Chelsea thrashed a poor Genk side with Fernando Torres back on form and scoring a brace. It was an easy match for Chelsea – Genk had no shots on target at all – and one which was won with about half an hour on the clock. Torres’ former Liverpool team-mate Raul Meireles started the rout, before Ivanovic scored just short of half-time, after Torres’ brace. Kalou tapped in when Torres really should have got his hat-trick to round off a Chelsea performance with consummate ease.
Andre Villas-Boas ringed the changes. There was no place at all for John Terry or Didier Drogba, whilst Juan Mata and Daniel Sturridge only made the bench, with the West London derby against QPR on Sunday in mind. With Torres being suspended domestically for three matches, there was no better team to face than Genk to make sure he still had match practice. Or rather, shooting practice in an exhibition match.
Torres had a great chance early on, Meireles putting him through but the £50 million man hit the post. But just 49 seconds, the creator turned into goal-scorer. Left with acres of space in front of him, Raul Meireles took one, two touches, before hammering it into the Genk goal from all of 25 yards. A great start, but Genk had not even woken up, whilst Chelsea were just starting to play.
It took Torres just minutes to get over his miss. Eleven minutes in, he was fed in by captain for the night Frank Lampard. After a lovely touch, he side-footed it past the keeper, to end his Champions League goal drought for Chelsea.
More was to come minutes later, from Torres again. Meireles, on the right wing, planted a beautiful ball which floated in the air. Fernando Torres adjusted his body and delicately headed it into the net. A fine goal from the two former Liverpool men, who played fantastically the whole match.
Just before half-time, Ivanovic got one. Florent Malouda sent in a superb inswinging free-kick from the right. The Serbian international was there and rose highest to head the ball past the keeper. 4-0 before half-time and absolutely cruising.
Into the second half and Chelsea continued with the same momentum. Ferreira came on for Ashley Cole, which proved a little defensive, but tactical none-the-less, giving him a little rest. Frank Lampard came off nearing 70 minutes too – again, to give him a rest – and on came Solomon Kalou. Within minute of coming on, he scored. Anelka sent in a lovely ball, again from the right. Torres headed it at the keeper from point-blank range, but fear not, as Kalou was on hand to tap it in.
A sumptuous performance from Chelsea. There will be tougher tests, but with such a fluid attacking style about them, there is a lot of promise.
And they just don’t get easier than that. Genk had no shots on target, and the only one that showed up was really Chelsea target Kevin De Bruyne, but even he got a little frustrated as time wore on.
A superb Chelsea performance all round. From Luiz who sent in some delicious balls, to Romeu, who held the team just in front of the defenders, and at just 20 years of age, looks a real talent for Chelsea. Coming from Barcelona, that probably was to be expected.
Torres seems back at his very best, scoring early on and always trying to link up and get his hat-trick. That was never to come, but a brace is not bad considering he has not scored for Chelsea in the Champions League up to this point.
And give a shout out to Meireles. Everyone was surprised that Meireles was signed on deadline day, but what an astute player he is turning out to be. There was no Mata to link up with Torres, but there was this Portuguese international. The fluidity of their passing was indicative of their chemistry stretching back to their Liverpool days.
AVB will be happy with what he saw from his men tonight. A sterner test, at least on paper, will be the west London derby on Sunday.