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When it rains, it pours...


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A soggy pitch wasn't enough to dampen the spirits surrounding Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon. Chelsea were clinical in front of goal, making it a day to forget for poor Rangers 'keeper, Paddy Kenny.

Queens Park Rangers came into the fixture holding the worst away record in the Premier League, and they showed no signs of altering that statistic. They were devoid of attacking intent, and were poor defensively. When you're neither of the aforementioned - especially away from home - then there's little hope of coming away with anything. That being said, Chelsea hadn't succeeded in beating any London rivals in their previous league encounters, so perhaps could take optimism from that. Their performance proved otherwise, however.

Chelsea's hectic schedule and unfortunate injury problems saw six changes to the team that started in Barcelona on Tuesday night. The most notable changes being Jose Bosingwa starting the game where he left off in the Camp Nou, at centre-half, leaving Paulo Ferreira to fill in at full-back, and Fernando Torres occupying the lone striker role.

However, it was the return of Daniel Sturridge that broke the deadlock within the first minute of the game. A rare attempt on goal with his weaker foot caught Kenny off-guard and having to pick the ball out of the back of his net before the clock had even reached 60 seconds. The Blues bewildered QPR's defence and found themselves 4-0 up before the half-hour mark. The man in the spotlight, Mr. John Terry, offered his celebratory apologies when he doubled the score. Torres then bagged two in ten minutes to ultimately define the outcome of the game. Chelsea had barely reached second gear when the game was no longer a contest.

The second-half saw more sightings of QPR's goal for the home side, who managed to tuck away two more opportunities, leaving the dumbfounded R's defence six goals behind. Rangers' only real threat on the day was the ex-however-many-clubs-he's-played-for, Djibril Cissé, who denying Petr Cech of a cleansheet to accompany yet another faultless performance.

The goal, and even shot-shy Torres of times gone by seems to be reinvigorated by his late goal in the Camp Nou the other night. He looks like a completely different player to the one we saw a month or so ago. What a turn around. Rarely would we see signs of happiness from the Spaniard, but it was smiles all round on Sunday afternoon. The hunger was there; the confidence was there; and most importantly; the cool, calm and collected finisher of old seems to be there. Has Torres finally relieved the massive weight of his price-tag off his shoulders with that crucial goal against Barcelona? I certainly hope so!

Although Torres' first hat-trick is a topic I'm sure we'd all love to discuss for hours on end, we mustn't dismiss the importance of his colleagues in all this. Petr Cech seems to have regenerated his form from a few seasons ago and finally looks comfortable and demanding once again. The Ashley Cole that was coasting a few months back is now playing like a captain. Bosingwas has proven himself to be a more than useful centre-half. Whoever deemed him a right-back in the first place?! The languid, lethargic Lampard of recent times has received a new lease of life, and is once again the driving force of our midfield. Finally - last but not least - the meticulous, midfield maestro that is Juan Mata. Or God. Or both. Although his ongoing battle against fatigue is blatantly evident, he still has to play, being the pivotal playmaker that he is.

Conclusively, it was a nice, Sunday afternoon stroll in the park. We were rarely tested defensively and managed to carve their defence open at our free will. However, we must take into account the calibre of opposition we were up against. Our feet must stay firmly on the ground, particularly with Newcastle United - themselves fighting for a Champions League spot - coming to the Bridge tomorrow night.

Fourth spot, here we come!

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