Chelsea 2-0 Bayer Leverkusen

By Alistair MagowanBBC Sport
Chelsea's David Luiz
Luiz scored a fine goal as Chelsea made a late breakthrough against Leverkusen

Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas got his Champions League campaign off to a bright start as the Blues beat Bayer Leverkusen at Stamford Bridge.

Both teams had goals disallowed in an open beginning before Fernando Torres and Daniel Sturridge saw shots saved.

Leverkusen were more dangerous after the break but Petr Cech stopped Michael Ballack's close-range shot.

David Luiz eased the growing tension by curling a shot in from 20 yards before Juan Mata tucked home late on.

Mata could have made the game more comfortable minutes after Luiz's 67th-minute goal, but was denied by Leverkusen keeper Bernd Leno, who tipped his shot over.

Although he again failed to get on the scoresheet, Torres set up both goals - the first, a measured lay-off for Luiz to fizz a shot into the bottom corner, and the second a square-ball to the waiting Mata.

The Brazilian, whose night could have ended very differently if the referee had given him a pair of yellow cards rather than just the one for a couple of rash challenges, then left to a standing ovation on his first start of the season before Mata sealed victory in injury time.

There was a freshness to Chelsea's play at times in the game, despite Torres' reported concerns that some of his team-mates might be on the slow side, and the Spaniard began the game with real intent after being recalled to the starting line-up.

In a frantic opening, he went close to scoring a hat-trick, was booked, and actually had the ball in the net but was denied a goal as Raul Meireles was marginally, but correctly, ruled offside.

Leverkusen, too, had a goal disallowed from a corner but Omer Toprak was perhaps harshly pulled up for a foul on Florent Malouda as Simon Rolfes nodded in at the back post.

Torres' chances all came from the flanks where he was ably supported by Sturridge and Mata.

His volley from Sturridge's cross was just over, while a shot that Leno did well to save, and the flick which led to the disallowed goal, both came from Mata's deliveries from the left.

Torres investigation over - Villas-Boas

Villas-Boas suggested he would shuffle his pack ahead of his side's Premier League encounter with Manchester United on Sunday and he rested both John Terry and Frank Lampard, with the latter on the bench.

But though Malouda was selected as one of a narrow midfield trio, he played a key link role early on as Sturridge looked like Chelsea's biggest goal threat on his third Champions League start, twice going close from range.

Without making a breakthrough, however, Leverkusen grew in confidence as the second period began and former Chelsea midfielder Ballack should have scored when he was put through on the edge of the penalty box just before the hour.

But with only Cech to beat, the 34-year-old fired straight at his former team-mate.

Andres Schurrle was also impressive and that was enough for Villas Boas to introduce Lampard and Nicolas Anelka, but just before Sturridge departed the field, along with Meireles, the 22-year-old forward's volley was tipped onto the post by a stretching Leno.

Moments after the substitutions, Chelsea took the lead when Luiz scored a wonderful goal.

The Brazilian was the architect, carrying the ball deep into the Leverkusen half before laying off to Ashley Cole and when the left-back squared to Torres, the Spaniard's careful pass was perfect for Luiz to find the corner of the net.

The goal relieved the hosts and although Mata was within inches of scoring soon after, he sealed the win when the unselfish Torres bore down on goal but opted to square the ball from the left.

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