Sunday, April 29, 2012 at 4:06 PM ">Two Left Feet - Out Now! for the thinking football fan
Chelsea were looking to gain on both Arsenal and Newcastle today, as both dropped points on Saturday afternoon.
Torres was given a start after his exploits at the Nou Camp in midweek, but it was his striker partner Sturridge who made the first impact, smashing into the roof of the net from 20 yards after just a minute.
It didn’t get any easier for QPR, as John Terry headed in from a corner, before a Torres double made in 4-0 after little more than quarter of the game gone.
Chelsea played out the first half, testing Kenny a few times, but they had to wait until the hour mark for the moment everyone was waiting for, as Torres silenced all critics by slotting home his hat-trick.
QPR were keen for the end of the game already, but Chelsea did not let up, Malouda adding a sixth with 10 minutes to go, before Cisse added a consolation goal with minutes to go, to muted applause from the QPR contingent.
The Blues knew they would have to win today to keep up hopes of Champions League qualification via league position, and QPR would be up for a tough test, as all the clubs at the bottom picked up points yesterday, including Wigan, who thrashed Newcastle 4-0.
The Stamford Bridge faithful were barely in their seats when they were up again, applauding Daniel Sturridge, as he struck high and hard, leaving Paddy Kenny grasping at thin air, although his positioning before the shot could have been questioned.
Chelsea certainly didn’t let up though, and they looked to banish recent form in London derbies, as John Terry rose highest to double the lead after just 13 minutes.
Mark Hughes’ side were visibly on the rocks, and before they could get a grip of the game, it was 3-0. Kalou got the ball on right hand side, and played an exquisite through ball, allowing Torres to round yet another goalkeeper, before slotting the ball into an empty net.
Four was the number of the weekend, with Swansea, Wolves, Wigan and Everton all hitting it, but Chelsea did it only after 24 minutes, with Torres reacting first to a mix-up between Onuoha and Kenny, to tap in his second of the game.
Chelsea continued to dominate, and Lampard, Kalou, and Torres all went close to extending the lead to five before the break.
Hughes had a massive team-talk at half-time, as his side really needed to stop the goals going in, as goal-difference was massive at the foot of the table. However, Chelsea started the second half as they did the first, this time Kenny preventing the score from increasing again, but only for the moment.
Juan Mata had been his usual busy self, and his fantastic ball to Torres, allowed him time and space to pick his spot, and roll home the hat-trick goal, and suddenly all was forgotten with his lack of form.
The visitors started to come back into the game, Cech called into action a couple of times, despite his quiet afternoon. Ramires and Malouda joined the action, in place of Kalou and Mata, and it was the latter who made the first impact. Minutes after having a shot saved from Kenny, he was on hand to slot home number six from close range, as QPR players held heads in hands.
A superb result would be capped off with a superb story though, and with 10 minutes to go, defender Sam Hutchinson came on, 2 years after being forced to retire due to a knee injury that was on-and-off for three years.
QPR did manage a consolation though, Cisse continued his remarkable feat of being sent off or scoring in every game for QPR so far, as he tarnished Chelsea’s 10/10 performance.
The game was to end 6-1, and heap pressure on Tottenham in today’s 4pm kick off, but with Chelsea’s current form, few would back against them ending the season in fourth place, but they have three hard fixtures to play, including the visit of Newcastle on Wednesday, and a trip to Anfield the following Tuesday. It is now 11 wins, 4 draws, and a loss in Di Matteos 16 games in charge, and surely the Italian is now in prime position for the job.
You can catch Chelsea next at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night, as they host Newcastle n the 1945GMT kick-off.
By Brad Smith