Europe — 18 March 2013


Chelsea 3 Steaua Bucarest 1 Fernando Torres, Juan Matta y John Terry back the series

The English team came from behind the tie in the Europa League and reached the quarterfinals. Vital contribution from the Spanish players in Rafa Benitez’s team. ‘El Niño’ missed a penalty.

Chelsea had a difficult task today. The first leg of the knockout round of the Europa League showed ​​samples of a shy team for the competition, perhaps disenchanted with symptoms of apathy. However, tonight s 3-1turn off the alarms and made clear Chelsea s intention to win the tournament.

London started the comeback in the 34th minute when Juan Mata, the best of the blues for this game, grabbed the ball and outwitted most of the Romanian defense to beat Tatarusanu with a ball that got in to the right bottom of the goal.

One nil and with the leg tied, It looked like the beginning of an unstoppable comeback, however visitors gave the locals a fright when they equaled the score in the overtime of the first half. A corner cleared by Torres at the near post which  Chiriches sent to the bottom of the net.

At the second half the script would be the same. Chelsea owned the ball while Steaua was waiting crouching to go to the counter. But the plan soon ruined because in the 58th minute and after a great kick from Mata, John Terry headed unmarked to make it 2-1 on the scoreboard giving hope to Stamford Bridge.

The last half hour, with the leg open for both teams went crazy. Both teams gained chances and Tatarusanu would save his team several times, until minute 71, where Fernando Torres ended a big play again from the great Juan Mata.

The striker netted a cross shot unattainable for inspired Romanian goalkeeper. Chelsea already had the comeback in his hand, but there was still quite a few minutes, and was suffering minutes for the Blues. With the game in the bag, the English team did not know how to sleep the match and the suffering went through the end of the game. Torres could leave clinched the tie with a penalty, but the release was sent to the crossbar. It was already 87 minutes in the clock and there was not enough time for the Russian s.

Chelsea goes through the next round and reaches quarterfinals with confidence obtained after overcome a tricky leg.


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Mirko Aranibar

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