Queens Park Ranger stunned west London neighbors Chelsea as former Blues forward Shaun Wright-Phillips scored the only goal of the game to give his side a 1-0 victory at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.
Chelsea had won four matches in a row coming into the fixture and were strong favorites to continue their attempts to catch the Premier League’s top two against a QPR team that had lost their last three fixtures.
But Chelsea failed to take advantage of their domination of possession before succumbing to Wright-Phillips’s strike 12 minutes from time.
The result sees Chelsea remain in fourth place in the standings and perhaps now end their chances of rejoining the race for the title. Despite the victory, QPR remain rooted to the foot of the table, although they are now level on points with Reading and just five points from safety.
After their dismal 3-0 defeat to Liverpool on Sunday, QPR boss Harry Redknapp claimed he still believed his side could perform a great escape. Few believed him, but even fewer people likely thought that QPR would gain a potentially vital three points at Stamford Bridge.
At the end of the hectic festive period, Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez decided to rotate his side as arguably their most impressive performer this campaign Juan Mata started on the bench, alongside Eden Hazard, Ashley Cole and Ramires.
One of the players who came into the lineup, Marko Marin sparked early controversy with a robust challenge on Stephane Mbia that saw referee Lee Mason produce yellow rather than red.
Chelsea produced their best spell of pressure early in the opening half, but Victor Moses struck wide before Julio Cesar denied Fernando Torres.
To their credit, though, QPR responded and applied some pressure of their own. That culminated in Wright-Phillips’s goal to give the traveling QPR fans a rare occasion to jump with delight after a disastrous first-half of the season.
Adel Taarabt played a key part as the Moroccan displayed his fine technical ability to control a cleared corner first-time into Wright-Phillips’s path and the winger struck a crisp shot into the corner past reserve Chelsea goalkeeper Ross Turnbull.