Cesc Fabregas Is Chelsea’s Masked Hero
How big was that goal?
Chelsea were still probably going to win the league anyway even without the masked Cesc Fabregas donning his superhero’s cape and riding to their rescue late on, but with his team not performing and about to drop points ahead of crucial meetings with Manchester United and Arsenal, the Spaniard’s late intervention was exactly what his team needed.
His side were not good here, but how often have we said that about championship winning sides?
Chelsea Need To Speed Things Up
As Ruud Gullit noted on Twitter, everything about Chelsea’s play during the non-event of a first half was far ‘to slow’ (sic).
When Eden Hazard is either not on his game or watched closely as he was impressively by QPR right-back Mauricio Isla, there is not much else around to worry the opposition or look to get in behind them, something which should surely have been the target down the side featuring the hardly rapid Clint Hill and Steven Caulker. Of course Diego Costa was missed here, but arguably Loic Remy’s pace meant that he could have been selected ahead of him anyway, and Juan Cuadrado’s omission until the last 10 minutes was puzzling.
But Their Lack Of Goals Is A Problem
Without both Remy and Costa, Jose Mourinho’s team looked startlingly short on goals.
We all know what Hazard is capable of, but the three players who started closest to him had just seven Premier League strikes between them this season at kick-off – Didier Drogba with three and Cesc Fabregas and Willian with two each, which was eventually to become three for the former.
There are mitigating factors to those totals of course, and Chelsea’s position at the top of the table shows that it has hardly been too much of a problem, but this was hardly a line-up built to go and blow QPR away.
Ramires Is Half The Player He Once Was
Perhaps the most disappointing performer in Chelsea’s rather distinctive away kit was the Brazilian Ramires, who didn’t seem to know what he was in the team for and in truth just seemed to coast through the game until he was replaced by Oscar before the hour mark.
Once such a crucial player in Chelsea’s 2012 Champions League winning team thanks to his boundless energy levels and fantastic work-rate, he now just looks a little lost and simply a body to fill a space in the team.
Mourinho doesn’t tolerate those for long, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him moved on in the summer.
QPR Will Fight To The End
If all removing Harry Redknapp and replacing him with Chris Ramsey did was give QPR a little humility, then it was a good move.
After becoming synonymous with paying big money to ageing stars (Rio Ferdinand was nowhere to be seen here) this Rangers team at least looks to have the fight and desire to stay up. They deserved a point here and should have earned it off the back of good results and performances at West Brom and Aston Villa, but instead they were made to rue late sloppiness like they did in that remarkable 3-2 loss to Liverpool in October.
They’ll be in the shake-up right to the end, though, and should take solace in that.
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