Chelsea laboured to beat their West London rival QPR 2-1 in what was seen going by their standard, as not too-impressive performance. Jose Mourinho has gone ahead to criticise the atmosphere in Stamford Bridge as one of the reason his side were shaky last weekend but most Chelsea player on the day really looked like they were not motivated enough for the game.
It took Chelsea more than half an hour to get into the score sheet but things became scary when Charlie Austin put the visitors level on the 62nd minute and it looked like QPR are going to take something from the game until that moment of magic from Hazard led to him being fouled inside the box and he characteristically dispatched the resultant spot kick with aplomb to the relief of most fans as Chelsea walked away with the maximum three points and maintain their four point lead at the summit of EPL table.
Here are five things we learnt from the QPR game.
Derbies Are Always Difficult No Matter The Strength Of Opposition:
Before the game everyone has tipped Chelsea to dispatch QPR with relative ease but the game went on to be a difficult one for Chelsea.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho had recognised the difficult nature of derby games and had voiced out his fears before the game. Chelsea who has beaten difficult oppositions before now found it difficult to penetrate the QPR defence.
Players of both sides are motivated during derby and are always looking forward to getting the better of their rivals thus earning the bragging right. QPR might have been in poor form this season, but when it comes to playing their local rivals, they are always up for it and are always seeking to cause an upset.
The last time they visited the Bridge the ran away with a 1-0 win courtesy of former Blues Shaun Wright Philip goal but Chelsea nicked this one through a brilliant Oscar goal and a late Hazard Penalty.
Oscar Showing Strength Game after Game:
When Mourinho came in as the new Chelsea manager, he did not hide his admiration and preference for Oscar as the club’s no.10 over fan’s favourite Juan Mata.
Though Oscar’s form will dip towards the end of last season, the young Brazilian has kicked off this campaign in a bright form thus repaying the faith shown on him by the manager.
His game has continued to improve with each passing game and his wonder goal again against QPR is a testament that he is really fast becoming who the manager thinks he is.
Chelsea will greatly benefit from his good form if he continues like this as this will help take a chunk of burden off Eden Hazard who everyone think should be driving the club forward all the time.
And Hazard Too:
Hazard has shown a bit of consistency in his performance for the club this season and that is what Jose Mourinho requires of him. He has also seemed to understand that the club needs him to conjure his foot magic when result looks hard to come by.
Often time as we have seen this season, he has come up with a brilliant individual performance to rescue the club. Against Arsenal, when the Arsenal defence seems like they are curtailing Chelsea’s attack, it was his usual mazy run from the centre of the pitch into the Gunners box that drew a foul from an Arsenal defender and the resultant spot kick which he converted put Chelsea ahead to winning the game.
Against QPR he had to come up with the same magic and QPR did not have any answer to that. Chelsea really needs a player like him who can single handily put the club in the lead when the goals are not forthcoming.
Chelsea Showed Champions Mentality:
One hallmark of a champion is the ability to grind out result even when playing badly. Against QPR, Chelsea was not at their imperious best yet they managed to take the maximum three points which is what’s more important at the moment.
The Manchester United side under Sir Alex Ferguson are one team who knew how to grind out results during hard times and that help them greatly enroot winning their numerous titles.
Chelsea Looks to Have Sacrifice their defensive Discipline:
Chelsea defence these days is no longer typical of the Chelsea defence we used to know. The defence often times, loose concentration and that could be seen by the amount of goals they’ve conceded this season.
Chelsea have only kept three clean sheets in the 10 games played so far in the league hence, raising questions if Mourinho have decide to jettison his ‘defence first’ approach.
Chelsea defensive record was the best in the league last season and second best in Europe but same cannot be said of it currently. QPR did not attack that much and one will begin to question the defensive ability of the team when they concede a goal from QPR first shot on target for the day.