Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Football : Chelsea 1 - 0 QPR


Chelsea saw off neighbours QPR to earn a Carling Cup fourth-round berth.
The Blues gave a debut to £18m signing Yuri Zhirkov while Joe Cole made his return after injury, but Rangers matched Chelsea in the first half.
Italian Fabio Borini headed over for Chelsea, while Akos Buzsaky sent a curling shot wide for the visitors.
Chelsea improved after the break and Salomon Kalou beat the offside trap and fired in as the Blues protected their 100% record this season.
Blues coach Carlo Ancelotti was expected to play a much younger side, but the return of Joe Cole and defender Paulo Ferreira provide the Italian's team with plenty of experience.
Cole looked rusty as must be expected after eight months out injured, but Ancelotti played him for the entire 90 minutes.
Juliano Belletti was handed a rare start and he went desperately close before the break, the Brazilian seeing his 30-yard free-kick tipped over by Rangers' on-loan goalkeeper Tom Heaton.
Rangers were acquitting themselves well without creating much, save for Buzsaky's shot, and seven minutes after the break they fell behind.
Joe Cole sent Kalou through and after the striker drew two defenders, he fired in-off a post past a despairing Heaton.
By now Chelsea had Frank Lampard on as a second-half substitute and he slipped Bonini in on goal, only for the 18-year-old to see Heaton save his low shot.
The slender lead always gave Rangers hope and they almost caused a surprise when Buzsaky's 30-yard shot bounced awkwardly in front of Hilario, the Portuguese keeper eventually making the save.
But Chelsea finished the stronger of the two teams and after a lovely one-two, Joe Cole was only denied a return goal by another fine save from Heaton, the 23-year-old on loan from Manchester United.
Chelsea assistant coach Ray Wilkins:"If you see the size of our squad, a lot of the guys don't play week-in week-out, so it's vital they get airtime.
"We want to win everything we enter. Every side that takes to the field in a Chelsea shirt wants to win the game and the tournament they are playing in.
"If we can blood a few youngsters on the way, all is well and good."
QPR boss Jim Magilton:"I'm very proud of the team. I thought we remained positive even though we went a goal behind and that it invigorated us even more.
"You are not going to get many chances but I just think we probably lacked a little bit of self belief at times.
"All-in-all, I'm very encouraged. I can't fault the lads for their effort."

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