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Premier League

  • 29 April 2012
  • • 13:30
  • • Stamford Bridge, London
  • Referee: H. Webb
  • • Attendance: 41675
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Chelsea 6-1 QPR: Torres hits treble as Champions League finalists boost their top-four hopes

Chelsea 6-1 QPR: Torres hits treble as Champions League finalists boost their top-four hopes

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The Spaniard's first hat-trick for the club since his £50m move helped add the icing on the cake during a desperately one-sided derby clash, with the drop looming for the Hoops

Fernando Torres' first hat-trick for Chelsea was a stunning highlight as the Blues romped past QPR 6-1 at Stamford Bridge to keep up with their rivals in the race for fourth spot.

The result was rarely in doubt after Daniel Sturridge put the hosts ahead inside a minute, before John Terry nodded in a second. Fernando Torres then displayed the form which prompted his move to west London with a superb hat-trick, before Florent Malouda and Djibril Cisse notched late on.

Interim Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo made six changes to the side that triumphed over Barcelona at Camp Nou, with Torres the main beneficiary coming into the side in place of Didier Drogba up top.

Paulo Ferreira and Jose Bosingwa replaced Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic at the back, while Michael Essien, Salomon Kalou and Daniel Sturridge all returned to the starting eleven in place of Ramires, Raul Meireles and John Obi Mikel.

Mark Hughes made just two changes to the QPR side that beat Tottenham 1-0 last weekend, with Akos Buzsaky restored to the starting line-up at the expense of Samba Diakite in midfield while Djibril Cisse started up front alongside Bobby Zamora in place of the suspended Adel Taarabt.

Chelsea began the match the brighter of the two teams and Sturridge managed to put the hosts ahead with just 46 seconds on the clock.

After receiving a cut back from Ashley Cole down the left, the winger's initial pass inside was deflected back to him off Anton Ferdinand on the edge of the area, and with the angle slightly against him, he let fly with a superb strike on his weaker right foot that beat Paddy Kenny high at his near post.

Despite taking the lead, Chelsea continued to press early on, with a decent penalty appeal turned down by referee Howard Webb after Jose Bosingwa, starting in an unfamilar role at centre-back, had a cross blocked by the arm of QPR defender Clint Hill.

Chelsea went close to making it two after 11 minutes when Juan Mata's outswinging cross was headed goalwards by Essien only to be headed off the line before a scissor-kicked effort from Terry was collected by Kenny. Moments later, a sublime chipped effort by Frank Lampard forced the keeper to tip over the bar.

With the hosts threatening from every set-piece, they made it two for the afternoon in the 13th minute from Mata's corner after Terry stole a march on his marker before nodding home from just inside the six-yard box.

The Hoops were looking totally unable to contain Chelsea and Torres made it three, latching on to Kalou's sublime through ball before rounding Kenny and slotting home.

The afternoon went from bad to worse in the 28th minute. Nedum Onouha attempted to nod back to his keeper from point-blank range but the Irishman could only parry leaving Torres the simple task of firing, left-footed, into the net.

Chelsea went close to making it five moments later with the Spanish striker and Mata combined inside the area to put Lampard one-on-one, but the England international just failed to get to the ball before the onrushing Kenny.

The hosts played out the first half with ease, Torres going close to hitting a hat-trick goal just before the break and a shell-shocked Hoops side failing to test Petr Cech.

The second half began much in the same way that the first finished, with the home side bossing proceedings, untroubled by the rare forward forays of Mark Hughes' beleaguered, relegation-threatened outfit.

The first chance of note in the second period came in the 50th minute when Mata was put through on goal by an excellent slide rule pass by Lampard, but the diminutive midfielder scuffed his left-footed effort straight at Kenny.

The visitors best chance of the game came in the 54th minute with Jamie Mackie, a lively outlet on the right, forcing Cech into a fantastic save, tipping wide the Scot's vicious effort from 25 yards out and Kenny beating away Torres' effort from the edge of the area.

Torres didn't have to wait long to seal his treble in the 64th minute, when he was put through by yet another inch-perfect Mata through ball, before cutting back onto his right foot and finishing clincally into the far corner of Kenny's goal.

Chelsea made it six in the 79th minute, when substitute Malouda tapped home from just outside the six-yard box, after the QPR backline were pulled apart by a driving Ramires run and deflected cut-back.

With the game nearing its conclusion, the Chelsea defence made a hash of trying to play the ball out from the back which let in Onuoha down the right to dink a cross into the path of Cisse, who powered home a drive past the diving Cech into the corner for a consolation strike for the visitors.

The game petered out into little more than a training exercise for the home side, as they kept the ball with consummate ease to continue their fantastic run of form under Di Matteo, as he clinched his 11th win in 16 games as boss.

For QPR, they continued their miserable record away from home which has seen them pick up a division-low 11 points on their travels all season and they now face a real battle to beat the drop this term.

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