Millennium Post

Chelsea lose tempo in title challenge

Shaun Wright-Phillips dealt a major blow to Chelsea’s Premier League title hopes and boosted Queens Park Rangers’ chances of survival by giving his side a shock 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

Wright-Phillips struck against his former club in the 78th minute to secure his side’s second league win of the season and their first away victory since November 2011, as well as their first win at the home of their near neighbours since 1983.

The result took bottom club QPR to within five points of safety, and ensured Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez’s decision to rest a number of leading players back-fired as his side missed out on the chance to move third.

The Blues’ performance will also strengthen their resolve to tie up a deal for Demba Ba.

Ba had travelled to London during the day for talks about a move to Stamford Bridge after Chelsea agreed to trigger the player’s £7 million ($11.4 million, 8.6 million euros) release clause.

With Fernando Torres failing to take the one clear opportunity that came his way, this was certainly a game when Benitez would have liked to have been able to call on another striker.

But the manager’s team selection left him open to charges of over-confidence against a Rangers side who have endured a grim season and had performed dismally against Liverpool three days previously. Juan Mata, Ashley Cole, Ramires and Hazard were left on the bench, although three of those four were on the pitch at the final whistle, reflecting Chelsea’s frustration.
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