I followed tonight’s action from Belgium via Twitter while knocking back a few Stellas.
Here’s how the match unfolded in tweets…
chelseaoffside: Chelsea XI v. Genk: Cech, Bosingwa, Bane, Luiz, Cole, Romeu, Ramires, Meireles, Malouda, Anelka, Torres.
chelseaoffside: Chelsea subs v. Genk: Turnbull, Terry, Lampard, McEachran, Mata, Sturridge, Kalou.
AndrewTurmer: No JT, Lamps or Mata. Rotation is to be expected but Malouda doesn’t exactly scream excitement…
chelseaoffside: No Alex again. Any word on an injury? I haven’t heard anything. I reckon AVB just doesn’t rate him at all.
chelseaoffside: Genk XI v. Chelsea: Köteles, Vanden Borre, Ngongca, Nadson, Hyland, Tőzsér, De Bruyne, Camus, Vossen, Buffel, Nwanganga.
chelseaoffside: Genk subs v. Chelsea: Sandomierski, Sarr, Durwael, Ofori-Appiah, Ndabashinze, Limbombe, Barda.
CFCTransfers: Looks like a good team tonight. There is creativity and legs in midfield but I’d still love to see McEachran in there.
AndrewTurmer: Always great to see Romeu starting though.
BluesChronicle: Traffic in Genk a nightmare. Took ages to get form town to stadium by cab. If you’re still in town now, you may not make KO.
chelseafc: The rain is pouring down here in eastern Belgium. We’re expecting a crowd of about 25,000 at tonight’s game.
TheChelseaBlog: No JT? Probably for the best.
bridgeviews: Ah, we get to watch Malouda this evening. How pleasant.
TheChelsOrg: Seems you all think we’ll win, and score a few. Good percentage accepting we’ll concede though.
chelseaoffside: Anxious to see Oriol pull the strings tonight.
chelseafc: There’s an impressive noise coming from the home fans, with a little over 10 minutes before kick-off.
BluesChronicle: In a strange glazed-in box up high to the right of the Chelsea section. Like being in a fish tank. Except with journalists.
BluesChronicle: A rainy night in Genk. Not for the first time in recent Euro aways, Depeche Mode the bizarre choice for pre-match choons.
OptaJoe: 3.5 – Years since Fernando Torres last scored away from home in the Champions League (March 08 at Inter). History.
chelseafc: Fantastic atmosphere. Are the home fans expecting a result tonight though, or just having their fun before the game starts?
Togaflex: Got 1-1 written all over this. Don’t see us winning tonight.
BluesChronicle: Chelsea and Genk teams lining up in the tunnel at the Cristal Arena. Euro disco still pumping. Rain still falling.
BluesChronicle: Genk and Chelsea teams stride out onto the slippery green pitch at the Cristal, led by an enormous posse of UEFA officials.
BluesChronicle: Chelsea in the black ‘Tron’ kit tonight; Genk is all blue, with white flashes.
BluesChronicle: Kick off at the Cristal Arena: Genk 0-0 Chelsea. COME ON CHELSEA!
The first half
TheChelsOrg: Genk with the early possession.
TheChelsOrg: Chelsea pressing from the front, causing the keeper to hoof it and we win possession.
BluesChronicle: 1,100 Chelsea fans can be heard loud and proud singing ‘Over Land and Sea… and Leicester’.
chelseayouth: Camus’ pass to Buffel there was atrocious. A better player plays a better pass and Chelsea would be 0-1 down.
TheChelsOrg: Close call in the Chelsea area, shot saved but it’s offside anyway.
chelseaoffside: Not exactly the ultra aggressive start we were expecting.
ChelseaAnalysis: Genk are not looking like the same side that conceded five at Stamford Bridge. Much more better possession and control for them early on.
BluesChronicle: Perhaps my imagination, but Torres seems to have switched back to brunette from recent blonde. Scored more goals during the blonde spell.
