Chelsea required an 88th-minute winner from Cesc Fabregas to secure the win against QPR, which extended their lead at the top of the Premier League table to seven points.
Manager Jose Mourinho believes that Chelsea are “one step closer” to the Premier League title after grinding out a win at Loftus Road.
With Diego Costa and Loic Remy both out injured, Premier League leaders Chelsea were short of out-and-out attacking options at Loftus Road and looked set to end the match without troubling home goalkeeper Rob Green.
Chelsea who had majority of possession were made to work hard for their victory, as QPR put up a valiant fight, matching Chelsea in most departments around the pitch for the duration of the game.
Ultimately, the quality of Eden Hazard, who danced into the penalty area, was the difference. He played a perfect pass to Fabregas,The Spaniard who came into the game wearing a protective face mask after breaking his nose against Stoke City last weekend drilled home a late winner from Hazard’s pass to cruelly deny Chris Ramsey’s side a valuable point in the fight against relegation.
Chelsea now go seven points clear at the top with a game in hand, against their closest rivals Arsenal.
Mourinho insists that the battle between Chelsea and QPR, who are fighting for their lives at the bottom of the table, was a cup final for both, but his side’s situation is now “positive”.
Speaking to the BBC after the game, Mourinho said: “This was a final for both teams.”
“It is one step closer. We need three wins and two draws and we have one match more to play than the other teams. Our situation is good. Pure mathematics. We need 11 points.”
“Our situation was positive. One point would be one less point we need but the reality is three points and it is one less match we need to win.”
“During 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.”
QPR, meanwhile, are in 18th place in the table, two points off Hull City, who remain above them.