Chelsea 6-1 QPR – Ha Ha

The preamble

I’m going to keep this short. Anyone who is reading this obviously knows what happened in our last run out on Tuesday, and I don’t feel I can really add anything to the review by Tony and subsequent comments on the last post. So instead of musing on our current form and confidence, or whether we’d take our eye off the ball a little bit with some big games coming up, my pre-match thoughts really focused on QPR, how desperately they needed to get a result here to keep their survival under their own control, and whether they would be able to put in a shift for 90 minutes and maybe nick a result.

As it turned out, QPR’s resistance lasted about as long as one of Jordan’s marriages.

The team

Luiz and Cahill were both injured and Ivanovic was banned so Bosingwa covered at centre-back. Apart from that it was a pretty strong team:

Cech, Cole, Terry, Bosingwa, Ferreira, Lampard, Mata, Essien, Kalou, Torres, Sturridge.

The first half

We started brightly, utilising some crisp passing, and within the first minute Studge found himself on the edge of the QPR area, took a step inside, and curled a right-footed shot in at the near post to put us one up. If I’m being honest it was probably a soft one for Kenny to concede. A few minutes later Sturridge runs off the shoulder of the last defender and almost collects Kalou’s sliding pass, Ferdinand just managing to slide in to intercept. It’s a slightly scrappy start to the game and QPR look vulnerable to the counter-attack, especially as Chelsea are passing it so quickly along the floor.

We then get a couple of corners in quick succession, the second coming from an audacious attempt by Lampard to chip Kenny from the edge of the area. Mata swings the resulting corner into the six yard box and Terry rises easily clear of his marker to nod in from close range. Two-nil up and less than 15 minutes gone.

You can feel the confidence flowing now as we start a 20 minute spell where we play some of the best football I’ve seen us play this season. Every time we take it into QPR’s half the ball is moved about so quickly they just can’t live with it. Torres wins it on the halfway line, it flows through Mata and out to Kalou who a plays a beautifully weighted pass back into Torres’ path. A lovely touch allows Torres to control it and create the angle to just pass it by Kenny. A few minutes later QPR gift us a fourth as Onouha and Kenny combine to spill Mata’s drifted pass right at the feet of Torres who finishes smartly.

Although we let up a bit just before half time we could have gone into the break five up. Mata, Lampard and Torres at times just carve up the whole QPR team between them. Kalou and Sturridge are also causing problems, with Kalou for once managing to find someone with pretty much every pass. QPR’s efforts this half were limited to some poor set pieces and the odd cross; the first time I even noticed Zamora was on the pitch is when he hurt himself challenging Terry for a header about 25 minutes in.

The second half

Unsurprisingly we start the second half with a bit less urgency. Mata is still at the centre of most of our play but instead of quick one-twos and sliding passes we try to play a few more cross-field balls and generally slow down the buildup. Mackie has QPR’s best effort of the game with a 25 yard shot that Cech does well to tip round the post, but generally they seem happy to focus on damage limitation. Just as I begin to think we may take it easy all half Mata and Torres combine to make it five nil. Torres looks full of confidence as he runs off the centre-back’s shoulder, collects the pass Mata has angled inside the full-back, and calmly tucks it into the corner past Kenny. A few games ago he probably would have looked for the return ball but today he just makes it look so easy.

About three quarters of the way through the game RDM makes a couple of subs – Mata comes off for Malouda and then Ramires replaces Kalou. The commentator mentions that it was Mata’s 24th birthday yesterday. What a player we’ve got if we can keep him for the next decade! Anyway I think the subs have the desired effect, injecting a bit of energy. Ramires is his usual self while Malouda is clearly keen to try to make sure he plays a part in the cup finals coming up. These two immediately start to combine with Lampard and Torres in a move where all four are involved but the ball just doesn’t quite break for Frank to get his shot off.

A few moments later Ramires collects the ball on the right, passes infield to Torres and carries on down the line. The return from Torres is perfectly timed so Ramires can get his head up and pick a low cross back into the area. Out of the four Chelsea players up it drops nicely to Malouda who calmly passes it into the left of the goal. 6-0.

The rest of the game is a bit of a training session really, though both subs are still keen to make an impression. Hutchinson got a run out for 10 minutes which was nice to see. Terry got caught offside at one point, charging up the pitch to try and get a second. Annoyingly we then concede after Onouha beats his man on the right and cuts it back for Cisse to finish well. The last five minutes we have a last couple of attacks, forcing a corner and then Lampard and Torres linking well with Onouha having to dive in and block the shot.

