We are going minute-by-minute at Stamford Bridge for a handshake-less encounter between Chelsea and QPR.
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Chelsea 6-1 QPR (FT)
13.04 – Good afternoon and welcome along to our live coverage of Chelsea’s home tie with QPR.
Here are the teams:
Chelsea: Cech: Ferreira, Bosingwa, Terry, Cole; Essien, Lampard; Sturridge, Mata, Kalou; Torres.
Didier Drogba, for all his flailing flaws, was excellent at the Nou Camp on Tuesday and has earned himself a rest on the bench. Chelsea’s in-form striker (goal in his last game) Fernando Torres starts up front.
QPR: Kenny; Onuoha, Ferdinand, Hill, Taiwo; Mackie, Derry, Barton, Buzsaky; Zamora, Cisse.
Bobby Zamora and Djibril Cisse up top for QPR as Mark Hughes looks to attack a Chelsea team that will surely be battle-weary afer their Champions League exploits.
13.11 – Let’s get in the mood by enjoying Gary Neville’s stunning reaction to Torres’ goal against Barcelona.
YouTube credit: PrinceOfLogic
13.20 – Mark Hughes and Roberto di Matteo used to be room-mates for Chelsea’s away trips. Robbie surely holds a grudge over the clogged up shower drains. Hughes had a lot of hair back in the day.
(Phil O’Brien/EMPICS Sport)
13.24 – Hughes says the pitch at Stamford Bridge is ‘a bit soggy’ but hopes it will not have an adverse affect on the game. He is happy that the pre-match handshake has been cancelled because of apparent legal requirements. He said:
That was the important thing as the last time we played them the handshake caused a huge debate and took away from the game.
Chelsea have yet to win a London derby game in the Premier League this year. Interesting stat at this late stage of the season.
13.33 – John Terry gets a handshake from Joey Barton before we get underway, lucky boy. Jose Bosingwa gets the nod at centre-half beside Terry and could play himself into a starting role for the FA Cup Final with a decent performance.
13.36 – GOAL! Daniel Sturridge takes a Torres pass, cuts inside and unleashes a rocket past Paddy Kenny. 47 seconds on the clock and Chelsea are 1-0 up. Goal number 13 of Sturridge’s season.
13.39 – Clint Hill blocks a Bosingwa strike and it strikes his arm in the box. Howard Webb deems it accidental and Chelsea get a corner that is headed clear. Cisse then threatens on the left flank but Ashley Cole does well to clear.
13.44 – The heavy rain is leading to some sloppy football. Kalou should have put Torres clear on goal but over-hit his pass and Sturridge is wasteful in a dangerous position moments later.
13.47 – GOAL! This is going to be a long day for QPR. John Terry crane-kicks an attempt following a Lampard corner. Then Lampard draws a fine save from Kenny after chipping from the edge of the box. From the resulting corner John Terry rises to head home. Unreal!
13.49 – “Anton, Anton what’s the score?”, chorus the Chelsea fans. John Terry raised his arms and looked as if he did not want to celebrate that goal.
13.54 – GOAL! Stunning goal from Fernando Torres. He finds Mata and sprints forward. The ball goes to Kalou on the wing who plays a great diagonal pass into the Spaniard, who rounds Kenny and slides it home.
13.57 – For Fantasy Football players/participants out there, the corner for Terry’s headed goal was taken by Juan Mata.
Up in the Scottish Premier League, Celtic lead Rangers 2-0 after goals from Mulgrew and Kris Commons.
13.59 – GOAL! Torres again and it is a horrendous gaff from Nedum Onouha that leads to the goal. His header back to Kenny is weak and he collides with his ‘keeper, leaving Torres free to sweep his second home.
14.02 – Here is Sturridge’s cracker of a goal after 47 seconds.
YouTube credit: James latham
14.06 – Mata with a cushioned pass almost puts Lampard through for number five but Kenny does well to rush out and block his sliding effort.
14.10 – Things have settled down at the Bridge. The four goals from Chelsea have moved them past Spurs’ goal difference but QPR are now minus 22 and dropping back to Blackburn and Bolton’s negative totals.
Up in Scotland, Gary Hooper has made it Celtic 3-0 Rangers.
14.15 – Joey Barton at it again as he stamps on Mata’s foot about five seconds after passing the ball away. The Spanish international needs treatment but is ok to carry on.
14.19 – Torres is close to getting his hat-trick as Lampard tees him up, following a surging run into the box from Mata. His stinging shot misses the top corner by a yard however.
14.21 – HALF-TIME: Chelsea could score seven or eight if they decide to push it in the second-half. QPR are in all sorts of trouble.
14.32 – Hello, Paul here. I’ll be taking over from Patrick for the rest of this liveblog as he prepares for the Leinster game.
14.35 – The second half is underway…
14.39 – It’s been a relatively low key start to the second half, perhaps unsurprisingly, given that the game is effectively over.
14.42 – A lovely through ball from Ashley Cole finds Juan Mata, who fails to connect properly with his shot, allowing Kenny to make an easy save.
14.50 – Chelsea are still looking threatening, and a Fernando Torres hat-trick seems a realistic possibility (never thought I’d type that sentence this season).
14.53 – GOAL FOR CHELSEA!
14.55 – Juan Mata plays through Fernando Torres, and Kenny can only palm the Spaniard’s powerful finish into the net.
14.59 – Malouda replaces Chelsea’s resident playmaker Juan Mata, as fans in the stadium continue to rub their eyes in disbelief, owing to that Torres hat-trick.
15.01 – Malouda bursts through the lackadaisical QPR defence, but can only find the side-netting with his shot.
15.04 – Cisse heads over Zamora’s shot-cum-cross from close range, compounding QPR’s miserable afternoon.
15.09 – GOAL FOR CHELSEA!
15.11 – A cross is deflected into the path of Malouda, who slots it into the empty net.
15.14 – It’s nice to see Sam Hutchinson coming on (for Bosingwa). The player had been initially forced to retire as a result of a knee injury, but it subsequently cleared up sufficiently enough for him to make a footballing return.
15.16 – GOAL FOR QPR! Onuoha does well to get his cross in to Cisse, who finishes consummately, hitting a powerful first-time shot past Cech.
15.17 – A woefully overhit cross from Joey Barton epitomises QPR’s day.
15.21 – Here’s Torres’ second and arguably best goal today:
YouTube credit: SuperFastGoals
15.23 – FULL TIME: CHELSEA 6-1 QPR
15.26 – So Chelsea go ahead of Tottenham for the time being in the league table. They’re also one point behind 4th placed Newcastle, who they play in their next match.
15.30 – So, here’s a quick poll before I go:
Will Chelsea finish fourth?
15.32 – Alright, that’s it from me for the moment. Don’t worry though, we’ll be back shortly to liveblog Tottenham v Blackburn.