TheChelsOrg: Ramires with a shot saved low after a nice passage of play by Chelsea.
TheChelsOrg: Genk looking composed on the ball in the opening ten mins, Chelsea pressing & passing well but missing the final ball.
TheChelsOrg: Anelka with a nice showboat, good passing move there.
BluesChronicle: Positive move down the right for Chelsea: but Anelka’s cross hooked too far back to be of use to oncoming forwards.
TheChelsOrg: Chelsea slowly gaining control of this match, more purposeful possession. Starting to work out the Genk formation.
TheChelsOrg: Good run and cross into the box by Cole, ball is cleared but you sense a goal is coming.
chelseaoffside: Now we’re talking. Settling in, with Malouda, Ashley and Raul linking well down the left.
TheChelsOrg: Genk with a spell of possession in their own half, Chelsea steal and almost break through. Torres looking hungry.
ChelseaRumours: Ashley Cole working very hard down the left flank!
BluesChronicle: OK: update on the all-important Torres locks situation. Probably hasn’t hit the Just For Men; just the rain makes his hair look darker.
TheChelsOrg: Well covered and defended by Luiz.
BelgoFoot: Genk keeping thier 4-4-2 shape well. De Bruyne roaming into the centre occasionally. Not too much from Chelsea so far.
TheChelsOrg: Genk looking to get it out to De Bruyne wherever possible.
TheChelsOrg: Cracking pass by Meireles to Anelka, who puts a low ball into the box behind the attacking players.
TheChelsOrg: 20 mins in and it’s 0-0. Genk started brighter but Chelsea growing into it.
TheChelsOrg: Chelsea break and are closed out, Genk block and counter quickly then Chelsea win it back again!
TheChelsOrg: No one team is dominating possession, some sloppy passes seeing to that.
TheChelsOrg: Torres tries a run into the box with the ball but is crowded out, should have passed.
chelseaoffside: Bob showing his defensive class. He’s quite good when not losing the plot.
TheChelsOrg: Good challenge by Ramires, well tracked back.
paultwentworth: Torres just starting to show his assertiveness, irritating commentary talk of this ‘rut’ he’s stuck in.
AndrewTurmer: Bosingwa’s attitude stinks tonight. Back to his lazy worst.
Millhaven_Curse: This has got 0-0 written all over it!
BluesChronicle: Anelka with another chance from the right: this time unable to find Torres. Game a bit scrappy. Most chances going Chelsea’s way.
TheChelsOrg: Malouda puts a teasing cross into the box, no one on the end of it.
Racing Genk 0-1 Chelsea. 25′ Ramires.
MacAree: Ramires. Beauty. Lovely pass from Nando too.
TheChelsOrg: It was coming! Assist by Torres, lovely goal.
chelseaoffside: Fucking great goal from Ramires! Sublime work from Nando to set it up.
devinanand: Love that celebration with Bob.
TheChelsOrg: Mad celebration by Luiz and Ramires!
BluesChronicle: Torres strikes from the left-hand corner of the box, with a ball that goes just wide of the right post.
chelseafc: Chelsea in control in Belgium. It’s 1-1 in Valencia where they play Leverkusen. Results as they stand send us through.
TheChelsOrg: We don’t look as defensively suicidal today either, know it’s Genk but the defence does seem to be playing a little deeper.
chelseafc: Ramires heads a Cole cross just wide. Decent chance there.
TheChelsOrg: Ref has been pretty spot on so far tonight too.
chelseaoffside: Let’s talk about that reverse ball from Meireles. Wow.
TheChelsOrg: Malouda with ages and acres in the box, takes too long to make the pass. Corner.
TheChelsOrg: Again, may just be me but am noticing a reluctance by Malouda to pass to Torres.
AndrewTurmer: Meireles is such a classy player. Love watching him float about.
TheChelsOrg: Meireles off the bar!
