QPR 1 Chelsea 0: Warnock thrilled with ‘dream’ result
Heidar Helguson's penalty saw off the challenge of nine-man Chelsea and sealed a famous victory for QPR
Queens Park Rangers manager Neil Warnock hailed the performance of his players after their heated victory against Chelsea at Loftus Road.
The home side fought off the desperate attempts of nine-man Chelsea to protect a 1-0 lead and grab a precious derby day victory, which also secured their first home win since April.
Heidar Helguson’s 10th minute penalty was ultimately the difference between the west London rivals, although the game was heavily influenced by the two red cards for the visitors.
First JosÃ© Bosingwa was sent off after tangling with Shaun Wright-Phillips as he ran through on goal, and then the Blues lost Didier Drogba eight minutes later for a two-footed lunge on Adel Taarabt.
“To get three points against Chelsea is like a dream,” he said. “You don’t get results like we did today very often, not when playing a team with so much quality.”
Despite playing a large part of the game with a two-man advantage, QPR’s win was far from assured – but this was not a concern for veteran midfielder Shaun Derry, who was delighted his team came out on top in the fiery encounter.
“They went from 11 to nine and sometimes things like that knock you off track, and there were times in the second half when it looked like they had 11 men and we had nine,” said Derry.
“But we don’t care. We’re 1-0 winners over our rivals and that means everything to the club.”
The victory also ended QPR’s winless run at home since they secured promotion to the Premier League last season, which Derry said was a monkey off the team’s back.
Chelsea manager AndrÃ© Villas-Boas praised his side, whose best opportunity to snatch a draw was squandered when Nicolas Anelka headed Branislav Ivanovic’s sublime cross straight at Paddy Kenny.
“I have to praise the players because they were amazing,” he said. “For 45 minutes we played with nine men and that takes courage, it shows the strength and commitment of squad.”
The Portuguese manager also hit out at referee Chris Foy after seeing his side receive seven yellow cards, on top of the two red in an ill-disciplined performance, which ultimately cost his side dearly.
“I’m very disappointed with Chris’ performance,” he added. “With nine players we kept our emotions very well. Chris and his team managed to play an emotional game and they conceded to the crowd and committed tremendous mistakes.”
Warnock unsurprisingly disagreed with his Chelsea counterpart on the referee’s performance and pledged to try and build on this performance for the future.
“We’ve worked hard to get a result like this and it’s fantastic. Now we have to take that on board and get more results like that at home.”