Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Updated: October 20, 12:57 PM ET
Barcelona extends unbeaten streak
Barcelona set a club record by extending its unbeaten streak at the start of the season to 13 games with a 2-0 victory over the Czech Republic's Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League, and Fernando Torres scored twice for Chelsea in a 5-0 rout of Genk on Wednesday night.
Andres Iniesta scored in the 10th minute at Camp Nou off a give-and-go with Lionel Messi, and David Villa added a goal in the 82nd for the defending champions, who had 78 percent possession and improved to 9-0-4 in all competitions.
"The ball just didn't want to go in the net today," Villa said. "We shot 16 times and could have won 5-0."
Barcelona's previous team mark for longest unbeaten start was set with a 10-0-2 record two years ago.
"I said before the game that we had to stop Messi, Iniesta and Xavi," Plzen coach Pavel Vrba said. "As far as their individual talent goes, they are the best in the world. I would say they are perfection."
AC Milan, like Barcelona 2-0-1 in Group H, defeated visiting BATE Borisov of Belarus 2-0 on goals by Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the 33rd minute and Kevin-Prince Boateng in the 70th. The top two teams in each group advance.
Chelsea (2-0-1), which leads Group E, went ahead at Stamford Bridge on Raul Meireles' eighth-minute goal, and Torres made it 3-0 when he scored in the 11th and 27th. He has four goals this season and five overall since the Blues bought him from Liverpool for $80 million in January.
"It was never a question about (finding) his form," Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas said. "It's important for a player to feel confident, and I think he is feeling confident in his abilities. He's been doing his work for the team, but I think he's always been in form."
Branislav Ivanovic scored in the 42nd, and Salomon Kalou in the 72nd, giving Chelsea its biggest Champions League victory margin since beating Turkey's Galatasaray in 1999.
In the other Group E game, Bayer Leverkusen (2-1) rallied to beat visiting Valencia 2-1 on goals by Andre Schuerrle in the 52nd and Sidney Sam in the 56th. Jonas scored in the 24th minute for Valencia (0-1-2).
Aaron Ramsey scored in the second minute of second-half injury time after controlling a cross from Johan Djourou to give Arsenal (2-0-1) a 1-0 win at Marseille (2-1). In the other Group F game, Olympiakos (1-2) won 3-1 at home over Borussia Dortmund (0-2-1). Jose Holebas put the hosts ahead in the eighth minute, but Robert Lewandowski tied the score in the 26th. Olympiakos then got goals from Rafik Djebbour in the 40th and Francois Modesto in the 78th.
Fans at Karaiskaki Stadium chanted slogans against Germany's role in the European bailout of near-bankrupt Greece.
Both Group G games ended in draws, with Cypriot champion APOEL (1-0-2) maintaining its surprising start by holding Porto (1-1-1) to a 1-1 tie. Zenit St. Petersburg (1-1-1) drew 2-2 at Shakhtar Donetsk (0-1-2).