Torres leads Chelsea to thumping win

Chelsea 5 Genk 0

Fernando Torres scored a fine double as Chelsea turned on the style – and took a big stride towards the last 16 of the Champions League.

The Blues dominated from the first whistle, controlling possession, creating chances at will and outclassing Genk with minimum effort.

And Torres played a key role, leading the line brilliantly and showing the sort of movement, pace, awareness and clinical finishing that saw the Blues spend £50m for his services in January.

He grabbed his first Chelsea European goal on 11 minutes, showing great composure to stroke Frank Lampard’s fine through-ball into the far corner.

And the striker then headed his second from a delightful Raul Meireles cross.

Before Torres took centre stage, the Blues were already leading courtesy of a fizzing 25-yard Meireles shot that bounced off the turf and into the bottom corner.

Branislav Ivanovic headed the fourth in an embarrassingly one-sided first-half from an inviting Florent Malouda free-kick.

And substitute Salomon Kalou calmly knocked in the fifth in the second half after Torres saw his strike brilliantly saved from point-blank range by keeper Laszlo Kateles.

Chelsea, knowing anything but a second win from their third Champions League group game would be unacceptable against the Belgians, were expecting a comfortable victory.

And it was never in doubt from the moment Meireles was allowed time and space to stride forward and crash in a low 25-yard strike just eight minutes in.

But the rest of the half was all about the much-maligned Torres.

The Spaniard, who hit the post with a great chance with the score at 0-0, seem to visibly grow in confidence from the moment he made it 2-0 when he slotted home from just inside the area.

His second was a wonderful header that was expertly directed into the far corner after a clever run towards the front post.

But the home fans would have been just as encouraged by his sharpness, the blistering pace so reminiscent of his Liverpool days and some fine link-up play and passing.

Ivanovic’s downward header just before the interval made the game completely safe and Chelsea eased to victory.

They still created chances but could not match their first-half efforts.

Malouda raced through on the left but saw his effort blocked by the keeper and Lampard was denied what seemed a blatant penalty when he manfully tried to keep his feet and go for goal after being bundled over in the box

Meireles also went close with two decent strikes from outside the area, while the visitors did not manage a meaningful strike on goal.

Chelsea did grab a fifth when Kalou coolly volleyed home from close range but although the effort was still there, the urgency was not, meaning Genk were able to avoid a complete humiliation.