Chelsea 5 Genk 0: Torres at the double as Blues cruise past hapless Belgians

20 October 2011 06:22
Two goals from Fernando Torres helped Chelsea to their biggest ever Champions League home win as they crushed Genk.

Quietly but assuredly this Chelsea side are becoming the fluent, attacking unit manager Andre Villas-Boas desires. Run-outs against opposition as limited as these Belgian visitors only help, of course.

Raul Meireles opened the scoring in the eighth minute and Chelsea were 4-0 up by half-time as Torres's first brace for the club and a Branislav Ivanovic header exposed Genk's defensive frailties.

Brace yourself: Torres doubled his tally for the season with two against Genk

MATCH FACTS Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa (Alex 78), Ivanovic, Luiz, Cole (Ferreira 46), Romeu, Lampard (Kalou 68), Meireles, Anelka, Torres, Malouda.

Subs not used: Turnbull, Mata, Mikel, Sturridge.

Booked: Luiz.

Goals: Meireles (8), Torres (11, 27), Ivanovic (42), Kalou (72).

Genk: Koteles, Ngcongca, Masuero (Camus 46) , Tozser, Pudil, Buffel, Vanden Borre, Hyland, De Bruyne, Vossen (Nwanganga 81), Barda (Dugarry 70).

Subs not used: Sandomierski, Durwael, Ogunjimi, Limbombe.

Booked: Hyland, Pudil.

Attendance: 38,518

Referee: Alexei Nikolaev (Russia).

Torres came perilously close to a hat-trick, only to be denied by goalkeeper Laszlo Koteles after 72 minutes, allowing substitute Salomon Kalou to tap in Chelsea's fifth goal.

The planned boycott by fans - a protest against increased ticket prices for Champions League group games- did not materialise, either, with a respectable 38,518 present at Stamford Bridge. All in all, it was a very satisfactory late birthday present for Villas-Boas, who turned 34 on Monday.

The Chelsea boss even kept his usual touchline histrionics to a minimum, such was his side's superiority. Yetstill he insisted on praising the collective rather than individual performances, even if he did concede Torres had 'responded pretty well'.

The Spaniard had not played for Chelsea for three weeks after picking up a three-match ban for a straight red card against Swansea last month.

But Villas-Boas had insisted the ?50million striker 'looked good' in training and 62 minutes for his country was enough to keep him match fit.

With Torres ineligible for this weekend's west London derby at Queens Park Rangers, Didier Drogba was not even named in Villas-Boas's 18-man squad.

Lightning start: Meireles put the Blues in front after just eight minutes

The Ivory Coast forward was less thanimpressed with the decision, but Sunday's Premier League clash gives Chelsea the opportunity to close the gap to the Manchester clubs, who meet on the same afternoon.

In Drogba's absence, Torres recoveredfrom an unfortunate early miss - when he hit a post after an ungainly first touch - to score his first Champions League goal for Chelsea. Frank Lampard eased a pass through Genk's hapless defence and Torres pounced with a right - foot shot after 11 minutes.

The excellent Raul Meireles had opened Chelsea's account with a 25-yard right-foot shot in the eighth minute, tucking the ball away after Genk inexplicably allowed him to receive the ball and shoot at will.

Net result: Ivanovic heads home Chelsea's fourth of the evening

Then came hints of the Torres of old,as he darted in front of Daniel Tozser to create that vital yard of space before scoring his second. Another neat run and a beautifully taken header from a Meireles cross gave Chelsea a 3-0 lead.

Torres soon turned provider, driftingwide to cross for Lampard with the outside of his right boot, only for the midfielder to miss with a header. The 3,000 Genk fans serenaded Torres with You'll Never Walk Alone but a hat-trick was just beyond him.

Koteles parried his close-range effort from a Jose Bosingwa cross and Kalou pounced to score on 72 minutes. With Oriel Romeu sitting deeper in Chelsea's midfield three andspraying the ball left and right, Lampard had more licence to get forward.

A quicker transition between defence and attack has been a hallmark of Chelsea's development in recent weeks and it was a ploy they used effectively again, albeit with Juan Mata named only on the bench.

Five alive! Kalou scored just a couple of minutes after coming on

John Terry was another rested for this Group E match - for the second European home game in succession - and it was left to David Luiz to partner Branislav Ivanovic in the centre of defence.

Genk offered precious little, with Chelsea target Kevin De Bruyne showing only rare glimpses of the 'exceptional technical ability' Villas-Boas had praised so highly.

Luiz still looked far from comfortable, being booked for mistiming one attempted interception. Genkwere themselves missing three central defenders - Brazilian Nadson, Germany Under 21 Torben Joneleit and Belgium's Jeroen Simaeys - and wereduly punished.

Abel Masuero, in particular, must have wished he had not passed the fitness test that allowed him to play in a cerise pink kit as shocking as his side's defending.

Group result: Villas-Boas' side remain top of Group A

Enlarge The Argentinian was hauled off at half-time after stumbling as Ivanovic rose to head Florent Malouda's free-kick past Koteles in the 43rd minute. Villas-Boas felt comfortable enough to replace Ashley Cole at half-time and Chelsea allowed Genk morepossession, but still threatened on the break.

Malouda went close before Fabien Camus appeared to trip Lampard in the box in the 59th minute. Referee Aleksei Nikolaev thought not. Bosingwa tried his luck from distance, then set up Chelsea's fifth.

Kalou saw a downward header saved by Koteles before Malouda put a Paulo Ferreira cross over the bar.

Genk boss Mario Been said: 'It's not ashame to lose because 24 teams lost here (in the Champions League) before us. We lost to a great team. I'm happy it stuck to 5-0. Chelsea have possibilities to win this tournament.'

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Source: Daily_Mail