QPR 0 Chelsea 1: Three talking points as Blues leave it late
Dipak Patel takes a look at some of the talking points as Cesc Fabregas' late goal hands Chelsea a 1-0 win at QPR
Hazard and Matic prove how important they are
Eden Hazard has been in exceptional form this season with 10 assists and 17 goals. It is not a surprise to see him nominated for PFA player of the year award and should Chelsea secure the title ,he would be a deserving winner. He has also shown he can perform in the biggest matches which is something people have criticised him for not doing in the past. Two goals against Tottenham, and ones against Arsenal and Liverpool illustrate that. Hazard has also matured in terms of his decision making – he is now creating more chances because he is assessing the situation and not relying as much on instinct. But that instinct hasn’t deserted him when he takes on defenders, the way he glides past them so effortlessly suggests a player that has a lot of natural ability. Hazard has been excellent in attacking positions but it is Nemanja Matic who really makes the team tick. He is the most complete holding midfielder in the league and can do a little bit of everything. His height means he is strong in the air, he has a great engine and can also suss out danger before it happens. The way in which he patrols the space just in front of the back line gives Cesc Fabregas more licence to move forward and create. His discipline – which can be lacking in holding midfielders like Yaya Toure – allows the more attacking players the chance to flourish.
Mourinho is brilliant under pressure
Jose Mourinho has been in this position many times in his career. At Real Madrid he had to hold off a challenge from Barcelona, while at Chelsea – during his first spell – he had to contend with the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal. That experience should serve him well this season and the manager knows that at this point performances do not matter, the three points is all that counts. Mourinho also has some players at his disposal who know what it takes to win the title. John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic, Didier Drogba – these are all players that can set a great example to some of the younger players in the dressing room who might be nervous. In the past few weeks the performances haven’t been that great but on every occasion Chelsea have found an answer – Loic Remy has struck two late winners against Hull City and Stoke.
QPR’s inconsistency could cost them
There are matches when QPR look like a very talented team that have enough to stay in the Premier League. When they beat West Brom 4-1 last weekend, and drew 3-3 with Aston Villa on Tuesday, they showed a lot of qualities that have been lacking in previous matches. There was a hunger and desire about them, they were creative and passed the ball really well, but most importantly they were ruthless in front of goal demonstrated by Bobby Zamora’s outrageous chip. They also showed signs of how good they can be against Sunderland when they beat them 2-0 back in February – but their problem has been consistency. The players they possess are also a reflection of this, Eduardo Vargas can be devastating with his clever movement and pace but often fails to turn up in games, then you have Matt Phillips who scored in the recent draw against Villa. His trickery and direct running should pose plenty of problems for opposing defenders but matches tend to pass him by. However, in Charlie Austin they do have a player that could potentially keep them in the division. He has scored 17 goals this season which is remarkable considering that QPR have only scored 38 goals in total. Providing they can keep him fit there still remains a glimmer of hope for QPR fans.