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29.04.2012, 15:31 TheGuardian.co.uk

Premier League: Chelsea v QPR

Premier League: Chelsea v QPR

Well that was some rout. Chelsea got things going under a minute thanks to Daniel Sturridge's thrashed drive. John Terry scored scored with a simple header from a corner 12 minutes later before Fernando Torres stuck twice inside six minutes, the second coming through a defensive mix-up between Nedum Onuoha and Paddy Kenny.

QPR improved after the break, closing Chelsea down quicker and building periods of possession, but the hosts were always in control, thanks mainly to the brilliance of Juan Mata, and got their fifth on 64 minutes when the midfielder played in Torres for his hatrrick. Florent Malouda made it six with a simple finish on 80 minutes before Cisse got one back for the visitors six minutes before the end.

Chelsea were a little short of brilliant while QPR looked ragged and potentially ruined. They remain just above the relegation zone on goal difference alone. Bolton, who are in 17th place, also have a game in hand.

Roberto Di Matteo's men, meanwhile, climb to fifth, where they will stay should Tottenham fail to beat Blackburn later today. They next face Newcastle on Wednesday, at Stamford Bridge. Should be some game, that.

Thanks for all your emails this afternoon. Apologies I couldn't get through them all.

Full-time Chelsea 6-1 QPR.

90+2min: Torres denied his fourth of the game as Onuoha charges down his drive from just inside the area following a wonderfully sweeping move from Chelsea that includes passes from Lampard and Malouda.

90min: Three minutes of added time. A more pointless spell of added time you could not wish to see. End this now Mr Webb.

89min: So Torres has been named man of the match. Hard to argue with that, but for me Mata has been the star of this show. An awesome display by the man with a cartoon face.

Arabella Lyons asks this: "Did Terry manage to squeeze in an apology to Alexis Sanchez at any point?"

You'd like to think he was man enough to do that Arabella.

Cisse has now scored or been sent-off in every game he has played for QPR since arriving from Lazio in January. What a nutty Lord of the manor he is.

84min: GOAL! Chelsea 6-1 QPR Well blow me down...Cisse has scored for QPR, driving the ball past Cech from close-range after good work by Onuoha down the right-wing. A consolation but could prove crucial if goal difference comes into play in the relegation scrap.

81min: Sam Hutchinson comes on Bosingwa. Apparently Hutchinson had to retire with a knee injury before it cleared up enough for the club to resign him in December. Nice tale, that.

If this was a boxing match, the referee would have stopped it after the 5th goal, maybe even sooner. QPR are shot, improved in the second-half but unable to keep Chelsea at bay and lacking enough confidence to take their chances at the other end. Been a stroll for the men in blue and QPR's second 6-0 defeat of the season following their thrashing at Fulham.

80min: GOAL! Chelsea 6-0 QPR Simple finish for Malouda who strikes the ball into an open net from a matter of yards after Ferdinand could only push Ramires's low, right-wing cross into the Frenchman's path.

78min: Shaun Wright-Phillips on for Zamora. Former Chelsea player gets polite round of applause from the home fans.

77min: Ramires smashes a shot at goal which Kenny parries away to safety. Prior to that, Torres ran in on goal and had a penalty shout after being upended by Hill. Would've been a harsh for Webb to have given that.

Nicolas has responded to my reaction to John Terry's apology:
"He's also been man enough to keep QPR at bay and score his 5th league goal.
You reporters eh, had he not apologised, somewhere in there we would have read that Tery 'wasn't man enough to apologise'."

I don't think we would've Nicolas. Terry could have said sorry without finding a reason to praise himself, that is my point.

75min: Cisse through again but he shoots straight at Cech. Frenchman was offside anyway.

74min: Ramires comes on for Kalou and quite rightly receives a rousing cheer. How awesome was he in Barcelona on Tuesday? A lot, I'd say.

73min: And QPR have just fluffed their best effort of the match. Traore whips in a cross from the left which Zamora miskicks into the turf and, as the ball bounces up, Cisse heads over from a few yards out. He was unmarked. Should have scored.

71min: And Malouda comes close to making it six. As part of the pattern that has formed in this second-half, Chelsea broke after cutting off a spell of QPR possession and, quick as a flash, the ball ends up in the opposition half, where Malouda just fails to turn it past Kenny from a tight angle. That, by the way, was Chelsea's 19th attempt on goal.

