Agony, Ecstasy, Chelsea & Queens Park Rangers

The crisis-o-meter klaxon sounded at just after twenty-five past nine last night at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea had suffered a stodgy evening against Queens Park Rangers, the sort of bad day at the office that all of us have from time to time, when everything takes thirty seconds longer than we were expecting it to and that inevitable feeling of clock-watching is tempered only by that nagging feeling that there was something that needs to be done which hasn’t been. Queens Park Rangers, for their part, had defended doughtily, broken with menace and looked some distance from being the eleven man soap opera that we might have expected them to be if we took the entirety of our knowledge of them from the tabloid press, and with twelve minutes to play, when Shaun Wright-Philips swept in what turned out to be the only goal of the evening, it was well deserved, a solid indication that talk of their relegation from the Premier League isn’t quite the discussion of a foregone conclusion that it had been supposed to be. Bad nights at the office and decent, solid performances, however, do not make for click-happy headlines, though, so it is likely that last night’s result will now be extrapolated into gaudy colours and breathless language. Rafael Benitez has been skating on thin ice as the Chelsea manager since he took the job...

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