MUCH-CHANGED they may have been, but as Andre Villas-Boas suspected, a slightly under-strength line-up was always going to have way too much for the group whipping-boys.
It was fill-your-boots night at Stamford Bridge as the Belgians were carved open at will and Fernando Torres for one enjoyed the feeling of being a flat-track bully again.
The Spaniard (pictured) is in the middle of a domestic suspension, but has been showing signs of reviving and his two-goal contribution to the demolition of Genk will have done his self-esteem no harm at all.
On another night, the moment Torres rolled a ball onto a post with the goal at his mercy after six minutes might have raised eyebrows.
As it was, the memory of it was almost instantly dispelled when Raul Meireles – who had picked out Torres with a chip for that missed chance – was given an embarrassing amount of space 25 yards out and it would have been rude not to score.
That eighth minute opener was followed three minutes later by Torres tucking home after being put through by Frank Lampard, after a simple move through the middle which Genk seemed reluctant to break up.
The Blues allowed themselves a couple of misses before a third goal on 28 minutes – Meireles crossing from the right for Torres to send a firm header into the bottom corner.
Then it was the turn of Branislav Ivanovic to nod in three minutes before the interval – Florent Malouda finding the ever-marauding Serbian with a free-kick from the right.
Torres came within a whisker of claiming his hat-trick on 73 minutes when he turned a low Jose Bosingwa cross goalwards from close range. Genk keeper Laszlo Koteles did superbly to parry, but the ball ran loose to Salomon Kalou – just on for Lampard – to volley the rebound home.
If there was a blessing for the overwhelmed visitors, it was that the Blues took their foot off the gas in the second half. Shots from distance became the norm rather than crisp build-ups.
But Villas-Boas will not have been concerned if some energy has been out aside – particularly by those who will be turning out at Loftus Road for Sunday's derby with QPR.
Line-up: Cech; Bosingwa (Alex 78), Ivanovic, Luiz, Cole (Ferreira h/t); Anelka, Meireles, Romeu, Lampard (Kalou 68), Malouda; Torres. Subs not used; Turnbull, Mata, Mikel, Sturridge.