69min: A few people have pointed out to me that in his apology for getting sent-off against Barcelona, John Terry has praised himself for being "man enough" to say sorry. I really don't know how to reply to that, except to say my stomach is churning ever so slightly.

68min: Mata is replaced by Malouda. Quite rightly the Spaniard, who turned 24 yesterday, gets a standing applause. He's been excellent today.

So I believe Torres has his first Premier League hattrick since scoring three in Liverpool's 6-1 win against Hull in September 2009.

66min: Substitution for QPR: Traore on for Buzsaky. The words 'bolted' and 'horse' come to mind.

64min: GOAL! Chelsea 5-0 QPR And Torres has his hattrick. Mata plays a superb, straight through pass, which Torres collects having stayed onside and rolls past Kenny into the far corner of the net.

61min: We have our first booking of the match and it's gone to that man Barton. Referee Webb's had enough of his nibbling tackles and decided to get his yellow card out. Seemingly shocked by that decision, Barton initially refuses to walk over to the baldy official, before being told to behave like an adult by Ferdinand and doing so.

60min: Hour gone and this match has become stretched; QPR attacking, Chelsea attacking, QPR attacking... Definitely more even now, QPR may just avoid this tonking getting significantly worse.

59min: And right on cue, Torres cuts across the area from the left-hand side and drills a shot at goal which Kenny has to palm away from safety. You get the feeling FT is going to get his HT today.

Having debated Sturridge's contribution for Chelsea, let us now focus on Torres. This from Elliot Carr-Barnsley: "Is Torres' apparent return to form in coincidence with AVB leaving an indictment of his managerial acumen or should credit go to RDM for fitting the system around the players? Which seems to make, you know, sense. Something every England manager has determindly avoided doing for the last 12 years or so."

56min: Lampard comes over to the left-hand side to take a corner and claps the Chelsea fans for clapping him. He ignores the QPR fans right behind him, though, who seem to be shaking their clenched fists in a manner that suggests they like spreading salt over their chips.

55min: Chelsea clear the corner and break through Mata, who plays in Torres who looks like he may be on course to get his hat-trick until he slips over and gives the ball away to Hill. That's more like it Fernando.

54min: Oh, that's some strike from Mackie! The QPR No12 launches a right-footed drive at goal which is heading into the top corner until Cech stretches to tip it away for a corner.

53min: Credit to QPR who are keeping the ball much better now, and for longer spells, forcing Chelsea further and further back. Mind you, that could be a result of the hosts being shattered after all that goal-scoring.

51min: Mata should have scored! Cisse gives the ball away on the halfway line after a period of sustained QPR possession, Cole takes it forward and plays in the Spaniard, who doesn't realise how much time he has in the area and swings a weak shot into Kenny's grasp.

This from Paul Kerton: "Sturridge is a terrific talent but his final ball (if the final ball ever comes at all) is poor at best. I think subconsciously he doesn't want to be seen to be selfish, but fundamentally doesn't want any other of his teammates to score if he can't. Big Problem."

Interesting...

48min: There is definitely more urgency and a willingness to attack from QRP in the early stages of this half, which is commendably given the pounding they took in the first half.

47min: Good pressure from Zamora, which leads to the striker winning possession from Bosingwa. However, in a blink of an eye, Chelsea have the ball back. Mata, not surprisingly, carries into deep into the QPR half but the danger is eventually cleared.

46min: Neither side appears to have made a substitution and in an improvement on what happened in the first-half, QPR have not conceded a goal after less than a minute. Keep it going lads.

Peep! And we're off on in the second-half, with QPR kicking left to right. One person who won't be watching the next 45 minutes is John Gaunt: "So I'm going out now. Will it be 4-4 when I return?" I doubt it John.

Thanks, also, for all the emails regarding Hector's lack of faith in Sturridge. Haven't got time to post them all, but here's one from Michael Creed:
"I think it is a bit harsh on Sturridge to be wanting him out - I know AVB's reign was far from perfect on the whole (ahem!) but Sturridge was still Chelsea's second best player pre-Christmas, after Mata. He's only 22, and still has a lot of room to improve, but surely there's a place for him still at Chelsea?"

