LONDON: Skipper John Terry did his best in every way today to apologise to Chelsea fans for the Camp Nou red card which will cost him the chance to lead out the team against Bayern Munich in next month’s Champions League final in Germany.
First he said sorry in his programme notes then he scored the Blues’ second goal as four goals in 24 minutes propelled them to a 6-1 win over struggling west London neighbours Queens Park Rangers.
Fernando Torres, decisive in Barcelona, scored a hat-trick supported by Daniel Sturridge in the very first minute plus Terry and Florent Malouda. Djibril Cisse replied for QPR in stoppage time. The last time Torres had scored a hat-trick was in September 2009 in a 6-0 Liverpool win over Hull.
The Premier League had decided to suspend the ‘handshake protocol’ before the game on legal advice after the reverse fixture last autumn had featured the exchange between Terry and QPR defender Anton Ferdinand which will see the Chelsea captain contest a court charge on his return from Euro 2012.
Victory kept Chelsea in the running to achieve the fourth-placed finish which would guarantee a Champions League presence next season even should they lose against Bayern in Munich next month.
Interim manager Roberto Di Matteo has insisted his players must forget about Munich and concentrate on the conclusion to the English season including the FA Cup date with Liverpool. Doubtless he will rely heavily in domestic affairs on Nou Camp hero Ramires, Branislav Ivanovic and Raul Meireles. None need be kept fresh for Munich since they will miss the final after receiving further yellow cards in Barcelona.
Di Matteo has urged UEFA to change the disciplinary rules next season with a yellow-cards amnesty being introduced after the quarter-final stage.
Tottenham moved back into fourth place, ahead of Newcastle on goal difference, after beating Blackburn 2-0.
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