The player ratings

  • Goalie/defenders – 7 – No-one had a lot to do but all of them did well; Cech made a good save, Cole played well on the left, Terry got on the scoresheet, Bosingwa looked fairly solid, and Ferreira did his usual trick of putting in a solid performance despite only playing once every couple of months.
  • Essien – 7 – Still not near his best but improving slightly with every game.
  • Lampard – 8.5 – He always links everything in midfield but today his play with Mata and Torres was superb.
  • Mata – 9 – My joint Man of the Match, he was involved in four of five goals scored while he was on the pitch.
  • Sturridge – 7 – At times he was brilliant but at other times did his usual thing of over elaborating.
  • Kalou – 8 – I think his pace on the wing has really been a factor since RDM brought him back into the team and today he played some beautifully weighted passes.
  • Torres – 9 – I couldn’t separate him and Mata for Man of the Match. What impressed me most was his confidence and how easy he made everything look.

Final thoughts

It was as if all the attacking we had to hold back from in the Barcelona games came out today. In Mata and Lampard we have two players who can sit in midfield and pick out attacking passes all day long, and when the rest of the team are full of running they will cause trouble for any opposition. What really stood out for me was the speed of passing at times, especially in the first half. Torres absolutely feasted on the service he got today and took all of his goals so easily. If we play like this next weekend Liverpool should be worried.

I’m at a loss to sum it all up really. I’m just happy to enjoy the moment; an absolutely emphatic win and a top class performance.

Just one last word – I saw Abramovich was at the ground today… if he wasn’t 100% on RDM before let’s hope today convinced him!

The press reports

The Guardian, Dominic Fifield: “Victory here thrust Chelsea back into contention for a top four finish, particularly with Newcastle to visit south-west London on Wednesday night, for all that it was achieved against opponents whose defending was so feeble as to invite a thrashing. Torres and his supply-line, the sublime Juan Mata principal among them, felt like flat track bullies with this a mismatch from the moment the visitors were breached within the opening 47 seconds. Chelsea had not previously won a league derby this season. They broke that duck by registering their best ever victory over these local rivals.”

The Independent, Sam Wallace: “This was a great afternoon for Chelsea who are now in sixth place just a point behind Spurs and Newcastle. Should Di Matteo’s team beat Newcastle on Wednesday then they will be two points behind Arsenal with two games to play and, at the very least, well in the running for the fourth Champions League place.”

The Daily Telegraph, Henry Winter: “As Fernando Torres swept QPR away with a hat-trick, a huge smile spread across the face of Roman Abramovich. All is well at Chelsea, finalists in the Champions League, FA Cup and FA Youth Cup.”

The Official Chelsea FC Website: “Fernando Torres hit a first Chelsea hat-trick as we stormed to a monumental win against our relegation-threatened rivals.”

The goals

1′ Sturridge 1-0
13′ Terry 2-0
19′ Torres 3-0
25′ Torres 4-0
64′ Torres 5-0
80′ Malouda 6-0
84′ Cisse 6-1

There are 49 comments

Add yours
  1. Philip, Sweden

    Great job!
    Please pick up on the signing of Marko Marin on the Pod. It would be interesting to see what you guys think of him.

    • Ryan

      I’d say he’s a bargain (I’m hearing somewhere between £6.5-10million) He’s only 23. He chose us over Tottenham. He has just had most of the year out injured but his dribbling, close control, balance and changes of direction mark him out (in my eyes anyway) as a player that might fit well in our team (we seem to lack a player that can run at and commit defenders at times). Maybe as cover for Mata, maybe in his own right. He’s quite small (5’7″ I think) so his aerial prowess is non-existent. If he were deployed on the wing we could see him have the same problems defensively as Juan Mata did earlier in the year. I’m just guessing that one. I’m not sure about his defensive abilities. I might be being unfair to him there. He might be decent at protecting his full-back but his stature (similar to Mata) makes me think he might struggle a little in the PL in this department. Just a few thoughts. I’m sure the lads on the Podding Shed will be able to give us some more insight. I’ve also heard that Lukaku could go the other way on loan next year but that’s just a rumour as far as I’m aware.

      Well done to all the lads today. Would be nice to think we helped send Derry & Barton to Championship where they belong.

  2. mark_25

    Great stuff Blueinmyveins

    This is fascinating Roy Hodgson approached by FA over England manager’s job

    We must take credit that our humiliation of Spurs at Wembley highlighted Harry’s frailties to save England from making a terrible mistake.