As someone who loves a beard, and has been sporting one on and off since 2005, may I draw your attention to this from Alison Croft:
"All this goal scoring and football reporting is very nice, but what we're really interested in is how handsome is Jaun Mata looking today? His beard looked a bit long on Tuesday, does he appear to have trimmed it?"

More emails about the lack of defending, a debate instigated by Gary Naylor:

Tony Rowlinson: "Surely the poor defending is more to do with teams being unable to control games. Arsenal are more direct this year, Man Utd are very vulnerable in the centre of midfield, Chelsea's players are finding it more difficult to physically overrun teams as they get older, Man City are no longer playing Yaya Toure at the tip of their midfield so are less physical and Spurs are a very open team, anyway. All of these teams are struggling to see games out as they are unable to hold onto the ball as well as they used to. Chelsea's performance against Barcelona showed that they can still defend, but as a backs to the wall job instead of taking the sting out of the game with possession."

Niall Mullen: "Why are people so polarised about this 'anti-football' business? I recognise that Chelsea did what they needed to (and had all of the luck of an Irishman with a four-leafed horseshoe-shaped rabbits foot) but I prefer not to watch it. Ditto Stoke, I'm not snobbish about it but personal preference means I reach for the remote control when they're on."

Clive Darwell: "There are those of us who can accept that Chelsea played well (given their limitations) but would still prefer that that style of football wasn't successful too often or became appealing to too many managers."

Gary: "I'm not sure that Playstations have a bit to do with it. The 'right way to play' for players and fans appears to be the way they see most often and that's on computer simulations for most. Jose Mourihno seems to go against the grain, but what's he ever won? Oh..."

Sturridge got the party started with a rasping drive after a little over 40 seconds and from there QPR crumbled. Terry headed in a corner before Torres rounded Kenny from Kalou's accurate pass and the same player pounced on a balls up between Onuoha and Kenny.

Chelsea have passed the ball around nicely, with their midfield three of Essien, Lampard and the simply brilliant Mata winning possession and distributing it quickly and accurately. QPR's midfield of Barton, Derry and Buzaky have not been able to get near them, while their defence, including the constantly-booed Ferdinand, have been pulled this way and that by Chelsea's front-three of Sturridge, Torres and Kalou.

All too easy for the hosts who should score a few more after the break.

Half-time Chelsea 4-0 QPR. Sturridge, Terry and Torres, twice, for Chelsea in what has been a stroll for Roberto Di Matteo's side.

45min: Two minutes of stoppage time to play in what is now bright west-London sunshine. Terry has just launched the ball forward, with Ferdinand winning possesison back for QPR. More sad, sad boos.

44min: Mata's back on his feet and plays in Lampard, who after wriggling away from Hill's attentions, slides the ball out to Torres who lashes a shot just wide of the near post from inside the area. Close but no cigar for the £50m man.

And this biting email from Nick Pettigrew:

"I've just checked and in answer to Chelsea fans' question of 'Anton, what's the score?', I believe it's a maximum of two years imprisonment. Stay classy, Chelsea fans"

Hector's been back in touch to claim Sturridge would be a top player for "... QPR." He adds: "He consists of poor crosses, and [is] too greedy to be a team player, never going to start in the central role, must go."

Harsh? I'd say so.

41min: Barton kicks the ball out of play so Mata can receive treatment. The Spaniard is lying on the floor having had his right-food trod on by the QPR captain. In fairness to Barton, the tackle looks more clumsy than cynical.

40min: The corner is cleared but QPR regain possession through Derry on the halfway line. Oh and look, the sun has come out. Lovely.

38min: More boos for Ferdinand as he launches a free-kick into Chelsea's half. It leads to QPR's best spell of possession in the match and, eventually, a corner for the visitors after Ferreira blocked Taiwo's cross into the area.

37min: QPR enjoying a little bit of possession deep inside Chelsea's half which ends with Onuoha thrashing a shot over the bar. Having scored for Sunderland in their 3-0 win at the Bridge last season, he was entitled to have a go, I suppose.

37min: QPR enjoying a little bit of possession deep inside Chelsea's half which ends with Onuoha thrashing a shot over the bar. Having scored for Sunderland in their 3-0 win at the Bridge last season, he was entitled to have a go, I suppose.

