When you can score against the best side in the world, Barcelona, scoring against relegation-bound QPR is a mere formality. Fernando Torres scored his first hat-trick since September 2009, and the first of his Chelsea career, in a one-sided match, where QPR failed to show the fight expected from being in a relegation spot with two games to go. Chelsea, on the other hand, won their 400th Premier League match in style.
Sturridge opened the scoring within a minute, and the visitors could not help prevent a drubbing, with Chelsea being only the seventh side to go four goals ahead in the first 25 minutes of a Premier League match.
Chelsea have failed to win a single London derby this season, so Roberto Di Matteo was clearly determined to put the records straight. Just five days after the Barcelona exertions, Ferreira came in, as did Essien, Kalou, Torres, and Sturridge, with Di Matteo rotating the squad effectively.
And Sturridge proved a point to his manager within 45 seconds. Sturridge’s attempted pass to Torres ricocheted off Anton Ferdinand’s leg, and instead, the Englishman decided to try a shot for himself, curling in a 20-yard shot with his right foot.
QPR were to have a long afternoon at a wet Stamford Bridge, with John Terry of all people to double Chelsea’s lead. After some stunning work by the old guard of Lampard and Terry – Terry with a scissor-kick and Lampard with a chip – the ball rolled out for a corner, and then it was swung in by Mata, Terry rose highest, albeit with little competition for the ball.
Another six minutes had passed and Chelsea scored again. Kalou, who had made some wayward passes in the match, found Torres brilliantly first-time. The Spaniard side-stepped Kenny and rolled the ball into the net.
It was raining goals, with Chelsea’s performance going swimmingly, but this did not dampen spirits from the away side. Ferreira and Bosingwa particularly looked solid, getting in the way of Zamora and Cisse.
Torres produced a brace moments later: Mata’s lofted ball caused confusion between defender and goalkeeper, with Torres capitalising by hitting home.
The half faded out and after four in 25 minutes, we failed to score another in the remaining 20. Drought.
Whatever Mark Hughes said at half-time appeared to have little effect. Though they looked better organised, Chelsea continued to have possession, and converted those into goals.
Mackie produced a good save from Cech, but when Mata broke forward, he found Torres, who had the time to produce his third of the afternoon.
With the points in the bag, Di Matteo wisely decided to again make substitutions, rather than attempt to write the history books. Mata and Kalou made way for Ramires and Malouda, but it was the Frenchman who produced Chelsea’s sixth, firing low into the net.
Then came the final substitution: Jose Bosingwa departed and another chapter was written in the remarkable story of Sam Hutchinson, once dubbed the “new John Terry” by Jose Mourinho.
His outing was proving to be an emotional one, and perhaps with a tinge of complacency, Chelsea allowed QPR pull one back: Cisse lashing home in the 84th minute and celebrating like he had won the Champions League.
Still, the comeback was never on for QPR. Newcastle await on Wednesday, and after their 4-0 drubbing yesterday, Chelsea fans have every reason to feel optimistic about our top four aspirations.