    Having made Guardiola realise that continuing the pursuit of a flawed strategy was futile it only remains for us to depose King Kenny next weekend.

  3. limetreebower

    It certainly seems like the transfer policy has moved away from big-name megasignings towards a search for interesting youngsters. One wonders how they picked Marin out. (Ditto the kid we picked up from the Notts Forest yoof team.) You’d certainly think it means the scouting network has more of an influence now than it used to — our transfer dealings in the first five Abramovich years positively reeked of meddling from the top (“Get me Shevchenko! Get me Anelka! Who cares about young German midfielders I’ve never heard of?”).

    As a reluctant England fan (are there other kinds, outside DailyMailia?) I’m also interested and pleased to see that the FA appears to have been ignoring the media silliness all along. If it has to be an English person then Woy seems fairly obviously the best candidate.

    Point taken Mark but wouldn’t we rather they kept hold of King Kenny? Just like the old days when we serenaded Mad Rafa with “we want you to stay, we want you to sta–aaa-aaay …”

  4. JonathanDK

    This was a perfect game for Lukaku to have a try – had he been on the bench. Makes me a bit sad to see him featured on the seats behind the “bench” in every game. 

  5. CFCTimmy

    Just back from game. 

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, for the picture accompanying this article. I didn’t think my mood could improve any more… 

  6. CFCTimmy

    On a slightly more serious note, barring the unnecessary repeated booing of Anton Ferdinard from the CFC fans, I do hope that the media recognise that almost all antagonism regarding the racism issue came from the QPR fans. 

    They are truly a hateful football club, and ideally, after a brief sojourn in the sun, a return to the Championship and back to the level they belong will provide another bonus to what is turning out to be a most unexpected and enjoyable end to the season.

  7. limetreebower

    Just a small and obvious aside, but — how awesome is Paolo Ferreira?

    Has the instrument been invented that can measure his awesomeness?

    The bloke deserves a special kind of legend status. Never plays, never makes a fuss, never does anything brilliant, and yet does absolutely exactly what you need someone to do when every single other possible option for right back has been exhausted. The ultimate last resort.

    Give him a job for life, says I.

  8. Radicalevan

    Jesus, that was a hell of a pass from Kalou. Didn’t think he had it in him.

    Good recap. Considering the demeanor of the QPR fans (dare I say QPR in general?), the Muntz HA- HA is utterly perfect. Nice to see a sexy six goal thrashing on the back of heroic bus defending. One for the pundits.

    • Blue_MikeL

      Different strokes for different blokes. We are a great versatile team, which can defend and attack, whatever required. 

  9. Chris

    What was the chant from the our fans about Cisse’s hair? The commentators mentioned it, but gave no details.

    Roy Hodgson? Really? Is that the best we can do? Christ. This is what happens when you insist on a “native” manager; there is damn all to choose from. Give the job to Anelka, or Ferreira. Or one of my cats.

    • ibzo

       Cisse chant: ‘he’s got bird shit, on his head, he’s got bird shit, on his head’.

      Simple yet brilliant

    • Blue_MikeL

      After Fabregas compared us with motorbikes we had to show that motorbike isn’t a boundary for us 🙂 

    • Cunningplan

      You’re welcome to the ownership and rights to the link Mark.
      I’m somewhat dissapointed we’ve decided to join up with a mid running F1 team, when we have influence on this blog from Mr T Glover who works for Vodaphone. Mclaren would have been the obvious choice, so I blame Tony for not putting our case forward. 😉

      • GrocerJack

        I dunno, we spend millions on branding, millions on getting bright young creatives to come up with a snappy name and still people spell VODAFONE with a PH!

        Our lawyers are watching CP…………….

        • Cunningplan

          And yes the bad spelling of Vodafone led to the incorrect naming of the F-duct on the Mclaren, due to the ‘F’ being right by the vent on the bodywork of that particular engineering innovation.

          Besides I’ve never pay much attention to mobile communication company’s branding, I’m with A2 and I’m more than happy with them. 😉

  10. marco_chelsea

    Missed the game due to Mrs Marco requiring a chauffeur for the Flower Show so thanks for this precise report. That and the highlights are as close as I can get to being there.

    My heart says give Robbie di Matteo one season to find out whether he can do the job of restructuring the team. My head says Abramovich has probably already made his mind up to bring someone else in. I seriously hope the gossip about bringing in the likes of Pep Guardiola are untrue. The man is patently unsuited to managing anything else except the Youth team he brought through at the Home of Football. 

    If candidates like that are in serious consideration it points to yet another appointment made on a whim and a prayer.

