Football: Chelsea extend lead after late Fabregas winner at Queens Park Rangers

LONDON (REUTERS) - Cesc Fabregas scored an 88th-minute winner as Chelsea extended their lead at the top of the English Premier League to seven points with an unconvincing 1-0 win against a spirited Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road on Sunday.

Spain international Fabregas, criticised for his drop in form since Christmas, burst into the box before coolly dispatching Eden Hazard's lay-off to seal an undeserved victory in the west London derby.

QPR, embroiled in the relegation battle, were the more dangerous team throughout and created a number of chances but were thwarted by visiting goalkeeper Thibault Courtois.

Chelsea dominated possession but, in the absence of injured forwards Diego Costa and Loic Remy, failed to register a shot on target before Fabregas' intervention.

Chelsea have 73 points from 31 games but have a game in hand over second-placed Arsenal, whom they play on April 26.

QPR remain 18th, two points behind Hull City - the side immediately above the relegation zone.