Rob Green

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Chelsea adds veteran goalkeeper Rob Green

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The potential departure of Thibaut Courtois has Chelsea scrambling to find a potential replacement if the Belgium international does leave, however, in the mean time the club has added depth at the position.

[ MORE: Three things from Liverpool-Man City in the ICC ]

The Blues have signed veteran goalkeeper Rob Green, who most recently played for Huddersfield Town a season ago despite not appearing in any matches.

Green, 38, began his career with Norwich City, before also spending time with West Ham, Queens Park Rangers, Leeds United and then Huddersfield.

Chelsea currently has three first-team goalkeepers as long as Courtois remains with the club, as the Belgian, Willy Caballero and now Green are in the squad.

Leicester, QPR, Burnley players earn England call-ups for June matches

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Charlie Austin has gone from bricklayer to lion.

The 25-year-old QPR striker, whose career began with stints at Kintbury Rangers, Hungerford Town and Poole Town, has earned his first England call-up.

And the cool storylines don’t stop there. Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy, a verifiable tornado for the Foxes, and Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton will join Austin and the Three Lions for next month’s matches against Slovenia and the Republic of Ireland.

[ MORE: U.S. Open Cup second round wrap ]

Spurs’ Ryan Mason gets another call-up, though Harry Kane was not named among England’s forward crop. Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck join Vardy and Austin.

Phil Jones and Chris Smalling make it a trio of Manchester United players on the roster, while Arsenal paces all Premier League squads with four call-ups.

Full roster

Goalkeepers: Rob Green (Queens Park Rangers), Joe Hart (Manchester City), Tom Heaton (Burnley),

Defenders: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton), Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Chris Smalling (Manchester United).

Midfielders: Ross Barkley (Everton), Fabian Delph (Aston Villa), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Ryan Mason (Tottenham Hotspur), James Milner (Manchester City), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Andros Townsend (Tottenham Hotspur), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal).

Forwards: Charlie Austin (Queens Park Rangers), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Jamie Vardy (Leicester) Danny Welbeck (Arsenal).

Joey Barton hits out at “bad eggs” in QPR dressing room

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Queens Park Rangers’ tumultuous season in the Premier League came to an end today when the R’s were officially relegated following a 6-0 defeat to Manchester City.

[ RECAP: Manchester City 6-0 QPR ]

Sitting in last place in the league with just seven wins through 36 matches, QPR will be headed back to the Championship next season where the club will begin to rebuild.

Club captain Joey Barton was bitterly disappointed with the team’s season, and hit out at “one or two bad eggs” in the dressing room that he believed hurt the side’s performance.

Speaking to Sky Sports before QPR’s loss to Manchester City today:

There’s a few people who need to have a good look at themselves. Whatever happens on Sunday and the next two games, you have to be able to look at yourself in the mirror and say I did everything I can. Some people haven’t done that.

On the whole, the dressing room has turned up and given everything. One or two bad eggs have spoiled it. If it had been done my way, they would have been out of the building straight away.”

As the skipper, Barton has the right to call out his teammates to play up to their potential, but usually that would be done in the dressing room and not to the media. Never one to hold his tongue and out of a contract this summer, Barton decided to go public with his comments.

[ VIDEO: Relegated Queens Park Rangers prove season-long lack of heart, hustle ]

Manager Chris Ramsey came out in defense of Barton’s comments, saying “I think if you go to any club there are going to be bad eggs and those sort of people. What Joey probably alluded to is there are people who could have helped us who haven’t helped us.”

It’s too late for words now, as the R’s are Championship-bound and will have a tough time getting back into the Premier League. A decision must be made on whether Chris Ramsey will stay on as manager, and calls from clubs interested in the likes of Charlie Austin and Rob Green will surely be coming.

QPR 0-1 Chelsea: Blues weather storm and Fabregas wins it late (video)

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The home side held firm for 88 minutes against the league leaders, but eventually gave way to precision and technique as a masked Cesc Fabregas scored with two minutes in regulation to restore Chelsea’s big lead in the Premier League title battle.

Fabregas wore a protective mask to cover his broken nose suffered last week, but it didn’t keep him from scoring Chelsea’s winner on their only shot on target as QPR proved spirited but just fell short of pulling themselves from the relegation zone.

It took Chelsea a few minutes to get themselves going but they eventually maintained solid possession. The first chance of the game was a cross of all things, one from Willian on the right wing that clanged the post on seven minutes gone.

The first half progressed with few landmark events, as the game turned into a chess match. As expected beforehand, QPR looked to use its physicality to peg back Chelsea, while the visitors used its technical ability to keep QPR off the ball for long spells. Chelsea always looked the more threatening side, as the home side had little to offer up front with their strikers cut off from the rest of the squad.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]

However, Chelsea struggled to produce any serious chance in front of goal without Diego Costa and Loic Remy, and the half-hour mark passed with little for either fans to cling to. The best hope for the home side was corner count, which racked up in their favor, but there was little challenge in the box when they were flung in.

