LONDON (Reuters) – Shaun Wright-Phillips helped Queens Park Rangers to only their second Premier League victory of the season when his second-half strike stunned his former club Chelsea 1-0 on Wednesday.
Wright-Phillips smashed home a low strike after 78 minutes to deny Chelsea third spot and help the west Londoners draw level with Reading at the bottom of the table on 13 points and give the strugglers hope of a possible survival from relegation.
Chelsea, with a game in hand on leaders Manchester United and third-placed Tottenham Hotspur, have 38 points from 20 matches and trail the table-toppers by 14 points and Spurs by one.
Visitors QPR took advantage of a weaker Chelsea side, interim manager Rafael Benitez opting to rest Juan Mata and Eden Hazard, as they won their first away game of the season to delight their supporters at the final whistle.
Chelsea dominated possession and nearly broke the deadlock midway through the second half when Frank Lampard had a goal disallowed for being offside as he fired in a low shot.
Branislav Ivanovic grazed the crossbar with a header after halftime as Chelsea pushed for an opener, but QPR were well organised and defended doggedly and took their chance when it came.
Adel Taarabt always looked lively and it was a well-controlled lay off from the Moroccan with 12 minutes remaining which set up Wright-Phillips on the edge of the box to drive a fierce low effort beyond Ross Turnbull into the bottom left corner.
A Luis Suarez double for Liverpool helped the Uruguayan move one goal behind Premier League top scorer Robin van Persie in the scoring charts as Liverpool swept Sunderland aside 3-0 at home.
Young talent Raheem Sterling’s second top-flight goal also helped lift Liverpool to eighth on 31 points from 21 games.
Sterling opened Liverpool’s account with a deft lob after 19 minutes and Suarez bagged another shortly after before adding his 15th league goal of the campaign seven minutes into the second half to complete the easy win.
Liverpool threatened more goals but had two chalked off late on, both for offside.
In the late match Everton climbed above Arsenal into fifth place on 36 points from 21 games with a 2-1 comeback win at Newcastle United, who sit two points above the relegation places.
(Writing by Tom Pilcher, additional reporting by Stephen Eisenhammer, Editing by Mark Meadows)
- Chelsea beat United, holders Liverpool out
- Chelsea beat United 5-4, holders Liverpool out
- Man City motivated to beat Sunderland
- Chelsea win at Arsenal, Spurs beat Man United
- League Cup quarter-finals: Liverpool vs Chelsea, Arsenal vs Man City