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Chelsea beat QPR, but Torres flops again

Anton Ferdinand (R) of Queens Park Rangers challenges Fernando Torres of Chelsea during their FA Cup soccer match at Loftus Road in London. (EUTERS)

By Reuters

Chelsea progressed to the FA Cup fifth round after winning 1-0 at Queens Park Rangers on Saturday in a dull game which failed to match the pre-match buildup regarding John Terry's re-acquaintance with Anton Ferdinand. 

Chelsea and England captain Terry, who denies wrongdoing, has been charged with racially abusing QPR defender Ferdinand in a league game in October and Terry is due in court next week.  

The Football Association agreed after talks with both clubs that no handshakes would take place before the game "in an attempt to further diffuse tensions" but it was still a hostile atmosphere for Terry, who was roundly booed by home fans. 

After the initial hullabaloo, the actual match failed to spring to life with QPR struggling to create chances. Chelsea finally broke the deadlock on 62 minutes through Juan Mata's penalty after Clint Hill was harshly adjudged to have pushed Daniel Sturridge. 

Chelsea, who lost in-form midfielder Ramires to a potentially serious-looking injury, deserved to win in the scrappy encounter and were fairly comfortable at the end against their fellow London top-flight side.  

Defender Ferdinand, who media reports said had a bullet sent to him in the post this week, was consistently cheered amid extra security at Loftus Road but he seldom wandered forward so rarely came face to face with opposing centre back Terry.   

Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas had said on Friday that the duo should shake hands but the FA will hope the decision to avoid a handshake at the start helped take some of the sting out of the situation. 

There was an incident with a fan in the crowd when the referee stopped the game momentarily to talk to a steward amid continued chanting against Terry but no major problems were reported.