- Fernando Torres fires a hat-trick to keep Chelsea in the hunt for a fourth-place finish in English Premier League
- Spanish striker caps a memorable week after scoring winning goal in aggregate win against Barcelona in midweek
- Tottenham Hotspur move up to fourth place after a 2-0 win over Blackburn Rovers at White Hart Lane
A rejuvenated Fernando Torres scored a hat-trick on Sunday in the English Premier League as Chelsea thrashed Queens Park Rangers 6-1 at Stamford Bridge.
The performance capped a remarkable return to form for the Spanish striker who has struggled to make an impact since his £50 million ($81 million) move to West London from Liverpool in January last year.
Chelsea were 2-0 up before Torres was on the score sheet with Daniel Sturridge blasting home inside the first minute and John Terry heading a second 12 minutes later.
Torres entered the fray in the 19th minute, receiving a inch-perfect pass from Saloman Kalou before rounding QPR keeper Paddy Kenny to score.
The 28-year-old, who sealed Chelsea's famous 3-2 aggregate win in midweek against Barcelona, added his second five minutes later driving home after a mix up between Kenny and defender Nedum Onuoha.
The Spaniard was on target again in the 64th minute side-footing past Kenny with ease to complete his first hat-trick since 2009 when Liverpool beat Hull 6-1.
Florent Malouda added a sixth 10 minutes from the end before Djibril Cisse scored a consolation goal for QPR in the 84th minute.
The result capped a wonderful week for Chelsea whose heroics at the Nou Camp on Tuesday earned them a place in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich on May 19.
Chelsea stay in sixth place with 61 points, just one point behind Newcastle and Tottenham Hotspur with three games remaining. QPR stay one place above the relegation zone but only on goal difference.
"Reaching the Champions League final was important, but we also want to finish in the top four and we showed we were focused today from the first minute after Daniel Sturridge's goal," Torres said.
Torres' return to form also adds spice to next weekend's English FA Cup final where Chelsea take on his old club Liverpool at Wembley Stadium.
Tottenham moved back into fourth place on Sunday with a 2-0 win over Blackburn Rovers at White Hart Lane.
Goals from Rafael Van der Vaart, who bundled home from close range in the 22nd minute, and a stunning Kyle Walker free-kick 15 minutes from the end all but condemn Blackburn Rovers to Championship football next season.
With two games left, Steve Kean's team will need to beat both Wigan and Chelsea in their final match to keep their slim chances alive.
Manchester United travel to the Etihad Stadium on Monday night for a title showdown with Manchester City.