QPR on the charge after epic win ends Chelsea title hopes
Harry Redknapp believes win could inspire his team to escape relegation
Chelsea 0 QPR 1. Relegation favourites QPR secured a famous and unexpected victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last night, which has all but ended the Blues' title challenge and prompted talk of a QPR escape act that would rival anything that the Premier League has witnessed.
The Hoops went to Stamford Bridge without an away win in the league since October 2011. They had not won a London derby away from Loftus Road since beating Wimbledon in 1995 and had not got the better of Chelsea on their own turf for 30 years. However a second half strike from former Chelsea player Shaun Wright-Phillips earned Harry Redknapp's men a shock win, which moves them level with Reading on points at the foot of the table, although they are still five points from safety.
Wright-Phillips was only on the field because Junior Hoilett was struck down with a hamstring injury in the first half, but he performed admirably alongside Adel Taraabt and slotted home coolly after 78 minutes to earn QPR the spoils.
Redknapp was bubbling after a victory that The Guardian described as one of the "finest and most exhilarating results of his long career" and which had dealt a "fatal blow" to Chelsea's Premier League title aspirations.
"Redknapp hopes that it could serve as the touchstone for his club climbing off the bottom of the table to safety and Rafael Benitez, his Chelsea counterpart, all but admitted that the title had moved out of reach." The Blues are now 14 points behind league leaders Manchester United.
"I can't remember having many better wins than this in my career," said Redknapp. "Chelsea were absolutely flying, so to come here and win is a great result."
He said that the result would have shocked a lot of clubs in the lower half of the table and added: "We have got to make the most of it. We have to build on it now. You hope this could be a turning point."
The QPR boss insisted that he believed his side could stay up and that the result could have other ramifications. "Redknapp is also hopeful that such a remarkable win will help to persuade new players to join QPR this month," said The Times.
Elsewhere Luis Suarez was on target twice and Raheem Sterling also found the net as Liverpool recorded their second straight 3-0 win, beating Sunderland at Anfield.
Newcastle, shorn of the services of Demba Ba, who is set to join Chelsea, threw away an early lead as Everton recovered to win 2-1 at St James' Park.