Torres flattens QPR, Spurs down Rovers
Fernando Torres scored his first hat-trick in a Chelsea shirt as the Blues boosted their hopes of a top-four finish as they hit QPR for six, while Tottenham kept up their hopes of a Champions League spot next season as they beat Blackburn 2-0 at White Hart Lane.
Man-in-the-spotlight John Terry was on target - and Torres scored a hat-trick - as Chelsea thrashed QPR 6-1 at Stamford Bridge to boost their chances of catching third-placed Arsenal in the Premier League.
Daniel Sturridge gave QPR a warning of what was to come by opening the scoring inside a minute, cutting in from the left and curling a 20-yard strike that beat Hoops keeper Paddy Kenny at his near post.
Terry, who is involved in an ongoing legal situation with QPR defender Anton Ferdinand, headed in a corner to double the advantage, before Torres put his hand up for starts in the FA Cup and Champions League finals by netting a treble.
The Spain international made it 3-0 when he collected a fine angled pass from Salomon Kalou, rounded Kenny and tapped in, and his second arrived after a mix-up between Nedum Onuoha and Kenny presented him with a gift.
There was every sign that Torres' confidence had flooded back when he notched again on the hour, taking his time in the area before curling a composed finish beyond Kenny's left hand. Florent Malouda made it six from Ramires' cross, before Djibril Cisse grabbed a consolation for the visitors.
Chelsea are now one point behind Tottenham and Newcastle and five behind Arsenal, who have played a game more than Roberto Di Matteo's side. QPR are out of the relegation zone due to goal difference.
Tottenham moved back into the Champions League places as they left Blackburn even deeper in the relegation mire with a 2-0 win at White Hart Lane.
Rafael van der Vaart's first-half goal put Spurs well on course for victory before Kyle Walker's stunning free-kick completed a facile win for Harry Redknapp's side.
Playing in his 300th consecutive Premier League match, Brad Friedel was never troubled in the Tottenham goal, as Rovers failed to have a shot on target, while at the other end Spurs had a host of chances to score past former keeper Paul Robinson.
Despite a poor run of form which has seen them pick up just six points in the last two months, Tottenham nearly grabbed the lead in the opening 60 seconds - Gareth Bale releasing Luka Modric, whose pull-back across the face of goal was stabbed into the sidenetting by Aaron Lennon.
Spurs continued to put the Rovers defence under pressure, and Sandro's 20-yard rocket hammered the underside of the crossbar. Rovers continued to live dangerously, and when Bale's header bounced off the bar, Emmanuel Adebayor shielded the ball with his back to goal to allow Van der Vaart to lash home.
And Walker demonstrated why he was named PFA Young Player of the Year last week, curling a superb free-kick from 25 yards into the top left hand corner.