Premier league leaders Chelsea scored their 100th goal of the season as they beat a resilient Queens Park Rangers (QPR) 1-0. Cesc Fabregas scored the 88th-minute winner for Chelsea to edge closer to the Premier League title on Sunday.
Fabregas scored after a sloppy effort by QPR goalkeeper Rob Green. A mis-hit clearance by QPR goalkeeper Robert Green was picked up by Eden Hazard and the Belgium winger fed Fabregas — wearing a mask to protect his broken nose — for a low finish inside the post. Intrestingly, Cesc was minutes away from being substituted by Jose Mourinho.
Chelsea’s now is within a sniffing distance of the title despite a lackluster performance at Loftus Road, toiling up front with veteran Didier Drogba who showed little threat minus the injured strikers Diego Costa and Loic Remy.
But Fabregas delivered late — the leaders have made a habit recently of winning in spite of their scrappy performances – perhaps ending the realistic title hopes of his former club Arsenal.
This win for Chelsea means that they maintain their healthy 7-point lead at the top over second-place Arsenal with still a couple of games in the hand.
QPR were left heartbroken after keeping the league leaders at bay for 87 minutes and also coming close to to scoring once or twice.
In most football leagues in the world when the league leaders face a team struggling in relegation zone, the conclusion is foregone- but this is the Barclays Premier League. The Rangers gave the blues a run for their money throughout the game.
It was a very physical match from the start with the Rangers refusing to back down in face of the would-be champions. They were cheered on by a very large and noisy home crowd who made it a point to ‘boo’ every Chelsea player, but specially John Terry.
Willian came the closest for the league leaders in the first half, his cross hitting the woodwork. For QPR, main man Charlie Austin came close from long range forcing a fine save from Courtois. It was not beautiful but a intriguing and frantic game.
QPR were more attacking in the second half with Phillips leading the charge. He was denied a goal in the 63rd minute by Courtois.
Chelsea next play Manchester United and second-placed Arsenal, but both teams are running out of time to catch Jose Mourinho’s side.
(With The Associated Press)