BluesChronicle: PENALTY TO CHELSEA!
chelseaoffside: Bob taking the pen!
TheChelsOrg: Luiz penalty saved.
chelseaoffside: Blah. Telegraphed it.
AndrewTurmer: That was shocking from Luiz.
RickGlanvill: Not impressed.
ChelseaRumours: I’d probably have let Meireles or Malouda take that one.
TheChelsOrg: Passes: Genk 175-272 Chelsea.
TheChelsOrg: Ramires with a shot outside the area, wide.
ChelseaAnalysis: Should have let Cech take the penalty – just for the fun of it.
BluesChronicle: One minute added time.
ChelseaTony: Can’t believe Torres getting stick for not taking the pelanty and not missing – if he had and he’d missed you’d be caning him. Meireles!
TheChelsOrg: Late free kick outside the Chelsea area after a foul by Ramires.
BluesChronicle: HT: Genk 0-1 Chelsea. Ramires goal. But it should be double that: Luiz with a weak penalty that didn’t challenge the keeper.
BelgoFoot: At half time, Genk will be disappointed. Mario Been said his team showed Chelsea too much respect in London and they are doing it again.
The second half
BluesChronicle: Disturbing chant about Anton Ferdinand from large section of Chelsea following in first half. Sad to say, there will be fall-out from that.
BluesChronicle: Second half underway at the Cristal Arena: Genk 0-1 Chelsea.
BluesChronicle: Please: if you’re in the Cristal Arena, and someone stood next to you is singing about Ferdinand. Tell them to stop. Not big, not clever.
AndrewTurmer: Ridiculous criticism of Fernando from these commentators is pissing me off. Can’t do anything right in their eyes.
chelseaoffside: De Bruyne with a chance, but he scuffs his curler.
TheChelseaBlog: Fuck me Chelsea, wakey, wakey
TheChelsOrg: Vanden Borre with a storming run, Nwanganga shoots but Cech saves. Corner.
chelseaoffside: Oh my. Cech with a huge stop. Genk have started this half really well.
TheChelsOrg: Ball over the top causes concern, and Genk winning possession back too easily. That said, Chelsea corner.
Togaflex: I am worried about those chants. We’re going to get caned in the media tomorrow and they won’t stop until were chucked out of Europe.
ChelseaAnalysis: Under Ancelotti we were mostly asleep during the first half and aggressive in the second; looking the opposite under AVB. Come on Chelsea.
chelseaoffside: Torres gets on the end of a corner, but balloons his header. Should’ve flicked that on toward the back post.
TheChelsOrg: Genk crowd booing with vigour whenever we’re in possession.
AndrewTurmer: A lot tighter performance tonight. Looks like AVB has slowed the tempo and prioritised the clean sheet.
TheChelsOrg: Meireles with a good strike but it’s at the keeper.
TheChelsOrg: Well claimed Cech, another dangerous ball in by De Bruyne – like the look of him from what I’ve seen.
ChelseaAnalysis: De Bruyne must teach Malouda the ‘Art of Crosses’. Great crosses in by this young lad.
BluesChronicle: Some lovely moves by De Bruyne down the Genk left. Can see why Chelsea are so interested in the lad.
AndrewTurmer: Hmm looks like Bosingwa’s encouraging start to the season has well and truly ended. Awful.
Racing Genk 1-1 Chelsea. 61′ Vossen.
BluesChronicle: GOAL: Genk 1-1 Chelsea.
chelseaoffside: That was coming. 1-1.
AndrewTurmer: Fuck. Clean sheet is gone. Pathetic.
chelseaoffside: We look bloody awful.
ChelseaTony: Made us look stupid.
TheChelsOrg: It’s that man; De Bruyne assist for a Vossen goal. 1-1.
TheChelsOrg: It was coming, and yet again we concede. Genk’s first goal in the group stages this season.
