Andre Villas-Boas rested Chelsea captain John Terry for tonight’s Champions League opener against Bayer Leverkusen at Stamford Bridge.
With one eye on Sunday’s epic domestic showdown against Manchester United, the Blues manager also left Frank Lampard on the bench.
Goalkeeper Petr Cech skippered the side, while there were also starts for misfiring striker Fernando Torres and centre-half David Luiz, back after injury, with Florent Malouda and John Obi Mikel also recalled.
Former Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack returned to face his old club, and received a special presentation before kick-off.
Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Luiz, Cole, Mikel, Sturridge, Malouda, Meireles, Mata, Torres.
Subs: Hilario, Lampard, Ferreira, McEachran, Kalou, Alex, Anelka.
Bayer Leverkusen: Leno, Castro, Reinartz, Toprak, Kadlec, Rolfes, Bender, Ballack, Sam, Kiessling, Schurrle.
Subs: Yelldell, Schwaab, Friedrich, Renato Augusto, Balitsch, Derdiyok, Bellarabi.
Referee: Stephane Lannoy (France)