Vintage Chelsea sink Bordeaux
© AFP

Chelsea showed no signs of a UEFA Champions League hangover as Luiz Felipe Scolari's side thrashed Bordeaux 4-0 in their Group A opener on Tuesday.

Goals from Frank Lampard, Joe Cole, Florent Malouda and Nicolas Anelka ensured Chelsea made a winning return to European action at Stamford Bridge just four months after their heart-breaking Champions League final defeat against Manchester United.

The painful memories of that penalty-shoot out loss, and three previous semi-final exits, are driving the Blues to go one better this season.

They were in devastating form here. Lampard opened the scoring and Cole marked his 50th European appearance with a rare headed goal before half-time. Late strikes from Malouda and Anelka put the seal on an emphatic performance.

The road to May's Rome final is certain to feature many tougher tests than this, but Scolari is entitled to feel his team have made a significant statement of intent to the rest of Europe.

Scolari insists he doesn't feel under pressure to win the Champions League, but the Brazilian's decision to name a full-strength side, ahead of Sunday's crucial showdown with Manchester United, suggested he knows success in Europe is essential to his job security.

This was Scolari's first taste of the Champions League and Bordeaux briefly threatened to spoil the party when Wendel flashed a long-range effort narrowly over Petr Cech's crossbar.

But Scolari's side are capable of carving open opposing defences in an instant and they made the breakthrough in the 14th minute with their first incisive attack.

Jose Bosingwa surged down the right in typically dynamic fashion and whipped in a precise cross towards Lampard, who timed his run perfectly to plant a header past Ulrich Rame.

It was a goal of ruthless simplicity and Chelsea, scenting the match could be killed off before half-time, went for the jugular. Anelka cut in from the left and forced Rame into action with a low strike.

John Terry went close with a header from Lampard's free-kick before Rame had to save sharply to stop Fernando's clearance deflecting into his own net.

A second goal looked inevitable and it duly arrived in the 30th minute. Lampard turned provider this time as the diminutive Cole somehow out-jumped Bordeaux's two centre-backs to glance his team-mate's corner in at the near-post.

Bordeaux thrashed
Laurent Blanc's team were a shambles at the back and Lampard should have made it three, but the England midfielder shot wide with only Rame to beat.

Bordeaux couldn't put a foot right and the sight of Marouane Chamakh falling face-first into the crowd after tripping over an advertising hoarding at the start of the second half summed up their plight.

With the United clash in mind, Chelsea were content to save their energy. They went through the motions for long periods and even allowed Bordeaux a rare sight of goal when Chamakh, back on his feet, shot past a post.

Scolari sent on Michael Ballack for his first appearance since the opening weekend of the season after recovering from an ankle injury.

Malouda capped the move of the match in the 82nd minute. Lampard's backheel reached John Obi Mikel and his pass gave Malouda the chance to a drive a low shot into the far corner of Rame's goal.

There was still time for Anelka to get on the scoresheet with a stoppage time tap-in after Juliano Belletti's shot had cannoned off the crossbar.