Steaua Bucharest vs. Chelsea: Europa League Live Score, Highlights, Recap
Julian Finney/Getty Images
Steaua Bucharest 1-0 Chelsea: Europa League Round of 16, first leg
07 March 2013
Arena Nationala, Bucharest
Referee: Sergei Karasev (Russia)
Steaua Bucharest XI: Tatarusanu; Rapa, Zukala, Chiriches, Latovlevici; Pintilii, Bourceanu, Tanase; Popa, Rusescu, Chipiciu
Chelsea XI: Cech; Ivanovic, David Luiz, Terry, Bertrand; Mikel, Lampard; Benayoun, Oscar, Hazard; Torres
Chelsea’s performance in Thursday’s Europa League Round of 16 first leg match at Steaua Bucharest was their poorest in some time and will no doubt serve to heap even more pressure on embattled manager Rafael Benitez.
But as appalling as the Blues were in the Romanian capital, the night truly belonged to Steaua, who packed a record 55,000 fans into Arena Nationala and treated them to a historic result.
The only goal of the match came with about 10 minutes to play in the opening half when a delightfully floated ball from Steaua left-back Iasmin Latovlevici looked as though it was going to find Raul Rusescu before the striker was pulled back by Ryan Bertrand.
Russian referee Sergei Karasev pointed to the spot, and Rusescu confidently converted his spot-kick past Petr Cech.
Chelsea came out of the tunnel with a bit more gustso to start the second period, but their play deteriorated to its previous level by the hour-mark, and if either side looked the more likely to score over the final half-hour it was surely Steaua.
The Romanian league leaders will now take a 1-0 aggregate advantage to Stamford Bridge for next Thursday’s second leg. Chelsea, in the meantime, have the little matter of Saturday’s FA Cup quarterfinal against Manchester United to think about.
Raul Rusecu's penalty winner against Chelsea.
FULL TIME: Steaua Bucharest have defeated Chelsea 1-0. The only goal came from the spot after Raul Rusescu had been fouled by Ryan Bertrand. Rusescu scored the goal himself, and the win was very much deserved by the hosts. The crowd is going nuts - a famous night in the Romanian capital.
90'+4 Gardos scampers into the area and spins around before his shot is eventually blocked.
90+2' Steaua substitution: The goalscorer Rusescu is withdrawn in favour of Florin Gardos.
There will be four minutes of added time at Arena Nationala.
90' John Terry and Lukasz Szukala with a clash of heads as the latter went up to defend the Chelsea free-kick. Szukala has been tremendous this evening.
89' Marin and Mata work the ball down the left, but Lampard's eventual effort is well wide of goal.
85' Steaua goalkeeper Tatarusanu is down and receiving treatment. Pay have pulled a muscle on that last goal kick, or when he stretched to stop Marin's effort a few moments earlier.
84' David Luiz blazes his free-kick just over the bar. Chelsea making a final push here. Or should I say, an initial push.
82' Steaua substitution: Tatu replaces Tanase.
The crowd inside Arena Nationala really making itself heard, now. Jeering every Chelsea touch. They sense a historic result, tonight.
75' Chelsea substitution: Hazard, who never made an impact, replaced by Marin.
74' Hazard blazes one over the bar after Torres headed the ball out to him. Was a tight angle, though.
73' David Luiz does well to rub the on-rushing Rusescu off the ball. The attacker had gone on the counter after Chelsea conceded possession lazily in the centre of the park. Story of the night, really.
70' Chelsea still second-best in almost every category. Intensity, daring, desire - they've shown none of it so far tonight.
66' YELLOW CARD to John Obi Mikel for cutting down Prepelita.
65' Chelsea substitution: Juan Mata replaces Benayoun.
64' WHAT is Torres doing?! Lampard floats a perfectly good ball into the box for him, and he connects with it but pokes it back for a teammate!
Juan Mata and Cesar Azpilicueta are getting ready to come on for Chelsea.
Interesting approach from Benitez to copy Newcastle's strikerless formation today.— MirrorFootball (@MirrorFootball) March 7, 2013
A stab at Torres, but it's not fair, really. None of the boys in blue have been up for this one.
58' Steaua substitution: Steaua replace Pintilii with Prepelita.
57' Now it's all Steaua again. Rusescu thought he was fouled as the hosts piled on the pressure. They could well get a second before Chelsea get another look at goal.
56' Latovlevici making everying happen once again. The ball falls to Tanase, and he blasts his effort just wide of Petr Cech's goal.
51' Much brighter from Chelsea to start this second half. Hazard, in particular, has been buzzing about. His latest effort is stopped by Tatarusanu.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?