Chelsea marched into the second round of the Uefa Cup with another polished performance against Levski, the Bulgarian champions, as goals from John Terry and Eidur Gudjohnsen gave them a 5-0 aggregate win.
The England Under-21 captain Terry scored his first goal of the season, sweeping home after 32 minutes following Emmanuel Petit's corner and Mario Melchiot's nod down.
The Icelandic striker Gudjohnsen – whose two goals in last week's first leg put the Blues in the driving seat – then struck with a superb individual effort on the stroke of half-time. It was also a night to remember for the promising England Under-21 striker Leon Knight, who came off the bench for the last half-hour to make his Chelsea debut.
Chelsea began brightly. Gianfranco Zola, starting in place of the suspended striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, won a corner after just 40 seconds as his nimble feet almost saw him get the better of Stanislav Angelov – but Petit's deep cross was headed clear.
The Blues then had a golden chance to grab an away goal and kill off the tie after 26 minutes. Following a left-wing corner, Melchiot played a clever back heel into the box. The ball fell perfectly for Terry, but his drive went straight at the goalkeeper from 15 yards.
Terry made amends six minutes later when Petit's deep corner from the right was nodded down by Melchiot and he fired home his first goal of the season. That away goal silenced the home crowd and had Chelsea's 350 travelling fans celebrating.
Chelsea completed their job as the first half edged into injury time thanks to a brilliant solo effort by Gudjohnsen. Fed by William Gallas, the Icelandic striker twisted and turned his way past two defenders before firing into the roof of the net. The second half was a mere formality, and the only notable event was the introduction of Knight after 59 minutes for Zola.
Levski had gone into the match with one eye on Sunday's derby against rivals CSKA Sofia in the Bulgarian league. Their night was summed up after 65 minutes when the home support gave ironic cheers for Dimitar Talkijski's low shot from 25 yards, which was comfortably saved by Ed de Goey.
The build-up for Levski had hardly been an harmonious one. Georgi Todorov, in charge of team affairs last night, was the club's third coach in two weeks. Ljubo Petrovic had resigned after Levski were knocked out of the Champions' League qualifiers by Galatasaray. The club's chief executive, Nasko Sirakov, then took charge before moving back upstairs following the 3-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge.
If Chelsea are looking for omens – there is a good one to come out of their Bulgarian adventure. The last time they faced a team from this country was in 1970, when they beat CSKA Sofia and went on to lift the European Cup-Winners' Cup.
Levski Sofia: Petkov; Stankov, B Ivanov, Markov (Dragich, 54), Angelov, Talkijski, Botelho, Topuzakov, Golovskoj, Pantelic (Stoilov, h-t), Chilikov (Genchev, 71). Substitutes not used: D Ivanov (gk), Trenchev, Tzvetino, Terziev.
Chelsea: De Goey; Terry, Desailly, Melchiot, Gallas, Babayaro, Lampard, Petit, Jokanovic (Dalla Bona, h-t), Zola (Knight, 60), Gudjohnsen (Forssell, 54). Substitutes not used: Bosnich (gk), Ferrer, Zenden, Aleksidze.
Referee: M Ingvarsson (Sweden).Reuse content