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Champions League Wednesday: Five-star Chelsea destroy Genk, Gunners snatch victory in Marseille

  Thursday 20th October 2011

Fernando Torres' brace helped put Chelsea's Belgian visitors to the sword.

Fernando Torres' brace helped put Chelsea's Belgian visitors to the sword.

It was a night that sparked celebration for England’s two London clubs. Whilst Chelsea scored five in front of a packed Stamford Bridge, Arsenal silenced the Stade Vélodrome with a late winner in Marseille.

In two very different games the outcomes were similar in three valuable points, that sees both teams top their respective groups halfway through the group stages of this season’s top European competition.

Chelsea 5-0 Genk

From the off, Chelsea found themselves in charge of their game against Belgian outfit Genk.

It took just eight minutes for the Blues to break the deadlock. Midfielder Raul Meireles scored his first Chelsea goal, with a fine long-range effort. Spanish striker Fernando Torres then bagged a brace to ensure the English side were a class above their opponents.

Frank Lampard picked out Torres, who finished coolly past goalkeeper László Köteles for Chelsea’s second, whilst the £50 million striker showed his aerial prowess for his second and the team’s third with a precise header.

Florent Malouda then provided the London outfit’s fourth just before the break, when his free kick was headed home by defender Branislav Ivanović.

In a team that had no Didier Drogba or John Terry in their matchday squad, and with Juan Mata waiting patiently on the bench, it was a display that showed how superior the Premier League is to various divisions across the continent.

Salomon Kalou added Chelsea’s fifth and final goal with a tap-in in the second half, to ensure Chelsea finished strongly and meant they are top of Group E, three games into the European campaign.

Marseille 0-1 Arsenal 

In a game that was pretty even, Arsenal travel back to the capital with all three points and a late Aaron Ramsey effort sending the travelling supporters wild.

Early on, Arsenal full-back Carl Jenkinson appeared to handle the ball inside the box after Marseille attacked down the visitor’s right, whilst Gunner’s midfielder Mikel Arteta swung in a corner which struck a defender’s hand in the build up to Robin Van Persie having the ball cleared off the line with a header. The referee turned down both penalty shouts.

A lot of the play seemed promising for both sides throughout, but the final ball was often lacking as Loïc Rémy and Lucho González went close for the home side just before the break.

The second half saw Arsenal have a lot of possession, with the French club offering little going forward. The best chance for Didier Deschamps’ men came from a goal-mouth scramble after a looping cross by Rémy.

However, Arsenal had a strong second period. Van Persie had a chance with his left foot that was tamely struck at Steve Mandanda, whilst winger Theo Walcott might’ve done better after he was slipped in by Tomáš Rosický.

Van Persie saw another shot saved late on, in what was seemed to be a game fizzling out into a draw. That was until Aaron Ramsey latched onto a Johan Djourou cross and fired his low shot into the net to seal all three points.

Derek Baker

Full Results

Group E

Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 Valencia
Chelsea 5-0 Genk

Group F

Marseille 0-1 Arsenal
Olympiakos 3-1 Borussia Dortmund

Group G

Shakhtar Donetsk 2-2 Zenit St Petersburg
FC Porto 1-1 Apoel Nicosia

Group H

AC Milan 2-0 BATE Borisov
Barcelona 2-0 Plzeň

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