QPR vs. Chelsea: 6 Things We Learned
QPR managed to frustrate Chelsea on Saturday afternoon with a spirited performance to earn a point against their West London rivals.
The derby was eagerly anticipated due to the theatre of the pre-match handshake, where Anton Ferdinand blanked both John Terry and Ashley Cole due to the fallout from the racism scandal that marred this fixture last season.
The result now means that the Blues have stuttered in the last two matches, which also included a humbling at the hands of Atletico Madrid. Nonetheless, Chelsea remain atop the league by a point.
The Hoops now look up with a plethora of options to choose from in the squad after splurging in the transfer window to almost guarantee relegation will not be a concern for the club moving forward.
Here are six things we learned from this fiery match.
John Terry Is One of the Most Mentally Strong Players Ever
John Terry was snubbed in the pre-match handshake by Anton Ferdinand, but the Chelsea skipper was able to focus on the task in hand, defending resolutely throughout Saturday's match.
Bobby Zamora was largely quiet, aside from when he intercepted a back-pass for the game's biggest chance, and this was mostly down to how Terry dealt with the former England international.
Terry was able to assert himself well, defending physically while also using the ball intelligently.
The constant abuse he suffered was also a sign of how the England international calls upon his outstanding character to triumph despite numerous distractions.
Some may have differing opinions on John Terry, the person, but it is unquestionable that he holds immense concentration, essential in order to consistently deliver quality performances for England and Chelsea.
Chelsea Might Need to Use Victor Moses More Than They Initially Thought
Chelsea struggled to break down a resilient QPR side who executed their tactics perfectly, nullifying the Blues' attack.
The Hoops packed the central areas, sitting deep and forcing Chelsea to shift the ball into wide areas, more often than not down the right side, where Branislav Ivanovic and Ramires saw plenty of the ball.
In the second half, Victor Moses entered the game as a substitute and was also a benefactor of the way QPR approached the match, enjoying a lively debut. The former Wigan star seemed a little nervous, though, shirking responsibility at times and passing back inside instead of trying to beat his opponent on the outside.
Roberto Di Matteo will demand more from Moses in the coming weeks, especially if the opposition deploys similar tactics to QPR. The Nigerian international will be asked to add more variety to his game, something that will hugely benefit the Blues.
QPR Possess One of the Best Centre-Midfield Partnerships in the Premier League
Mark Hughes will be absolutely delighted by the centre-midfield partnership that is currently developing with every minute that they play together.
Esteban Granero and Alejandro Faurlin compliment each other superbly, both of whom are adept at passing the ball, short and long, as well as being able to cover significant ground in order to reclaim the ball.
It is a great foundation for the Hoops to build upon, which will go some way to ensuring that relegation is not an issue for the West London club this season.
Hoops Now Possess a Goalkeeper They Can Rely on
QPR are now able to field a solid goalkeeper who will not let them down in the biggest moments in games.
Julio Cesar was a stunning signing from Inter Milan this summer, displacing another new recruit in Robert Green and immediately proving why he deserved that spot with an assured performance.
The former Seleção international was superb at dealing with set-pieces, something that might have been difficult to adjust to coming from Serie A, but the Hoops defended resolutely throughout, largely thanks to the confidence instilled by Cesar.
Suddenly, QPR are building a solid spine to the side as they attempt to build toward a mid-table finish.
Fernando Torres Needs to Show a Better Attitude
Fernando Torres must improve his attitude on the pitch moving forward if he wants to rediscover his best form.
Torres did not have a great game on Saturday, which can happen, but it is how one reacts to adversity that separates the good from the great.
Torres can partly attribute his lack of involvement due to a lack of service, but he must also take some of the responsibility.
Ultimately, Roberto Di Matteo was fully within his right to substitute the Spaniard for the lively Daniel Sturridge in the second half. El Niño clearly disagreed, though, marching straight down the tunnel, despite the Blues attempting to win the match with the game delicately poised at 0-0.
Next time, Fernando, better you stay and cheer on your fellow teammates.
Ramires Does Not Naturally Fit in to Di Matteo's 4-2-3-1 Formation
Ramires is an excellent player, one that possesses pace, power and seemingly endless bundles of energy to cover more ground than the majority of players on the pitch.
However, Roberto Di Matteo is intent on mastering the 4-2-3-1, which does not appear to suit the Brazilian, despite being versatile enough to fit in to several positions in this formation.
Ramires is often used on the right side of the "3," but he does not appear to possess the composure required in the final third, consistently taking the wrong options, or not observing them early enough.
It seems like Di Matteo feels that Ramires is not disciplined enough to play as one of the "2s" either, begging the question as to where the Seleção international fits in to the Blues' plans long term.