Champions League - Torres rampant in Chelsea win

Wed, 19 Oct 21:32:00 2011

A first-half onslaught saw Chelsea record a 5-0 thrashing of Racing Genk in their Champions League encounter at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea's Fernando Torres (3rd right) is congratulated by his team mates after scoring their side's second goal of the game - 0

Fernando Torres was in sublime form as he netted two goals in the opening half hour, and strikes from Raul Meireles and Branislav Ivanovic completed the first-half rout.

Substitute Salomon Kalou added a fifth after the break, and it was an emphatic scoreline which saw Chelsea consolidate top spot in Group E despite Andre Villas-Boas making six changes from the side which beat Everton 3-1 at the weekend.

The result equalled Chelsea's biggest ever margin of victory in the Champions League.

Genk's star midfielder Kevin De Bruyne - who could be sold to Chelsea for the right price, according to boss Mario Been - took his place in an injury-ravaged line up as the visitors almost immediately found themselves under the cosh, and it was effectively one-way traffic.

Chelsea defender David Luiz laid hands on Torres in prayer on the pitch prior to kick-off, and the Spaniard struck the post with a snap shot from Meireles's through ball in just the sixth minute.

Meireles took matters into his own hands just two minutes later and he opened the scoring after making a marauding run through the Genk half which culminated in a crisp low drive that beat Laszlo Koteles at his far post.

It did not take long for Torres to get on the scoresheet himself, and he showed real composure to send Koteles to ground and pick out the far corner of the net with a clinical finish from Frank Lampard's incisive through ball in the 11th minute.

Torres was brimming with confidence throughout, and the Spaniard hurtled down the left and cut the ball back for Florent Malouda in the 23rd minute, but the Frenchman could only pick out the side-netting with his side-footed effort.

It was three before the half hour mark as the excellent Meireles dinked over an exquisite cross from the right and Torres directed a precise glancing header inside the far post to double his tally for the evening.

Lampard should have scored with a near replica of Torres's second in the 32nd minute, but he misplaced his free header as Chelsea continued to pile on the pressure in wave after wave of attacks.

It fell to Ivanovic to net Chelsea's fourth goal three minutes before half-time as Malouda whipped over a sublime delivery from a free kick out on the right, and the Serb rose imperiously to head beyond the helpless Koteles.

To Chelsea's credit, Villas-Boas continued to implore his side to press forward in search of further goals after the break, and Genk were again forced to soak up incessant attacks from their relentless hosts.

Indeed, Chelsea could have been awarded a penalty on the hour mark as Lampard appeared to be bundled over inside the Genk box by substitute defender Fabien Camus, but the referee decided again pointing to the spot.

Torres almost grabbed his hat-trick in the 72nd minute with a close-range effort, only for Koteles to make a fine reflex save, but it fell for substitute Kalou to roar in and slam the loose ball home on the rebound to make it five.

Malouda should have added a sixth late on as he ghosted into the Genk box unmarked to meet substitute Paulo Ferreira's pinpoint cross from the left, but the Frenchman headed over the crossbar with the goal gaping at his mercy.

The hosts continued to rampage forward in search of a final flourish, but that proved to be the extent of the damage as both managers made their full allocation of substitutions in a fragmented period of play.

It was a convincing victory for Villas-Boas's side, and one which firmly establishes them at the top of Group E as their attention quickly shifts to the weekend trip to face QPR at Loftus Road.

Dan Quarrell - on Twitter @danquarrell / Eurosport

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