  11. bluebayou

    Good piece BIMV, adds flesh to the impression I got from hearing the game on the radio and watching the highlights.

    I was expecting a dour struggle on a sodden pitch but a combination of confident movement and QPR not turning up made it a stroll.

    The choice was to listen on Talk Radio or Radio London. I opted for the latter, praying that I hadn’t handed a win to QPR as a result. The goal on 47 seconds helped me feel confident that I had done my bit. On such tiny details can seasons turn.

    Should we stagger over the fourth place line, I think we might have to send some sort of gift to the people of Wigan (a la the Norwegian Christmas Tree in Trafalgar Square). Having been tucked up like kippers by the linesman at our place they have selflessly continued to aid and abet our cause.

    In the 22 days since playing Wigan, we have played 7 games consisting of 4 London derbies, one of them an FA Cup semi-final and 2 CL semi-final games against Barcelona and now have 2 days ’til a crucial game against Newcastle in the contest for 4th spot, where defeat may well spell farewell to that hope, then a 2 day rest ’til an FA Cup Final against Liverpool who we then play in the EPL after a further 3 days, possibly still fighting for 4th spot, before rolling on to play Blackburn after a gap of 3 days, with 4th spot possibly still up for grabs.

    Ahhh blessed relief, 5 days off before the small matter of Bayern Munich in the Champions League Cup Final.

    That’ll be 11 games played in 42 days since Wigan.

    Up to now, fighting on 3 fronts, every one has mattered. There have been no games where the team could soft pedal. Of the 5 games left, as of today, 3 are must win. That’s the 2 cup finals and the Newcastle game. The result of the Newcastle game will by and large determine how vital the last 2 PL games are. 

    It all has a rather manic out of control feel to it all, where you feel at some point it all has to end in tears. And yet on we somehow stagger. Or should that be swagger?

  12. Blueboydave

    Have to admit I arrived at The Bridge for the uncivilisedly early Sunday start with the good Dr. BB’s warning from earlier in the week about our lousy record in pre-2p.m. starts this season in my mind. 

    Not helped either to see from kick-off the alarming amount of surface water splashing up off the middle of the pitch too – had it really rained that heavily? 

    Thankfully, I was soon recalling the words of Alan Pardew after his boys’ pasting at the hands of Wigan the day before when he admitted his team had failed to match their opponents’ intensity.

    Despite everything, we seemed to have convinced ourselves to start at a level, if not quite matching that v. Barca, at least way too good for QPR to cope with and the monumental pasting they deserved was pretty much in place inside 20 minutes.

    Nando’ hat-trick was a delight, and I retain an outside hope that they may indeed still be dispatched to face “Barnsley” again next season if remaining results go the right way.

    How are the Podding Shedders coping with the pace after their extra-time marathon last week?

    When should we next expect more pearls of wit and wisdom from them?

  13. WorkingClassPost

     Like BIMV, I’m at a loss for words just now, but got home early enough to cut the grass (first time in weeks), had a shower, and now off to the Podding Shed for a little catchup.

    Who said that life in the burbs was tame?

  14. WorkingClassPost

    Pod over, splendid stuff again.

    The idea of a Munich Podding Shed is superb, and they must have plenty of Starbuck’s type wifi hotspots, so why not go for it?

    Feel sure that you’d manage the organization ok, but the logistics of staying sober enough to actually do it might be more of an issue.

    • John D

      I wasn’t at this pub, but similar scenes were happening at the 3 Kings in West Kensington.

      I had the wit to place my unfinished pint of Guinness on the bar before leaping about like a maniac when Torres scored.

    • Ryan

      Well, I can see that Gotze and Reus are better than Marin but I’m not sure that it was a case of either or considering neither of those players are for sale. Draxler is a good player but basically as unproven as Marin. This article doesn’t seem to take into account Marin’s switch from the left of a 4-3-3/4-2-3-1 (when he was at his best) to the number 10 role vacated by Diego (where he was less effective). Thereafter he has struggled with injuries. I’m not saying this guy is right or wrong. Time well tell us that. I do remember that we had the opportunity to sign Modric, thought better of it for whatever reason and have regretted it. I actually think the transfer culture at CFC is changing and that we have moved away from thinking that a player is no good unless we have to pay big money for them. I’m sure we will still make big name signings (Cavani to replace Drogba for example) but I don’t have a problem gambling a little on players like Marin.

      I would also note that this is a fairly typical response to CFC signings. Cahill is a brilliant example. Compare the way he was talked about in the press when Arsenal/Spurs/Utd were interested to the muted reviews he received after he signed for us.

