minutes.

Nor was their cause helped by a 15th-minute injury to David Hoilett, who hobbled off with a hamstring problem.

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