Five reasons Chelsea lost at home to QPR

Chelsea start 2013 winless - as QPR stunned them at Stamford Bridge to win 1-0 through a Shaun Wright-Phillips goal.

It was one of those results that made you sit and say 'how the hell did that happen?' - Let us help explain why it did...

Rafa Benitez rested the wrong players at the wrong time

It could be argued Rafa Benitez didn't need to rest players at all, not with the FA Cup coming up on Saturday. Juan Mata, Ashley Cole, Ramires and Eden Hazard were among those to be left out of a side already shorn of Petr Cech and John Terry through injury. The manager defended his team selection after the game, but he was simply floundering. Marko Marin was handed a first league start, but in a derby was that really fair after months of sitting on the sidelines? 

QPR's motivation and Chelsea's overconfidence

Via his team selection, Benitez made it clear he had underestimated QPR. Leaving out key men illustrated an arrogance that the Blues could get past QPR without being at their best, and this will have translated to the players that did start, at least at a subconscious level. After a winning streak in recent games, you can't blame Chelsea for being confident especially with the way QPR rolled over at home to Liverpool. However that dismal result for QPR simply gave Harry Redknapp's players an extra point to prove, and they certainly did their battered reputation the world of good with the win.

Fernando Torres confidence has been shot

Fernando Torres is a player who needs confidence and does not like pressure - Unfortunately pressure is exactly what he found himself under last night. It was confirmed before the game that the Blues were in negotiations with Demba Ba, and Torres knows he needs big results to keep his place in the team. A desperate and floundering Torres combined without the service of Hazard and Mata was a recipe for disaster.

Adel Taarabt finding time and space

Adel Taarabt may lack the consistency to win games for QPR on a regular basis, but he is a matchwinner who has inspired the R's only two wins of the season so far. He found the space to provide the chance for Shaun Wright-Phillips to score the winner and enhance his own reputation in the process. It was no coincidence that immediately after the goal Ramires was brought on for Lampard. The Brazilian's industry in midfield was lacking to close him down and leaving him out was an expensive decision for Benitez.

Chelsea's defensive inexperience

We have already mentioned the absence of Petr Cech, Ross Turnbull is not a terrible goalkeeper, but he lacks the sort of presence the veteran does. In front of him there was no John Terry, although Cahill and Ivanovic should have been adequate in the centre. Even so, this time last year, Ivanovic was the only one of the back five who would be considered a regular, and his best position is arguably right-back. Both Azpilicueta and Bertrand are promising full-backs, but their inexperience combined with Turnbull didn't translate confidence to the rest of the side. With forward players rested it was a very disjointed side, with Luiz very much still an experiment in midfield.

What do you think was the biggest factor in the result?

image: © wonker

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