Fernando Torres netted his first hat-trick for Chelsea to help them onto a 6-1 home win over Queen Park Rangers on Sunday. The win coupled Newcastle’s shock loss to Wigan on Saturday means that the battle for 4th place lives on for a couple more days with Wednesday’s decisive meeting between the pair at Stamford Bridge being the highlight of the 36th round of fixtures.
That said, the night belonged to Torres just like it did against Barcelona at the Nou Camp 5 days ago. Oozing confidence from his performance against the Catalan’s in their Champions League semi final, the Spaniard did not fail to deliver as his scored the first of his three with only19 minutes.
With Wednesday’s crucial match in sight, Di Matteo decided to rest several key players among them Drogba, Ramires, Meireles and Mikel and opted for second string players Sturridge, Essien, Kalou and Ferreira.
Though expected, the win still left the battle for that elusive 4th spot very open. Tottenham who were also winners on the day, 2-0 against Blackburn, rose to 4th on the table standings with 62 points level with Newcastle and one ahead of Chelsea.
A look at their remaining fixtures however reveals that they could secure that final Champions League spot. With three games remaining, Tottenham have to playBolton Wanderers away, Aston Villa away and Fulham at home.
Chelsea on the other hand have a much harder task as they will have to see off Newcastle at the Bridge before travelling to Anfield to take on a revamped Liverpool side next Tuesday. They will then finish off their season On May 13th with a home game against Blackburn.
Should the Blues pick maximum points from these three fixture and a little bit of luck working for them, they could finish in 4th place. And with the FA Cup and the Champions League finals still to come, this could be Chelsea’s best season ever.