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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
23:06 21st June 2012
By  @OfficialQPR

QPR and Chelsea shared the spoils in a pulsating West London derby at Loftus Road.

An action-packed affair for the duration, both sides went out for the win in a contest that surprisingly ended without goal.

Either team could have won it. Bobby Zamora perhaps should have done better when rounding Petr Cech after the break, while Eden Hazard missed a golden opportunity in the dying minutes.

But goalless was how it remained – a result that, on reflection, was probably a fair one.

R’s boss Mark Hughes made just one change to his side for the visit of the European Champions, with Julio Cesar handed his Hoops debut in place of Rob Green.

Cesar was in goal for QPR, who lined up in a 4-4-2 formation.

Jose Bosingwa, Anton Ferdinand, Ryan Nelsen and Fabio da Silva made up the back four.

Ale Faurlin was joined by Esteban Granero in the centre of midfield, with Wright-Phillips and skipper Ji-Sung Park operating from wide.

Former Fulham duo Andy Johnson and Zamora began in attack for Rangers.

The atmosphere inside Loftus Road was vociferous prior to kick-off.

Perhaps it was no surprise therefore that the contest got off to a lively start, even though few clear-cut opportunities arrived the way of either side.

Chelsea had the best chance to open the scoring inside the opening ten minutes – and what an opportunity it was, too.

Ramires found space down the right before picking out Hazard in the centre who, unmarked, could only fire straight at Cesar.

QPR fashioned their first attempt on the quarter-hour mark. Fabio and Park combined to dispossess Ramires, before Zamora turned on the latter’s ball to shoot low into the arms of Cech.

Two minutes later, Fernando Torres cut back on to his left foot following a ball into the box before forcing a smart reaction save from Cesar.

Rangers were forced into a change on 21 minutes when Fabio limped off with what appeared to be a hamstring complaint. Nedum Onuoha took his place.

The tempo of the contest cooled as the half wore on.

Chelsea probably enjoyed the greater amount of possession in the first period and it was the visitors who had strong appeals for a penalty waived away in the 30th minute, after Hazard went down under challenge from Wright-Phillips.

Injury enforced another substitution on the R’s on 33 minutes, with Johnson replaced by Jamie Mackie.

The Blues missed arguably the chance of the half ten minutes before the break. Frank Lampard’s corner found David Luiz on 12 yards – but the charismatic Brazilian could only head wide.

Rangers had the first opportunity of the second half. Park’s ball into Zamora saw the latter flick on for Mackie, who spun and shot straight at Cech. 

The R’s enjoyed more possession after the half-time interval and grew in confidence as a consequence.

The home side could – and perhaps should – have taken the lead in the 55th minute when Granero picked out an unmarked Park in the box, who could only direct a header at Cech.

Four minutes later, Wright-Phillips rolled a pass into Faurlin on 30 yards, who sized up the target before lashing a shot over.

Rangers were now on top and it wasn’t long before the Hughes’s side were on the attack once again – Wright-Phillips this time firing wide after latching on to Granero’s delightful pass over the top of the Chelsea defence. Park also shot over soon after from a Mackie cross.

Hughes made his third and final change on 70 minutes in an attempt to snatch all three points, with Djibril Cisse brought to replace Wright-Phillips.

The R’s soon had that chance to win it. John Obi Mikel's back pass unintentionally put Zamora in the clear who, after rounding Cech, could only cut back and fire low into a line of waiting Chelsea bodies on the line.

Hazard had his own chance to claim victory for the visitors in the dying minutes but could only blast a Victor Moses centre over.

QPR: Cesar, Ferdinand, Park, Johnson (Mackie 33), Wright-Phillips (Cisse 70), Granero, Nelsen, Bosingwa, Fabio (Onuoha 21), Zamora, Faurlin.

Subs: Green, Taarabt, Dyer, Hoilett.

Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Cole, Luiz, Ramires, Lampard, Torres (Sturridge 81), Mikel, Hazard, Terry, Bertrand (Moses 58).

Subs: Turnbull, Romeu, Oscar, Cahill, Azpilicueta.

Bookings: Ramires (14), Bertrand (27)

Referee: Mr A Marriner

Attendance: 18,271 (3153 away)
    Data provided by Press Association
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