After his valuable goal against Barcelona at the Nou Camp, Spanish striker Fernando Torres, who has been criticised by many people for his form this season, scored a brilliant hat-trick to help Chelsea thump Queens Park Rangers in a stunning 6-1 victory at Stamford Bridge.

Apart from Torres, Daniel Sturridge, John Terry and Florent Malouda all registered their names in the score sheet.

Interim manager Roberto Di Matteo gambled with six changes from the side he sent out against the Catalans and the plan worked to a treat as his side cruised to a win and kept the club's hopes of making it to the Champions League next season.

The Blues struck early in the first half - in fact, with only 46 seconds on the clock. Daniel Sturridge pounced on a defensive error by Anton Ferdinand to slot the ball home past keeper Patrick Kenny, with his weaker foot.

QPR tried to stay calm and control the game but before they could recover from Sturridge's early goal, Chelsea captain John Terry, who is being tried for allegedly racially abusing Ferdinand, doubled his side's lead with a brilliant header off a Juan Mata corner in the 14th minute.

Five minutes later Torres joined the party after an excellent finish to a goal that resembled the breakaway he scored against Barcelona. This time it was Salomon Kalou who provided the assist.

The visitors were utterly shell-shocked by now and had little clue what had just hit them. It was about to get worse. Yet another defensive error, this time a mix-up between Kenny and his right-back Nedum Onuoha, presented Torres with an open goal from merely yards outside. The old Torres would not have missed the opportunity and this was definitely the Torres of the Liverpool days - it was Chelsea 4 - QPR 0.

Mata should have made it 5-0 soon after but his shot was weak and Kenny was glad of a save. At the other end, meanwhile, Petr Cech, who remained a spectator for much of the match, made his first major save when Jamie Mackie fired a well directed shot towards at the Blues' goal.

Torres, who was now chasing his first hat-trick since 2009, came close to scoring again, when he managed to launch a powerful shot from a tight angle. However, he was denied by Kenny. The save, however, was only prolonging the inevitable. Torres continued to haunt the QPR backline and finally scored his much-deserved hat-trick - his first for Chelsea - after he was put through by Mata.

The icing on the cake was French winger Florent Malouda's 80th minute goal, made possible by a brilliant run forward and cross from Brazilian midfielder Ramires, who came on as a substitute.

For whatever it was worth, QPR did manage a single consolation strike, in the 84th minute, courtesy French striker Djibril Cissé.

Check out these photos capturing the best moments of the match:

Chelsea's John Terry shoots and scores his goal against Queens Park Rangers during their English Premier League soccer match at Stamford Bridge in London.Reuters
Chelsea's John Terry celebrates his goal against Queens Park Rangers during their English Premier League soccer match at Stamford Bridge in London.Reuters
Chelsea's John Terry celebrates after scoring against Queens Park Rangers during their English Premier League soccer match in London.Reuters
Chelsea's Fernando Torres shoots and scores his 3rd goal against Queens Park Rangers during their English Premier League soccer match at Stamford Bridge in London.Reuters
Chelsea's Fernando Torres celebrates his 3rd goal against Queens Park Rangers during their English Premier League soccer match at Stamford Bridge in London.Reuters
Chelsea's Essien challenges Queens Park Rangers' Zamora during English Premier League soccer match in London.Reuters
Chelsea's Lampard challenges Queens Park Rangers' Kenny during their English Premier League soccer match in London.Reuters
Chelsea's Torres scores a goal as Queens Park Rangers' Ferdinand challenges during their English Premier League soccer match in London.Reuters
Chelsea's Torres scores a goal against Queens Park Rangers during their English Premier League soccer match in London.Reuters