Chelsea 1 QPR 0
By Ben Kosky IF you watched the FA Cup clash 21 months ago, you may as well not have bothered heading to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night. Essentially, the Carling Cup third round tie was a re-run – plenty of effort and endeavour from Rangers with no cu
By Ben Kosky
IF you watched the FA Cup clash 21 months ago, you may as well not have bothered heading to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.
Essentially, the Carling Cup third round tie was a re-run - plenty of effort and endeavour from Rangers with no cutting edge whatsoever, and a single goal for Chelsea was more than enough.
England midfielder Frank Lampard came off the bench at half-time and, within seven minutes, sent Salomon Kalou clear to fire the winner past Tom Heaton.
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Heaton, who replaced Radek Cerny in the QPR goal, did everything that was required of him, denying Florent Malouda and Kalou early on and pushing over a 30-yard free-kick from Juliano Belletti just before half-time.
Teenager Fabio Borini headed just over for Chelsea and, while there were a number of promising bursts from Wayne Routledge, Rowan Vine and Mikele Leigertwood, Rangers never seriously troubled Hilario.
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The home goalkeeper had only two saves to make - a routine one from Alejandro Faurlin and a skidding, awkward Akos Buzsaky effort in the second half that he pushed behind.
Chelsea, who sent on Ashley Cole and John Terry in the final quarter of the game, should really have killed the tie, but Heaton did well to foil both Borini and, from point-blank range, Joe Cole.
"I'm immensely proud and I thought the supporters were magnificent as well," said Rangers boss Jim Magilton. "Hopefully they were encouraged by our performance."
QPR: Heaton; Leigertwood, Stewart, Gorkss, Borrowdale; Routledge, Rowlands (Ephraim 74), Faurlin, Buzsaky; Vine (Taarabt 66); Simpson (Pellicori 74).