Five things I learnt from QPR v Chelsea

English football referee Chris Foy

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Chelsea must work on their mental strength

In any local derby, you need cool heads. 2 straight red cards and 7 additional yellows will be an open invitation to the rest of the Premiership that if you get in Chelsea’s faces, and give them a hostile atmosphere, they can’t handle it. While the Bosingwa challenge is open to debate, Drogba’s dangerous challenge certainly wasn’t. By full-time, I was surprised to see David Luiz hadn’t joined them.

QPR can’t rely on graft alone

While the likes of Clint Hill, Shaun Derry and Heider Helguson performed admirably when QPR were up against it, it was telling that even with a two-man advantage the team lacked the personnel to take the game to the opposition. You only had to look at the Who’s Who of solid ex-Championship players on the QPR bench to see that there was nobody to help get that 2nd goal. Barton and Wright-Phillips can’t do it all on their own.

It’s tough playing against 10 men. Tougher still against 9?

For all their indiscipline, Chelsea deserve a lot of credit for their second half performance. QPR didn’t stop working, and though 2 men down Chelsea were able to carve out some great opportunities to equalise – particularly Anelka’s free-header straight at Kenny. Cech didn’t have to make a save all 2nd half, when an onslaught could have been on the cards.

Chris Foy is back on Warnock’s Christmas card list

Foy used to be up there with Graham Poll on Warnock’s most hated referees list. At Sheffield United, he sent Phil Jagielka off twice for highly dubious incidents (not too unlike Bosingwa’s come to think of it), and missed a dreadful tackle on Chris Morgan in 2005 that led to a typically anger-fuelled rant from Warnock. Yesterday’s view: “I was glad to have someone experienced like him in charge” – how things change…

Taarabt needs to grow up

At Fulham, he took the bus home at half time after being subbed. Yesterday, he tried to take his ball and go home with his ridiculous behaviour after the penalty was awarded. Helguson won it, he’s been an established penalty taker everywhere he’s been, and he was first to the ball. That should’ve been the end of the matter. Taarabt is clearly frustrated he might not get the move to a top club that he so desperately wants, but if he isn’t careful he’ll be throwing away his second chance in the Premiership.


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