Chelsea 2 Levski Sofia 0: Shevchenko the peerless Euro star as Blues cruise

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The Independent Football

If not quite a landmark game, then certainly a landmark moment. Or even two. Firstly, Andrei Shevchenko struck his 57th goal in European competition, to become the second-highest goalscorer in its history, placing him ahead of Raul and Eusebio and just five behind Gerd Müller's record of 62.

And then Shaun Wright-Phillips scored. It was his first-ever goal for Chelsea - and came in his 52nd appearance. Given the chances are that he will leave in January it may well have been his last goal for the club he joined for £21m two summers ago.

Shevchenko's fee even dwarfs that, of course, and Chelsea's return on their £30.8m signing is still to be reaped - this was his first Champions' League goal for them - even if his name is writ large throughout football. But the aplomb with which he took his first-half opportunity, flicking the ball in with the outside of his right boot, bodes well and he was afforded the most generous of ovations when substituted.

"Hopefully in the knock-out stages he has some more [goals] to make us go further," the manager, Jose Mourinho, said afterwards. He also professed himself pleased with Wright-Phillips, saying he "deserved to be happy" and adding that he wanted him to stay.

The goals allowed Chelsea to win Group A - the most difficult in the competition, Mourinho claimed - and the ease of the encounter brought no fresh injuries or bookings for a squad suddenly looking a little thin. Indeed, Chelsea had no goalkeeper among the substitutes with Carlo Cudicini having pulled up injured.

It is another headache for Mourinho, who also confirmed that he had indeed suffered from a severe migraine over the weekend that had laid him low for several days, necessitating a trip to hospital, and leaving him with "low energy". "Maybe it was because we did not have a game," he joked. Those matches will come thick and fast now.

Such was the smoothness of this encounter that Mourinho said it felt "like a friendly". His side often ceded possession but never control against the Bulgarian champions, who were only denied a deserved late goal by two brilliant saves from Hilario - the second finger-tipping the ball on to the crossbar.

Down either flank Arjen Robben had the beating of the Levski defenders and quickly racked up a string of chances for team-mates. Shots slammed over and wide - or even into their opponents' faces - while the goalkeeper Bozhidar Mitrev saved smartly from Shevchenko before Frank Lampard slipped the ball to the Ukrainian who, in space, picked his spot to open the scoring. There was almost an immediate equaliser but Cédric Bardon's acrobatic volley cleared the crossbar.

For Chelsea, Ricardo Carvalho had a scrambled shot cleared off the line. With 22 minutes left Wright-Phillips came on and made his own impact. There was an inviting cross for Drogba, and then Carvalho forayed, exchanged passes with Wright-Phillips before the winger was teed up 20 yards out. He slammed a low shot beyond Mitrev.

Chelsea (4-1-3-2): Hilario; Ferreira (Diarra, 58), Boulahrouz, Carvalho, Bridge; Essien; Ballack, Lampard, Robben (Wright-Phillips, 68); Shevchenko (Kalou, 68), Drogba. Substitutes not used: A Cole, Mikel, Geremi, Morais.

Levski Sofia (4-2-3-1): Mitrev; Milanov, Topuzakov, Tomasic, Angelov; Borimov, Eromoigbe; Dimitrov (Baltanov, 59), Bardon, Yovov (Koprivarov, 70); Domovchiyski (Ivanov, 75). Substitutes not used: Mihaylov (gk), Hristov, Minev, Ognyanov.

Referee: A Hamer (Luxembourg).

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