The first shot on target appeared just before halftime as Charlie Austin ripped an effort from distance, and a good one, that forced Thibaut Courtois into an acrobatic save. QPR carried that momentum into the second half, as Matt Phillips whipped in a scything cross but it just eluded Bobby Zamora at the far post minutes after the break. Clint Hill then tried a curling effort but it settled into the arms of Courtois.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

Lacking any type of attacking threat in the second half, Jose Mourinho brought on Oscar just before the hour mark and Chelsea immediately responded, getting forward with greater intent. But QPR didn’t give up. Phillips got a ball from Zamora in the box, and with his back to goal he spun Nemanja Matic around and ripped a point-blank shot, but it went right at Courtois who parried well.

Austin remained a threat as both teams rung changes with 10 minutes to go, but he still could not get a ball past Courtois, and QPR would eventually pay for not taking chances. A horrible punt from Rob Green fell back to Chelsea, and they charged down the left flank. Oscar and Eden Hazard combined and and laid off to Fabregas charging into the box, and the masked man beat Phillips to the ball and thundered in a drive for the lead.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

That was it for QPR, who held firm for 87 minutes before finally capitulating to the league leaders and the air came out of the previously rambunctious Loftus Road. The three points for Chelsea restore a seven point lead at the top of the table, still with a game in hand. QPR, meanwhile, fail to pounce on losses by those around them and remain in the relegation zone, two points from safety.

The result caps off a perfect day for the Blues, who also escape without a yellow card for either Fabregas or Nemanja Matic, who would have received a suspension against both Arsenal and Manchester United had they been cautioned. Instead, the yellow card record is wiped clean for the stretch run per Premier League rules.

LINEUPS:

QPR: Green, Isla, Caulker, Onuoha, Hill, Phillips, Sandro (Kranjcar 81′), Barton, Henry, Zamora, Austin.

Chelsea: Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Matic, Fabregas; Ramires (Oscar 56′), Willian (Cuadrado 80′), Hazard; Drogba.

Goals – Fabregas 88′

West Bromwich Albion 1-4 Queens Park Rangers: R’s boost survival hopes (video)

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Queens Park Rangers beat 10-man West Bromwich Albion 4-1 on Saturday, as the west London club gave their survival bid a much-needed shot in the arm with their first win in six.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]

Three first half goals from Eduardo Vargas, Charlie Austin and a stunner from Bobby Zamora did the damage, with Victor Anichebe pulling one back for the Baggies in the second half but a red card for Youssuf Mulumbu and a late goal from Joey Barton rubber-stamped the win for QPR.

With the victory QPR are now on 25 points and move up to 18th, just one point from safety. West Brom stay in 14th on 33 points after a disappointing home defeat.

 [ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

After an even start at the Hawthorns, the away side took the lead courtesy of a wonderful run and finish from Vargas. The Chilean picked up the loose ball 35-yards out, ran towards goal and smashed a shot towards the bottom corner which was out of Boaz Myhill’s reach.

QPR were well in the ascendancy after that opener and Matt Phillips tested Myhill from distance before Austin doubled the R’s lead. In typical fashion the Englishman flew in late at the back post and glanced a header into the net. 2-0 to the R’s.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Before half time it got even better for Ranger, as Zamora lobbed in a goal of the season contender from an audacious angle out on the right-hand side of the box. 3-0 to QPR as the R’s were cruising to just their second away win of the season.

The Baggies must have had a rollicking from manager Tony Pulis at half time because they improved drastically in the second period with Anichebe heading home Saido Berahino’s cross to make things interesting. 3-1. Brown Ideye missed a glorious chance from inside the six-yard box to pull another goal back but he sent his header straight at Rob Green. Mulumbu came on as a sub and got sent off after 10 minutes for an elbow on Barton as West Brom’s task got even tougher late on.

In stoppage time a breakaway saw Phillips and Austin combine for a scramble in the box and Barton cleaned up with a fine finish to make it 4-1 and boost QPR’s chances of staying up. Huge win for Chris Ramsey’s men after five-straight defeats.

LINEUPS

West Bromwich Albion: Myhill, Baird, McAuley, Lescott, Brunt, Gardner (Mulumbu, 72′), Fletcher, Morrison, Sessegnon (Anichebe, 45′), Berahino, Ideye

Goal: Anichebe (58′)
Red card: Mulumbu (83′)

Queens Park Rangers: Green; Isla, Onuoha, Caulker, Suk-Young (Hill, 82′); Phillips, Sandro, Barton, Vargas (Kranjcar, 30′); Austin, Zamora (Henry, 75′)

Goals: Vargas (15′), Austin (37′), Zamora (43′), Barton (90′)