Iain Lawrence has emailed in with a reply to Gary Naylor's question: "Perhaps the decline in defending is symptomatic of the whinnying fools that filled the football blogs to tell us that a fabulous display of defence and counter-attack by Chelsea in Barcelona was, in fact, 'anti-football'. They want to see football played like they did at school; 10 strikers and a fat kid in goal!"

Discuss...

33min: Free-kick for QPR just inside their own half as Essien lunges into Cisse. Replays show the midfielder got the ball but sliding in like that is always going to lead to a 'peep peep!' from the ref's whistle.

Chelsea have had 10 attempts to QPR's four. Four?!

28min: QPR look shot. Barton has just given the ball away to Lampard, who quickly plays in Mata, who puts Torres through, who rolls the ball into Lampard's path for a chance at the goal which the midfielder just fails to control and convert. Chelsea are running through their opponents here with absurb ease. More goals surely to follow.

As QPR crumble, Gary Naylor asks this pertinent question: "What's happened to defending? It used to be half the game - maybe more - but now it's an afterthought for many sides. Hard to know what was worse on Match of the Day - the quality of defensive play (planning and execution) or the refereeing. Still, Best League In The World, so it must be good." Hard to argue with that on the basis of what's happening at the Bridge.

24min: GOAL! Chelsea 4-0 QPR Torres again. A total balls up by QPR's defence as Onuoha tries to head Mata's straight ball into Kenny's grasp, but it's too powerful to handle for the outrushing keeper, who spills the ball straight out to Torres who scores from a tight-ish angle.

23min: And right on cue Barton has a shot on goal which deflects off Terry for the visitors' first corner of the game. Buzsaky takes it from the left-side and it leads to nowt. Chelsea back on the ball with Lampard.

22min: Rangers are getting well and truly tonked here, it could get proper embarrassing for Mark Hughes's side unless their midfield trio of Derry, Barton and Buzsaky get hold of some possession and help relieve the pressure on their side. Easier said than done against Essien, Lampard and Mata...

19min: GOAL! Chelsea 3-0 QPR And QPR's humiliation has just got much, much worse because Torres has scored. In fairness, it's a peach of goal, with the Spaniard, Mata and Kalou exchanging passes before the later put Torres through with a perfect through ball and he, ala Camp Nou, rounding the keeper before rolling the ball into the back of the net.

"Afternoon Sachin!" screams Ryan Dunne. "I've only been to Big London once, in 1999 (didn't get to meet the Queen or see streets paved with Gold or anything) but am I right in thinking that today's game could be described as the WEST London derby? Surely that suggests some show-tunes, theatre (ideal for divers, etc) and general classiness, whereas the EAST London derby (West Ham v Millwall?) is presumably a jellied eel and Del Boy style affair. Perhaps, at the end of the season, the team with the best derby record (North, South, East, West) could be awarded with a Champions of London trophy by Boris Johnson? That would be cool."

17min: Chelsea just knocking the ball about now for fun, with Essien having had about 2,000 touches alone in the past minute. QPR chasing shadows, chasing a 2-0 deficit and being pushed further and further back. Not good for the men in red, white, red and white.

"Anton, what's the score, Anton, Anton what's the score?" sing the home fans. Bloody curious that. What exactly do they dislike him for?

13min: GOAL! Chelsea 2-0 QPR And guess who? Yes, it's that man Terry, climbing far too easily over Hill to head the corner past Kenny. This is too easy for Chelsea.

11min: Terry forces Kenny into a save with a close-range shot from a right-sided corner. QPR clear the ball but, once again, its in Chelsea's possession down their left-side with Sturridge, who plays it centrally to Kalou, who rolls it to Lampard who delivers a lovely chip which Kenny has to stretch to clear for a corner.

And speaking of Sturridge, this from Hector: "Congrads to Sturridge, however, with Marin, Mata, Ramirez, Lampard, etc., do you think his days are numbered at Chelsea FC?"

Possibly Hector, he's certainly appeared less for RDM than he did AVB, but the lad's a top player, sure Chelsea's manager, whoever that may be, won't allow him to go in the summer.

9min: Terry getting his own round of boos from the away fans, who have little else to cheer in this match so far. Chelsea are getting a lot of joy down that left side, especially through Sturridge, who has linked up well with Mata in the early stages.

