Chelsea FC vs QPR: 5 Things We Learned From the West London Derby
It was an interesting Sunday in the Premier League, even aside from Sir Alex and his Red Devils getting their clock cleaned by the "noisy neighbors".
Elsewhere in England, Chelsea faced off against Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road in a heated West London derby earlier today. Things obviously didn't go according to plan, after the roof essentially caved in on Chelsea, after a penalty kick, two red cards, and seven yellow cards.
They ended up losing 0-1, despite a good performance from their nine man side.
Here are five things we can take out of the game...
David Luiz NEEDS to Calm Down
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The most flagrant thing we got from today's game is that David Luiz can be completely reckless in his challenges sometimes.
This is becoming a pattern, with Luiz making unnecessary and dangerous tackles game after game.
We saw the same thing on Wednesday in Chelsea's Champions League match against Genk.
Luiz was chosen as a starter. After several rash tackles, he was yellow carded and could very well have been sent off as he almost was today.
If this epidemic continues, he'll quickly ruin his chances as a consistent starter for the Blues.
Frank Lampard and Nicolas Anelka Are Still Quality
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Nicolas Anelka and Frank Lampard are arguably Chelsea's biggest punching bags from critics and even some fans.
A lot of people say they're past their best and are too old to be on the pitch at all.
Well I think their performances not only today, but over the course of the last few games should put those accusations to bed.
Lampard played exceptionally well, even for having to do twice the work he'd normally have to do with 11 men on the field.
His passing was good and his attacking was spot on as well as always. There is definitely still life left in the midfielder
Anelka was pretty good as well, considering he was the only forward on the pitch for over 50 minutes. His other games this season have also shown him to be still quite a formidable attacking force.
He nearly drew the game for us, but sadly, his header in the last third was directed right at the hands of the goalkeeper, denying Chelsea a tying goal.
He has done well for us this season, even as we've been using him out of position at right-wing. And although his departure from CFC in the summer looks likely, the club would do well in offering him an extension.
Didier Drogba Isn't What He Used to Be
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The hardest reality to take out of this game is that Didier Drogba just isn't the lethal striker he once was.
Not only in this game, but in every game he's played this season, he's look detached, careless, and just plain poor in form.
He's scored fewer goals since January than Torres has—albeit with less game time—and seems to have lost his deadliness in front of goal.
That coupled with a tussle between him and John Obi Mikel after the Ivorian's sending off, make his three-game spell this month a complete bust.
With Torres suspended for three games at the beginning of the month, Drogba had the perfect opportunity to prove to AVB that he can compete with the Spaniard for the CF position every week.
He effectively blew it.
AVB Does Well Tactically When We Go Down
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Another thing we learned is that Villas-Boas is very astute in his change of tactics, formation, and substitutions when Chelsea goes a man (or two) down.
After the first red card today, AVB quickly rushed back to the bench to grab his pad and pencil and consult his No. 2 Roberto DiMatteo.
The players and formation were changed after AVB planned out his strategy, and even though we ended up not nicking a win, they were largely effective.
Even with being down nine men for over an hour, Chelsea held an impressive 58 percent possession. They allowed QPR to manage just two shots on target—pretty impressive for a team outnumbered by two men.
On top of that, Chelsea very nearly tied and even won the game with two unfortunate misses on goal.
We saw this same theme in Chelsea's Carling Cup match last month against Fulham. Two injuries and a red card forced AVB to use his three substitutions earlier than he would have liked.
His plan, though, bore the same result, with a 10-man second-string Chelsea dominating Fulham.
Chris Foy Must Somehow Be Related to Tom Henning Ovrebo
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Well, maybe it's not that drastic, but some of his decisions really left me scratching my head.
First of all, let me say that I'm really not one for blaming the refs for a loss (barring the 2009 CL Semi-Final). And even though Foy made some staggering calls—and non-calls—Chelsea still could and probably should have come back to win this game.
The penalty awarded to QPR in the 10th minute may or may not have been legitimate, but if that was considered a penalty by Foy, why weren't the several questionable offenses committed on us in the second half classified as the same by Foy?
Drogba's red card was sadly deserved, but Bosingwa's red card was completely unwarranted.
After that, Foy effortlessly dished out seven more yellow cards to Chelsea players. It got so exorbitant that every time a QPR player went down, I was just waiting for Foy to blow his little whistle, pull out his book, and hold up a card.
Now, I'm of course not alleging any FA conspiracies or anything like that, but Foy certainly did well to show himself as an Ovrebo Jr. of sorts.
And it's also worth noting that Foy was also the ref in charge of Chelsea's Carling Cup game last month against Fulham, where there was another questionable red card given to a Chelsea player and a penalty kick given to the opposition. Just something to think about...
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So in the end, it was a tough defeat to take, knowing the Blues could have surpassed Manchester United in the table with a victory today.
Even still, they should definitely be proud of the way they played and shut QPR out for almost an hour with just nine men on the pitch.