Torres hits a hat-trick as Chelsea hammer QPR

Premier League: Chelsea 6 QPR 1

Fernando Torres hit a hat-trick as Champions League finalists Chelsea boosted their hopes of a top-four finish and deepened QPR’s relegation worries with a scintillating derby victory on Sunday.

Following his late clincher against Barcelona in the Nou Camp in midweek, Chelsea’s �50million man tore Rangers’ ramshackle defence apart for Roberto Di Matteo’s side at Stamford Bridge.

The Spaniard scored twice in the opening 45 minutes as the Blues blew QPR away with a four-goal salvo, and the Spaniard completed his treble with a neat finish midway through the second half.

There were also goals for Daniel Sturridge, Florent Malouda, and John Terry, who atoned for his red card in Spain in midweek with a commanding display at the back.

For Mark Hughes’ QPR meanwhile, this was a defeat which plunged them back into relegation trouble. Most worryingly, there was little sign of the battling qualities which accounted for Spurs last weekend, and Djibril Cisse’s late strike did little to ease the pain of another away defeat.

Chelsea took less than a minute to carry on where they left off against Barcelona. Sturridge picked up the ball just outside the area and hit a vicious dipping shot which arrowed past Paddy Kenny.

Most Read

Frank Lampard forced a fine save from Kenny with a clever chip, but from the resulting corner the Blues made it 2-0 through their skipper. Terry had apologised to the Chelsea fans before kick-off for his card in Spain, and he made amends here as he headed home Juan Mata’s corner.

A terrible start for QPR became a disastrous one as Torres added a quick-fire brace. First, Mata and Salomon Kalou combined to play in the Spaniard, who raced in to round Kenny.

Torres was flying after his European exploits, and he added his second and Chelsea’s third moments later. Mata was heavily involved again, his cross forcing a panicked attempted clearance from Nedum Onuoha, who headed the ball straight at Kenny, allowing the lurking Torres to pounce.

At 4-0 down inside less than half an hour, Rangers looked a shadow of the side who have beaten Tottenham, Arsenal and Liverpool in recent weeks. Samba Diakite, absent through illness, was missed, as the central trio of Joey Barton, Shaun Derry and Akos Buzsaky barely made an impression.

Chelsea’s tempo slowed as half-time approached, although Torres might have completed his treble just before the break, cracking a shot narrowly the wrong side of Kenny’s left-hand post.

Mata should have scored Chelsea’s fifth early in the second half. Ashley Cole ran forward from left-back and played Mata in, but the Spaniard’s shot was weak and too close to the sprawling Kenny.

Torres also came close again, his dipping effort forcing Kenny to punch clear.

In between those attempts, Rangers finally produced their first shot on target, as Jamie Mackie tested Petr Cech with a 25-yard strike which the Chelsea keeper pushed around the post.

The fifth goal which Chelsea were threatening arrived midway through the second half, as Torres latched onto a ball through the middle, closed on Kenny, and calmly stroked the ball into the corner.

There was no end to QPR’s misery, as Ramires strode down the right, and when his cross was half-cleared by Anton Ferdinand, substitute Malouda had time to pick his spot.

Deflated and soundly beaten, QPR mustered the final goal of the afternoon, as Cisse cracked home a shot from 10 yards, but it was scant consolation for a Rangers side who were utterly outclassed.

Chelsea: Cech, Cole, Essien, Lampard, Torres, Mata, Bosingwa, Ferreira, Kalou, Sturridge, Terry. Subs: Turnbull, Romeu, Ramires, Drogba, Malouda, Meireles, Hutchinson.

QPR: Kenny, Hill, Derry, Mackie, Buzsaky, Barton, Cisse, Taiwo, Ferdinand, Onuoha, Zamora. Subs: Cerny, Gabbidon, Traore, Young, Smith, Wright-Phillips.

Attendance: 41,675