      • Blue_MikeL

        I got really crazy when the author said: “Look at the way David Luiz, a far more promising player in his position than Marin, has been treated by the media and, to a large extent, the fans.” I seriously struggle to remember, when David Luiz was treated badly by fans? What the hell is he talking about?

  15. Blueboydave

    I’d say Lord Ferg won his very own double last night with another of his famous “Gracelessness in the Face of Defeat” post-match interviews which also picks up a “Pot Meet Kettle” award for his gall in complaining about Mancini haranguing the officials all match – unbelievably the Beeb website video clip here is captioned “no complaints from Ferguson”:

    Seriously, did they stop listening half way through?

    • Der_Kaiser

      Negative set-up from Fergie, negative subs from Mancini.  A plague on both their houses.  We should have been so much closer…

      Kompany is a class act though.

  16. limetreebower

    Everyone’s crap this year. I watched the first half of that game, and, psheesh. The global audience of however many billion must have been switching over to the snooker within minutes.

  17. Ososdeoro

    On the Yodafone speak like this one must.

    As for Newcastle and Wigan, I guess Pardew’s complaint on his team not matching Wigan’s intensity was accurate, but only part of the story he tells, mmm yes. Newcastle also had a bit of difficulty matching Wigan’s skill. Any team in the top flight would have been ecstatic over the passing display the “Lactics” put on (which was the name bestowed on them by after one of their recent big victories). Maybe Wigan always does well at the end of the season because it takes their players months to figure out just what it is Martinez wants them to do. But if true that begs the question of why they forget all of it during Summer.

    Bluebayou …..yes the threat of tears is strong, but I think it will take a big effort for anyone to beat Chelsea given how focused everyone is. One loss and everything could break…..but for now determination is trumping fatigue utterly. It’s almost as though the team would die if they had to wait a week to play another match.

    I was impressed with Ramires’ run-out Sunday. He has always stood out with his hustle and determination, but now he’s beginning to get that man among boys look, completely in control, always knowing what he wants to do and how to get there…and on a team as talented as Chelsea that’s very difficult to do.

  18. Cunningplan

    We had QPR fans invading our blog when they beat us 1-0 I wonder where they are now?

    On a quick side note for our upcoming Wembley final, one Poo blog was reporting that it was a good time to be playing us as our team were cocky and arrogant with recent results. I was tempted to respond but I couldn’t be arsed to register with a reply of, not cocky and arrogant, just in form and oozing confidence.

    • limetreebower

      Well, in that case we should be trembling come the weekend, since the mighty ‘Poo will have had all that pesky inconvenient cockiness and arrogance removed by *their* recent results.

      Let us all dread the utter crapness of the ‘Poo.

  19. Fiftee

    They’ve had a decent result ahead of Saturday, that’s for sure. 9 tested and a few scores to settle.

    Sadly were not in a position to rest anywhere near that many tomorrow…

  20. Machchan

    Keeping with the Yoda theme, here is a perfect Yoda-quote for RDM to use in his motivational speeches for the rest of the season: “Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try.”

  21. WorkingClassPost

    That Yoda thing kinda reminds me of Newcastle at the Bridge in 2005.

    I was at the match on a Corporate jolly and one of our group was and ex pat Geordie. 

    Things were drifting towards a comfortable 2-0 win when a couple of bods in front of us got up to go to the pub, or catch a train, or whatever it is that people who leave matches early do.

    The Geordie guy immediately shouted “Hey lads, sit down! If you go now you’ll miss the equalizer.” 

    On hearing that unmistakeable accent, everyone within earshot turned and glared in our direction. 

    It might not seem that funny now, but it made me laugh at the time, and I was still chuckling a few minutes later when Damien Duff made it 3-0.

  22. mark_25

    Defenders David Luiz and Gary Cahill are out with hamstring injuries, although Chelsea are hopeful both will be fit for Saturday’s FA Cup final.

    I hope this is true.  Not that I’m bothered about either playing Saturday but it would mean there’s every chance they’ll be fit for Munich.

    • Blue_MikeL

      They have to recover and they have to play (train) with each other as much as possible. 

    • Ososdeoro

      Thanks for the articles, Chris. I can’t blame the fellow for being confident. I rated Liverpool’s Summer transfer window very highly back then, but am most pleased to see that Dalglish has completely bungled it. In the end the two players who’ve come to Chelsea are playing the games they could only have dreamt of at Poo, but who could have guessed that that would happen after Napoli Leg 1.

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