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Monday, July 30, 2007

QPR 3 Chelsea 1 - Flashback Six Years!

Six Years Ago at Loftus Road: QPR 3- Chelsea 1: "Just" a pre-season Friendly - but for newly-relegated QPR a nice result - and the last time QPR defeated (Pre-Abramovich's) Chelsea! With a wonder goal by Leroy Griffiths (also Connolly and Peacock scoring. And in goal for Chelsea: De Goey (with Bosnich on the bench). As fro the QPR team: Every single one of the players has moved on.
Of course, the fact that this post is noting a friendly result from six years ago, while Chelsea fans are counting their trophies does say something!

The teams:
QPR (4-4-2): Day; Forbes, Palmer, Ben Aska, Bruce; Bonnot (Cochrane, 51min), Perry, Peacock, Connolly (Walsh, 90); Thomson, Griffiths (Koejoe, 73).

Chelsea (3-4-3): De Goey (Bosnich, h-t); Gallas, Desailly (Bogarde, 66), Babayaro (Harley, h-t); Melchiot, Lampard, Morris (Jokanovic, h-t), Le Saux; Zola (Gudjohnsen, h-t), Hasselbaink (Forssell, 65), Gronkjaer (Stanic, h-t).

Guardian -Chris Taylor
Griffiths makes Chelsea pay the price as he moves from rags to riches

Chelsea's £25m summer spending spree may yet prove to be value for money, but it was Rangers' sole close-season purchase, a £40,000 buy from Hampton and Richmond, who stole the show as the millionaires from SW6 got a rude awakening in Shepherds Bush.
Leroy Griffiths made himself an instant hit with Rangers fans when he latched on to a through ball and, leaving the Chelsea captain Marcel Desailly trailing in his wake, lashed a fierce volley across Ed de Goey and into the far corner of the net. It was a moment of class from a young man who seemed totally unfazed by taking on one of the world's top defenders only a few weeks after turning out in the Rymans League.

"He's won the World Cup, been in the Champions League and that's where I want to be," said Griffiths. "You may be a World Cup winner but you're playing against someone totally different that you don't know anything about."
It was, as his manager Ian Holloway said, a wonderful goal from a player who has proved to be "a breath of fresh air". The victory will help boost confidence and blow away some of the gloom from last season's relegation to the Second Division, which has left continuing uncertainty over the cash-strapped club's future.

Pre-season games are a notoriously poor guide to the prospects for the coming campaign - witness Chelsea's Charity Shield victory over Manchester United last year - but there was little in this disjointed performance to suggest Claudio Ranieri's team would be capable of mounting a title challenge. In particular, Frank Lampard's anonymous display in midfield, where he was outshone by the Chelsea old boy Gavin Peacock, only served as a reminder that his predecessor as the Blues' costliest Englishman was Chris Sutton.

It had all looked so different early on. When Gronkjaer calmly netted in the 10th minute after Gianfranco Zola's defence-splitting pass had sprung the offside trap, it looked like the visitors would be able to take the game at a stroll on what was a swelteringly hot day. But with Chelsea making seven changes in the second half it was QPR who went ahead when Karl Connolly volleyed past Mark Bosnich. Shortly afterwards a slick passing move had the crowd chanting " ole " and ended with another good scoring chance.

Chelsea pushed forward in search of an equaliser with Eidur Gudjohnsen, the brightest of a lacklustre bunch, three times denied by the Hoops' goalkeeper Chris Day. He also made two fine saves from Mario Stanic, another second-half substitute, in a busy final 15 minutes.

Although Peacock's 88th-minute strike made for a slightly flattering scoreline, Chelsea could only envy the team spirit that Holloway has clearly instilled at Loftus Road.

Holloway knows that QPR still have a long way to go, although he might like to remind his charges that 25 years ago it was the QPR of Gerry Francis who were the high fliers, finishing second in the league, while Chelsea, newly relegated and massively in debt, were fielding a bargain-basement team led by a teenaged Ray Wilkins. It seemed appropriate, then, that the afternoon ended on a note of 70s nostalgia with a knot of fans scuffling in the centre circle after a pitch invasion.

QPR (4-4-2): Day; Forbes, Palmer, Ben Aska, Bruce; Bonnot (Cochrane, 51min), Perry, Peacock, Connolly (Walsh, 90); Thomson, Griffiths (Koejoe, 73).

Chelsea (3-4-3): De Goey (Bosnich, h-t); Gallas, Desailly (Bogarde, 66), Babayaro (Harley, h-t); Melchiot, Lampard, Morris (Jokanovic, h-t), Le Saux; Zola (Gudjohnsen, h-t), Hasselbaink (Forssell, 65), Gronkjaer (Stanic, h-t).
Referee : C Penton. Guardian

BBC - Rangers rock sluggish Chelsea
QPR 3-1 Chelsea
Rangers deservedly got the better of their west London rivals as stunning strikes from Karl Connolly and Gavin Peacock capped an impressive fightback.

Chelsea hardly looked a £50m outfit as they laboured in the heat, but they did catch Rangers out with the opening goal on nine minutes.

Gianfranco Zola's defence-splitting pass to Jesper Gronkjaer on the left saw the Dane bear down on goal before curling the ball home for a fine opener.

The home side responded in style when an inch-perfect pass from Connolly was controlled first time by Leroy Griffiths, who rifled a left-foot shot across Ed de Goey and into the far corner.

Hasselbaink wasted a great chance for Chelsea

A complete miskick from Rangers goalkeeper Chris Day gifted Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink a chance, but the striker volleyed wide from only six yards.

Day made up for the error with a string of fine saves in the second-half, including point-blank stops from Mario Stanic twice and Eidur Gudjohnsen.

But Rangers finished the stronger and Connolly fired them in front when he hammered an unstoppable shot past a bemused Mark Bosnich from the edge of the box.

Then Peacock's marvellous finish after a one-two with Andy Thomson rounded off a great afternoon for Rangers. BBC

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