Terry had the last laugh at the end of a week in which his sending off somehow
failed to cost Chelsea at the Nou Camp and his upcoming racism trial took
centre-stage again when today’s pre-match handshakes were cancelled.
Both he and QPR defender Anton Ferdinand – the man he denies racially abusing
– were mercilessly targeted by opposition fans, as they had been in
January’s FA Cup tie at Loftus Road.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, who yesterday bankrolled the club’s first
summer signing in Marko Marin, was at Stamford Bridge to watch Roberto Di
Matteo’s latest attempt to convince the Russian to give him the manager’s
It took the home side – who had been in danger of going a whole Premier League
season without winning a London derby for the first time – barely a quarter
of the game to make another case for the Italian.
With several players playing for a place in the FA Cup and Champions League
finals, they tore into Rangers from the first whistle and Sturridge’s
screamer hit the net inside a minute.
Ferdinand provided an unwitting assist as Sturridge played the ball back off
the defender before unleashing an unstoppable curler on his weaker right
foot, although Paddy Kenny might claim he was unsighted by an offside Frank
QPR tried to hit back but Chelsea might have had a penalty when makeshift
centre-back Jose Bosingwa’s drive hit the hand of Clint Hill, who was badly
exposed as Terry made it 2-0 in the 14th minute.
Kenny tipped over a delightful Lampard chip but it was in vain as Terry got in
front of Hill far too easily to nod home Juan Mata’s corner.
The celebrations were sensibly muted from Terry but the home fans could not
have been more delighted.
They were on their feet again five minutes later in appreciation of a
brilliant Torres goal, the striker starting and finishing a blistering move
by rounding Kenny after a superb ball from Salomon Kalou.
QPR were reeling but the fourth goal was unforgivable, a horrible mix-up
between Nedum Onuoha and Kenny gifting Torres a left-foot finish he was in
no mood to pass up.
Another fine move almost saw Lampard make it 5-0 and Torres complete his
hat-trick as the driving rain was briefly replaced by glorious sunshine.
It was still wet enough for Michael Essien to be given the benefit of the
doubt when he dived in on Cisse and Joey Barton was even more fortunate when
he raked his studs down the ankle of Mata, who required treatment.
Mata would have made it 5-0 shortly after half-time but for a powder-puff
finish, while Petr Cech was finally called into meaningful action when he
somehow clawed Jamie Mackie’s drive out of the top corner.
Barton was finally booked and Kenny delayed Torres’ hat-trick with a good save
but the £50 million man made no mistake to complete his first treble since
Sept 2009, beating the offside trap to clip Mata’s pass into the far corner.
Abramovich high-fived his companions in the directors’ box and he was
celebrating again 10 minutes from time when substitutes Ramires and Malouda
combined thanks to a Ferdinand blunder.
There was still time for Sam Hutchinson to make his first appearance since
coming out of retirement and Cisse to drill home a consolation, but the
damage was already done.
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