London - Chelsea went seven points clear at the top of the Premier League
table with seven games to play after Cesc Fabregas's late goal sealed a
1-0 win away to strugglers Queens Park Rangers on Sunday.
seemed Jose Mourinho's side would have to settle for a draw at Loftus
Road in this clash between the two west London clubs at Loftus Road.
after Chelsea goalkeeper Thibault Courtois had made a couple of fine
saves, Fabregas broke the deadlock two minutes from time with the
visitors' only shot on target of the whole match.
From a poor
clearance by QPR goalkeeper Robert Green, Eden Hazard and Oscar worked
the ball down the left before Spain midfielder and former Arsenal
favourite Fabregas side-footed the ball in from 16 yards.
Victory left Chelsea seven points in front of second-placed Arsenal, with QPR remaining in the relegation zone.
"It is an important step," Chelsea manager Mourinho told Sky Sports.
the season you always have these moments where you lose and win points
at end of the game. We lost points at the end at Old Trafford and won
points in the last few minutes today."
The Portuguese boss added:
"It is one step closer (to the title). We need three wins and two draws,
when we have one match more to play than the other teams. Our situation
is good. Pure mathematics. We need 11 points."
refused to condemn QPR fans who showered his players with a variety of
objects thrown from the stands after Chelsea scored their goal.
Ivanovic grabbed his neck in pain after being struck while Nemanja
Matic was also targeted as coins, a plastic bottle and a cigarette
lighter flew towards the pitch.
Mourinho did his best to play down the incident that marked a bitter end to the west London derby.
game was correct in the pitch and correct in the stands, and hopefully
correct outside. It is not easy in an emotional game like that,"
"If, at the end of the game, someone threw a pound
coin, put it in your pocket. If someone threw a chocolate, eat it. It is
no problem. Everybody needs a pound!"
But QPR manager Chris Ramsey added: "We don't want objects thrown on the pitch. These rivalries can sometimes go too far."
QPR midfielder Joey Barton made no attempt to hide the Hoops'
disappointment after a loss that kept them two points from safety.
devastated. We definitely deserved at least a point," Barton said. "If
we play like that for the rest of the games we should be safe."
Sunday's other top-flight match sees faltering champions Manchester City away to local rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Since the turn of the year, City have been eliminated from both the FA Cup and the Champions League.
Meanwhile, their hopes of retaining the English title have all but been scuppered by several damaging defeats.
Now they will kick-off in the Manchester derby in fourth place -- a point behind their local rivals and 12 adrift of Chelsea.
manager Manuel Pellegrini did not pull any punches in interviews with
several British newspapers published Sunday, saying hat in the last
three months his players had thrown their season "into the garbage".