Torres hits three as QPR suffer heavy local defeat at Chelsea; Spurs return to the top four after beating Blackburn at White Hart Lane
QPR made the short journey across west London to Chelsea; adopting a 4-5-1 formation, apparently designed to thwart the attacking dangers that Chelsea possess.
In footballing circles, Mark Hughes has never been thought a master tactician. His latest effort worked well for 46 seconds, Daniel Sturridge taking full advantage of a fortunate bounce to smash home from 20 yards.
John Terry was next to get in on the act, climbing all over Clint Hill to head home Mata’s corner.
Much has been made of the Fernando Torres goal in the Nou Camp; let’s not forget it was a one on one chance, he is a 50-million pounds striker, and at that stage Chelsea were already going through to the final.
Speaking of scoring goals when the pressure is off, Torres grabbed two goals before the break to make it 4-0, sinking QPR’s goal difference towards that of Wigan’s.
The inevitable happened with just under 30 minutes to play; the Spaniard was sent clear by Mata’s inch-perfect pass and he finished stylishly, claiming his first hat-trick since 2009.
Substitute Florent Malouda made it half a dozen when he fired past Kenny from close range before Cisse grabbed a consolation goal for the visitors.
Across London, Tottenham welcomed Blackburn Rovers in the second Premier League fixture of the day. Tottenham desperately needed to get their Champions League train back on track after a miserable run of results.
After a solid start, Spurs got their breakthrough with a close range effort from Van der Vaart. His strike clearly crossed the line and this time the assistant referee made the correct decision.
William Gallas struck the bar with a glancing header in a half dominated by the home side; Modric pulling the strings in midfield, allowing Bale and Lennon to cause problems with every attack.
Spurs midfielder Sandro, who covered every blade of grass with tireless running, even managed to cover part of the Blackburn penalty area with his lunch.
Late in the second half, Kyle Walker fired Spurs back into the top four with an exquisite 25-yard free-kick.