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Benitez Nearly Concedes, Redknapp Hopes

  • Guardian, Thursday, January 3, 2013 12:13 PM

Chelsea coach Rafa Benitez all but threw in the towel on the Blues’ English Premier League title challenge after his team lost 1-0 at home to bottom-of-the-standings Queen’s Park Rangers. Benitez gambled by leaving playmakers Juan Mata and Eden Hazard on the bench, but the move backfired, as the Blues created little during the game. Shaun Wright-Phillips’ 79th minute strike was enough to give QPR its first away win in 24 games, and only its second win of the season.

"We have to do everything almost perfect now if we're going to reduce it back," Benítez said of the 13-point defecit between the Blues and league leader Manchester United. "There were many things that were not working for us,” he conceded, adding: "I have no regrets about my selection.

Meanwhile, elated QPR coach Harry Redknapp said: “I can't remember having many better wins than this one. To come here against a team who are absolutely flying and on the back of our losses to Liverpool and West Brom ... it was just a great result,” he said, adding: “You hope this can be a turning point.” QPR is currently tied with Reading at the bottom of the EPL table with 13 points from 21 games. 

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