Europa League: Lackluster Chelsea beaten in Bucharest


Raul Rusescu converted a first-half penalty to give Steaua Bucharest a narrow advantage in their Europa League last-16 tie against Chelsea. It was Rusescu's 23rd goal of the season after he was fouled by Ryan Bertrand inside the penalty area. Then Cristian Tanase came close with a half-volley from 20 yards that went just wide after a good move from left back Iasmin Latovlevici. Chelsea created a few chances of their own late in the game but substitutes Juan Mata and Marko Marin were unable to convert.

Steaua started the game well and put some pressure on the Chelsea defence but the Blues handled it well and the home side was restricted to just one effort from distance from Alexandru Chipciu. The home side did create the opening they needed on 34 minutes when Bertrand fouled Rusescu inside the penalty area as they competed for a cross delivered by Latovlevici from the left wing. Rusescu then converted the penalty even though Petr Cech got a hand to it.

Chelsea tried to react and they nearly got the equaliser just before half time when Hazard set up Benayoun whose low shot was brilliantly palmed away by goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu. The Romanian keeper did well again moments later to turn behind a good shot from Fernando Torres. Steaua created another chance after the break, again thanks to the work of left back Latovlevici, but Tanase fired wide from 20 yards. Hazard put one over the crossbar for Chelsea before Marin came closer but was denied by Tatarusanu.

Chelsea have an even more important match next Sunday as they face Manchester United in the FA Cup quarter finals, here are the odds for the match at Bet365:

Manchester United win - 4/5
Draw - 13/5
Chelsea win - 10/3

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