Chelsea dropped their first points of their Barclays Premier League campaign as they were held to a goalless draw by Queens Park Rangers in the west London derby.
Better finishing from Eden Hazard, Park Ji-Sung and Bobby Zamora might have provided a different result but ultimately, the two clubs proved unable to find a breakthrough.
The visitors might have scored inside the first two minutes when John Terry just failed to get telling contact on Frank Lampard’s corner. Hazard came even closer two minutes after that when he fired Ramires’s cross straight at home debutant Julio Cesar, who arrived from Inter Milan on transfer deadline day.
Bobby Zamora fired too close to Petr Cech in the hosts’ only effort on target in the first half, while Chelsea went close again when Fernando Torres blasted straight at Cesar after tricking his way into the box.
QPR then lost Fabio and Andy Johnson to injury in the space of just over 10 minutes, Nedum Onuoha and Jamie Mackie coming on.
David Luiz sent a free diving header over from Lampard’s corner before half-time, while at the other end Mackie gave the home side something to cheer about when he tested Cech at the end of a neat move early in the second half. Park then passed up a glorious chance to nod his side in front from Esteban Granero’s centre.
Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo responded by sending on Victor Moses for his debut, in place of Bertrand and Branislav Ivanovic came close when he nodded Hazard’s cross wide.
Djibril Cisse replaced Wright-Phillips for the final 20 minutes, which witnessed an injury scare for Terry when he pulled up clutching his knee.
He was able to continue but was then involved in a comedy of errors that should have seen Zamora score, missing a lofted ball that John Obi Mikel played blind straight to the striker. The former Fulham striker hesitated long enough to allow Terry to get back and block his finish.
Moses tested Cesar at the other end before Daniel Sturridge came on to add the urgency Torres had been lacking. With three minutes remaining, Hazard might have won it when he blazed over completely unmarked, but it was a match destined to end in stalemate.
|23 Sep 2012||v Spurs (A)|
|01 Oct 2012||v West Ham (H)|
|06 Oct 2012||v West Brom (A)|
|21 Oct 2012||v Everton (H)|
|27 Oct 2012||v Arsenal (A)|
|04 Nov 2012||v Reading (H)|