AndrewTurmer: Our defensive record is beyond embarrassing now.
tim_rolls: Perhaps some of our fans can stop singing about Anton Ferdinand and get behind the team. We need it.
paultwentworth: Forget the system, these defensive errors are so basic it is humiliating. Track your runner…
TheChelsOrg: Our defence is so shit, even Genk can score one…
ChelseaAnalysis: Valenica 2-1 Bayer currently. Things sure are getting worse.
chelseafc: Sturridge replacing the ineffective Anelka on 65 minutes.
chelseafc: Lampard also on for Ramires.
bridgeviews: Not sure why Torres deserves to stay on over Anelka. And will we miss Ramires’ running in midfield?
BluesChronicle: Genk sub: Ndabashinze on for Buffel.
TheChelsOrg: Meireles with a volley but it’s over the bar.
chelseayouth: God, will you please shut up Tony Gale. Analyse the sodding match instead of bleating on about what decisions you’d make. Prick.
TheChelsOrg: Looks like Mata will be coming in shortly. It needs to be for Malouda. Permanently.
chelseaoffside: Free header from Meireles straight at the keeper. What the hell.
devinanand: Here comes Mata. This game is frustrating to say the least. Why is Bob taking pens?
TheChelsOrg: Bosingwa taken out by De Bruyne, free kick on the byline right of the Genk area.
chelseaoffside: Romeu off for Mata? Odd.
TheChelsOrg: Shame, I think Romeu has played well and kept the defence tight. Hope it’s not costly…
grampyrabbit: Tony Gale has made me think the unthinkable. There is someone worse and more detestable as a pundit than Andy Townsend.
ChelseaChadder: Probably the best referee Chelsea have had this season.
chelseaoffside: Lampard. Sitter. Fuck me.
BluesChronicle: Diamond opportunity: Sturridge goal-line cross from right, which Lampard just gets an edge to in front of goal. Not QUITE enough though.
TheChelsOrg: Sturridge with a shot saved. We’ve upped it a gear. Nice effort!
chelseaoffside: Sorry but Bosingwa is a clown.
devinanand: Frank missing sitters. This is officially our ‘bad moment’ for the season.
chelseaoffside: De Bruyne is eating Bos alive.
BluesChronicle: Genk sub: Limbombe on for Nwanganga.
devinanand: Taxi for Bosingwa. Please.
reema80: Tony Gale. You’re an utter cock.
BluesChronicle: Tipping down in Genk. And the home side looking the more likely of the two to grab a winner.
AndrewTurmer: Bosingwa has had a shocker.
devinanand: Horrible stuff from Flo. Too selfish.
devinanand: Passing in the final third has been abysmal this half. Too much deliberating, not enough instinctive action. Penalty miss hurts.
devinanand: Flo’s passes are telegraphed so easily, I can’t understand why AVB rates him so high. Surely Kakuta would be better than this?
TheChelsOrg: Lampard with an effort from range over the bar.
chelseaoffside: Of course Frank would have a go. A waste.
chelseaoffside: Well, that’s just typical.
BluesChronicle: Keystone cops defending as two Genk players attempt to clear. It just about worked, but to comic effect.
devinanand: It begs the question – did it cross the line? By the way, lovely pass from Mata.
TheChelsOrg: Three mins added.
TheChelsOrg: Luiz with a cracking shot from distance, just wide.
KaiserJonny: It’s not just that Gale is a crap pundit. It’s the cliches, mixed metaphors and inability to string a sentence together that really grate.
devinanand: Hi, I’m Jose Bosingwa, and I’ve yet to learn how to cross a ball.
RickGlanvill: I hate football.
chelseafc: It’s all over. Genk 1-1 Chelsea.
chelseayouth: Let’s have a bit of perspective on this result, Genk held Valencia at home as well. Win your home games, points on the road a bonus.
chelseayouth: Obviously they’re a perceived weaker opponent and there were areas of concern but it’s no catastrophe.
