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Former English champions Chelsea recorded a comfortable victory at home over Belgium side Genk tonight, winning 5-0 to cement their place at the top of the group.
With the home crowd cheering them on, Chelsea got off to an electric start, and were 2-0 up in just 12 minutes. The first goal fell to Raul Meireles, the Portuguese midfielder picking up the ball outside the box, and letting fly with a precision effort which flew into the bottom corner of the goal, evading the clutches of Genk goalkeeper Laszlo Koteles.
Just minutes later and Koteles was once again fishing the ball out of the back of the net, this time thanks to a Fernando Torres strike. The Spaniard had seen the run of Frank Lampard, and positioned himself perfectly for the through ball. Torres then had no difficulty with the simple task of slotting the ball past Koteles in his trademark fashion.
For someone who had not scored previously for Chelsea in the Champions League, Torres was certainly out to make an impression, and was soon celebrating his second goal of the night. Previous goal scorer Meireles turned provider, playing in an inch perfect cross for Torres to head home and effectively secure the three points with less than half an hour played.
Despite defending in numbers, Genk found themselves 4-0 down before half-time, with defender Branislav Ivanovic getting in on the action. The powerful Serbian broke away from his marker and headed Florent Malouda’s free-kick past the beleaguered Koteles.
Torres continued to hunt for his hat-trick after the break, but to the credit of Genk’s defence, they were keeping the striker frustrated. Having looked very suspect in the first-half, Genk seemed to rally somewhat in the second, managing to hold onto possession for a significant amount of time. They even enjoyed the odd foray into the Chelsea box, however, these attacks amounted to very little, and the Belgium side looked incapable of fashioning any meaningful chances.
Chelsea’s patience paid off finally though when Jose Bosingwa’s cross was met by Torres, with the striker denied by a fantastic point blank save from Koteles, although the rebound by Salomon Kalou was asking too much of the goalkeeper, and the home side were celebrating their fifth goal of the night.
The win moves Chelsea up into first position in the group, helped largely by Valencia’s loss to Bayer Leverkusen, and the Blues will now feel confident of topping one of the hardest groups in the Champions League.
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