Mini applause for Ian Copestake for being the first person to get in touch today. He writes: "I like the idea of a capital derby. As a description it evokes jolly japes with lashings of ginger beer rather than stage managed avoidance of handshakes, racial prejudice and lawsuits." Indeed it does Ian, indeed it does.

7min: QPR, dressed in a rather striking red-and-white halves strip starting to get a foothold in this game, and Cisse has just had a shot which went well wide of goal. The rain is properly coming down, which should only add to the quick nature of this contest.

6min: A bit of a penalty shout for Chelsea there as Ferreira's drive appears to come off Hill's arm. Referee Webb only gives a corner. however, which leads to nothing.

3min: Welll that is some opening. QPR's players had blinked before Sturridge scored what is his 13th goal of the season. Buzsaky had just had a free-kick for the visitors that went well over. A couple of minutes later Sturridge drove into the area, only for Ferdinand to kick the ball away to safety. Cue the expected boos from the home fans.

1min: GOAL! Chelsea 1-0 QPR What a start. Daniel Sturridge cuts in from the left and lashes the ball past Kenny at the goalkeeper's near post.

Peep! And we're off on what looks like a right old damp day in west London. Chelsea kicking left to right as I see it.

Hang on, John Terry's just shaken Joey Barton's hand. But that's not meant to ha-, oh nevermind

Close to kick-off at Stamford Bridge. Just having a look inside the tunnel. Terry to lead Chelsea out, Barton doing the same for QPR. Behind him is Anton Ferdinand, resting a bottle of water in his mouth. Can we take that a sign of his hate for John Terry? I'd say no.

Close to kick-off at Stamford Bridge. Just having a look inside the tunnel. Terry to lead Chelsea out, Barton doing the same for QPR. Behind him is Anton Ferdinand, resting a bottle of water in his mouth. Can we take that a sign of his hate for John Terry? I'd say no.

Interesting point made on Sky that Chelsea are the only London club not to have won a capital derby so far this season - played seven, drawn 5, lost two. And yet they've beaten Barcelona. Strange.

Teams
Chelsea: Cech, Ferreira, Bosingwa, Terry, Cole, Mata, Essien, Lampard, Sturridge, Torres, Kalou. Subs: Turnbull, Romeu,
Ramires, Drogba, Malouda, Meireles, Hutchinson.
QPR: Kenny, Onuoha, Ferdinand, Hill, Taiwo, Mackie, Barton,
Derry, Buzsaky, Cisse, Zamora. Subs: Cerny, Gabbidon, Campbell, Traore, Young, Smith, Wright-Phillips.
Referee: Howard Webb

Good afternoon everyone and welcome to the Champions League final from Munich. It's Chelsea v Bayer-...oh, hang on, my bad. That's not for a few weeks is it? No, beforehand we have the small matter of a west London derby, this one otherwise known as the 'will they, won't they shake hands jamboree', starring John Terry and Rio's brother.

As you're all probably aware by now, JT and Anton will be spared the awkward and potentially explosive prospect of having to touch palms before the start of this one after Ferdinand's lawyer suggested such a move may prejudice Terry's upcoming trial and the Premier League, to their rare credit, agreed. So no shaking, but sod that as we still have a potentially cracking game on our hands. Victory for Roberto Di Matteo's Barcelona-beating side would see them climb into fifth place for a few hours at least, and until Tottenham face Blackburn at White Hart Lane, while a shock victory for Queens Park Rangers would see them take a massive step towards safety, not to mention a full-grasp of those all-so-important bragging rights.

Teams to follow shortly, and before they do it's been brought to my attention that Terry has apologised to his team-mates in the matchday programme for getting sent-off against Barcelona. And here's me thinking it was Alexis Sanchez's fault for running into him.

Kick off is at 1.30pm. Sachin will be here from 1pm. While you're waiting, Here's Dominic Fifield's match preview ...

The pre-match handshake may no longer be an issue, but John Terry will still draw the focus as Chelsea return to Premier League duties with a derby to get the juices flowing. Victory will be imperative if hope of securing a place in the top four is to be maintained, though tweaked hamstrings and general fatigue may influence Roberto Di Matteo's selection. QPR have concerns at the other end but did beat Chelsea's nine men in that infamous meeting back in October. Away form has deserted them over recent months and they have not won in the league at Stamford Bridge since 1983. Victory would secure them a first double over local rivals in 37 years.

Resources: Premier League: Chelsea v QPR