ChelseaRumours: FT: Genk 1 Chelsea 1. That’s 3 without a win, and not a very good performance. Could and should’ve been won anyway.
TheChelsOrg: Fair play to Genk, they played well but we were poor at times, the final ball and cohesion was well off.
AndrewTurmer: Not sure AVB can avoid the questions about our defence for much longer. Bosingwa is a liability.
ChelseaTony: Luiz did one thing wrong – the penalty – but he is so much better when he’s allowed to run forward. Anyone else willing to give him credit?
AndrewTurmer And without Mata we look so dull and one dimensional.
AndrewTurmer: Oh well we’ve hit our bad patch. Fast approaching the point of one or two more defeats and the title is gone.
ChelseaAnalysis: Morale is low after two failures to keep a lead. Blackburn can be something on the weekend, expect surprises.
TheChelsOrg: This will of course all be John Terry’s fault in the daily rags tomorrow…
alrickbrown: Fernando Torres had an assist and created 5 chances for Chelsea. The rest of the team combined created 9. The criticism is a little harsh.
chelseayouth: Heck, people are already mentioning crisis and writing the season off. Any chance of some perspective?
Thanks to @chelseaoffside, @AndrewTurmer, @devinanand, @CFCTransfers, @BluesChronicle, @chelseafc, @tim_rolls, @TheChelseaBlog, @bridgeviews, @TheChelsOrg, @OptaJoe, @Togaflex, @chelseayouth, @ChelseaAnalysis, @ChelseaRumours, @BelgoFoot, @paultwentworth, @Milhaven_Curse, @MacAree, @RickGlanvill, @ChelseaTony, @ChelseaChadder, @reema80 and @KaiserJonny for their terrific in-running match tweets. Follow them!
The match reports
The Guardian, Dominic Fifield: “Chelsea’s recent stutter has infected their European campaign. André Villas-Boas would contest that a draw secured away from home in this competition should ever constitute the prolongation of a blip but his side suffered the same lapses of concentration, and outbreak of sloppiness, in Belgium that have afflicted them domestically. There was to be no real respite in Genk after the “disastrous week” Chelsea had endured – the visitors’ principal consolation the reality that the home side were considerably less ruthless than Arsenal had been on Saturday.”
The Independent, Steve Tongue: “An entirely unexpected dimension was added to Chelsea’s recent problems here last night as they lost control of what had appeared a straightforward assignment that should have brought much desired relief. Ramires marked their domination of the first half with an opening goal but David Luiz had a penalty saved and Genk, beaten 5-0 at Stamford Bridge a fortnight ago, gained new belief after the interval. Jelle Vossen equalised with his team’s first goal in four group matches and although Chelsea belatedly lifted their game again, they could not find a winner. The small consolation was that Valencia’s victory over Bayer Leverkusen meant the London side stayed top of the table, although even that had a downside, turning the section into a three-cornered fight again.”
The Daily Telegraph, Jason Burt: “Despite the travails of a “disastrous” week, Chelsea were not expected to struggle on their travels. Surely, in Flanders, they would not flounder? Instead their “castle”, to use Andre Villas-Boas’s term, remains under siege. It was far from impregnable last night. A draw away in the Champions League is acceptable but Chelsea simply cannot keep a clean sheet. They should have won last night but failed to do so and now need four points from their last two ties to ensure qualification from Group E.”
The Official Chelsea FC Website: “Chelsea surrendered a first-half lead once more as we could only draw at Genk, missing a penalty as we let the hosts back into our Champions League Group E game. It had all looked so straightforward when Ramires had advanced through a static home defence to fire Chelsea into a 26th minute lead, an advantage that should have been doubled when David Luiz took responsibility before the break, the Brazilian’s spot kick saved by Genk goalkeeper Laszlo Koteles. The miss would come back to haunt the Blues on the hour mark when striker Jelle Vossen levelled from close range, Genk’s first goal in this competition, to earn his side an unlikely point.”