- Associated Press - Sunday, April 29, 2012

LONDON (AP) - Fernando Torres got his first hat trick in more than 2 1/2 years Sunday to lead Chelsea to a 6-1 win over Queens Park Rangers in the English Premier League.

Tottenham returned to fourth place with a 2-0 win over Blackburn, moving ahead of Newcastle on goal difference and pulling within three points of third-place Arsenal. Chelsea trails Spurs by a point with three games remaining.

Defending champion Manchester United holds a three-point lead over second-place Manchester City heading into Monday’s game between the rivals at Etihad Stadium.

In Chelsea’s first match since reaching this season’s Champions League final, Daniel Sturridge scored just 49 seconds in, John Terry headed in a corner kick in the 13th minute and Torres scored in the 19th, 25th and 64th for his first three-goal game since Liverpool’s 6-1 win over Hull on Sept. 26, 2009. Florent Malouda made it 6-0 in the 80th.

Djibril Cisse scored in the 84th for QPR, which remains out of the relegation zone on goal difference over Bolton.

After just eight goals in his first 61 games since joining Chelsea for $80 million, Torres has four in his past two matches.

“I was feeling very good, very sharp, playing well, but I couldn’t score,” Torres said. “Now I feel I’m not playing as well as before, but I am scoring goals, which is the important thing for the strikers.”

A large number of Chelsea fans jeered and taunted QPR defender Anton Ferdinand throughout the match for his accusation earlier this season that Terry had racially abused him. Terry lost the England captaincy and faces a criminal trial after the European Championship.

The furor meant that the traditional pre-match handshake between the sides was abandoned Sunday to avoid the players coming into contact outside of the game.

Rafael van der Vaart scored in the 22nd minute for Spurs and Kyle Walker added a goal in the 75th for Tottenham, which outshot Blackburn 19-0.


MADRID (AP) _ Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 57th goal of the season, Karim Benzema added a pair and Real Madrid moved closer to its first Spanish league title in four years with a 3-0 victory over Sevilla.

Three-time defending champion Barcelona prevented Real from clinching by winning 7-0 at Rayo Vallecano, with Lionel Messi scoring twice for his 20th multigoal game this season. With four games left, Messi has 65 goals, two short of the European record set by Bayern Munich’s Gerd Mueller in 1972-73.

In Madrid, Ronaldo scored in the 19th minute, and Benzema in the 48th and 52nd. Ronaldo and Messi have each scored a Spanish league-record 43 goals.

Madrid, which has set the league mark with 112 goals, maintained a seven-point lead and can clinch a record 32nd championship with a win Wednesday at Athletic Bilbao.

Messi ended a three-game scoreless streak, putting Barcelona ahead in the 16th minute and getting the final goal in the 90th.

Pedro Rodriguez also had two goals, and Seydou Keita and Thiago Alcantara one each in Barcelona’s first game since coach Pep Guardiola said he was leaving at the end of the season and being replaced by assistant Tito Vilanova. Rober had an own goal for Rayo Vallecano.


ROME (AP) _ Undefeated Juventus moved a step closer to the Serie A title with a 4-0 rout at neighbor Novara.

Mirko Vucinic got goals in the 16th and 64th minutes, Marco Borriello scored in the 40th to give him goals in consecutive games and Arturo Vidal had a goal in the 50th.

Juventus is unbeaten in all 35 league matches this season, plus its four Italian Cup matches _ it faces Napoli in the May 20 final.

With three rounds left, Juventus remained three points ahead of defending champion AC Milan, which won 4-1 at Siena. Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored in the 29th and in the fifth minute of second-half injury time, raising his league-leading goals total to 26. Antonio Cassano scored in the 26th, his first goal since minor heart surgery in November, and Antonio Nocerino got a goal in the 90th, seven minutes after Erjon Bogdani scored for the hosts.

Elsewhere, Inter Milan and Udinese both won to create a four-way tie with Lazio and Napoli for third place and the final Champions League berth.

Pama won 2-1 at Lecce to leave the southern club in the relegation zone. Lecce remained third from bottom, one point behind Genoa, which lost 3-2 at Bologna.


PARIS (AP) _ Eden Hazard tied the score with a penalty kick in the 71st minute, then helped set up Nolan Roux’s goal in the 79th to lead defending champion Lille over Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 and keep alive its slim title hopes.

Javier Pastore had scored in the 48th minute for visiting PSG, which played a man short after Mamadou Sakho received a red card in the 70th. For the go-ahead goal, Hazard flicked the ball to Tulio De Melo, who nodded it back across the goal for Roux to nod home.

Montpellier has a five-point lead over PSG with four games left, and Lille is another two points back.


GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) _ Scottish champion Celtic eased to a 3-0 win over Rangers, stretching its lead over its city rival to 21 points.

Goals by defender Charlie Mulgrew and midfielder Kris Commons in the 31st made it 2-0, and striker Gary Hooper completed the scoring in the 54th.


AMSTERDAM (AP) _ Theo Janssen converted a penalty kick in the 30th and Gregory van der Wiel scored a go-ahead goal in the 78th as defending champion Ajax beat Twente 2-1 to close in on the Dutch league title. Leroy Fer had tied the score in the 72nd.

Otman Bakkal scored in the 54th as Feyenoord beat AZ 1-0 to move into second, six points behind Ajax, which would clinch the title with a win Wednesday against VVV Venlo.


LISBON, Portugal (AP) _ Porto won the Portuguese league title after Benfica drew 2-2 at Rio Ave.

Porto holds a six-point lead over Benfica with two games to play but clinched its second straight title and sixth in seven years based on head-to-head record. Porto won 2-0 at Maritimo on Saturday.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide