Chelsea struggled to a victory against Queens Park Rangers in an exciting West London derby.
The Blues, who were struggling to break down QPR, finally crossed the line thanks to an Eden Hazard winner from the penalty spot. Oscar’s earlier strike, which would have been more than worthy as a winner, was cancelled out by Charlie Austin’s deft flick.
It was a typically cagey start in a match between two rival clubs. Harry Redknapp could not afford for more pressure to be placed on his shoulders so opted to defend; Mourinho’s men were therefore struggling to inject any real impetus.
That changed after the half-hour mark. Cesc Fabregas’ ninth assist brought Oscar’s fourth goal of the campaign, a delicious curling right-footed shot from the outside of the boot. The ball was coming at pace and the Brazilian whacked it in first-time: 1-0.
Would that settle Chelsea? Yes. Would it allow them to push on? No. Costa, who had missed the last four matches through injury, had a chance before the half-time whistle blew, whilst Hazard had a go just after the break.
The next goal was to be QPR’s, however. Vargas’ drive was well-stopped but Austin back-heeled from Fer’s rebound.
Chelsea were not in danger of losing their 100% unbeaten streak of the season but could they secure all the points here? They could. Vargas was rash to bundle over Hazard on the edge of the box and the Belgian, as he has in of his Premier League penalties to date, slotted home his eighth from the spot.
Man of the Match
OSCAR: The Brazilian ducks in and out of good form but the last few weeks have been good for him. An excellent free-kick against Crystal Palace and now a sublime goal today shows to the world the Brazilian is starting to realise his actual talent. Mourinho shall no doubt now demand more consistency and a better impact against the top teams. 8/10
Mourinho felt his side could have done better: “My team didn’t play well… I was expecting more. For 90 minutes I think [Oscar] was our best player. Not for the goal, but for the dynamic, for the intensity, for the transitions. He was always sharp.”
Harry Redknapp was disappointed with the penalty award: “It was harsh. It was a shoulder to shoulder charge and our guy was a bit stronger. To get no points is obviously disappointing. However, there’s lots of positives. We showed a great attitude and I think we have got enough to stay in this division.”