Chelsea escaped with a 2-1 victory over Queens Park Rangers after an Eden Hazard penalty in the 75th minute canceled out a second-half equalizer from Charlie Austin on Saturday at Stamford Bridge.
The Premier League leaders got on the board with a fantastic goal from Oscar in the 32nd minute. Off an assist from Cesc Fabregas, the young Brazilian delivered a sublime right-footed strike from the right side that flew past goalkeeper Robert Green.
Chelsea would continue applying pressure. Jose Mourinho's side would take 18 shots with eight on goal, and controlled possession for 65 percent of the match.
But QPR would counter. In the 62nd minute, the Blues defense failed to shut down a break with Eduardo Vargas and Austin charging up the attacking half. Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois blocked a right-sided shot from Vargas, that was found its way to Leroy Fer. The Dutch forward failed to properly strike a volley from inside the box, but it found Austin, who was ideally situated to re-directed it in goal with a backheel. It was Austin's fifth goal of the season.
Green would keep QPR in the game with some fine saves. But a Vargas foul on Hazard in the box led to the Belgian drilling home a penalty shot that went right, while Green guessed Hazard would go left.
Chelsea are nine points ahead of Manchester City in the table, but it doesn't mean their demanding manager was pleased with the effort.
"My team didn't play well or well enough or so well as I was expecting," said Mourinho. "I was expecting more."
Next up for Chelsea is a Champions League group game against NK Maribor on Wednesday. Another tough challenge awaits QPR, with a home match against Manchester City.