The official website for European football

Steaua's Rusescu makes Chelsea pay penalty

Published: Thursday 7 March 2013, 21.09CET
FC Steaua Bucureşti 1-0 Chelsea FC
Raul Rusescu's penalty gave the Romanian league leaders an advantage to defend in west London when this round of 16 tie concludes next week.
by Trevor Haylett
from National Arena, Bucharest

This content is streamed in such a way that it is protected and available only in a Flash format. Your device seems not to be compatible with our Flash video player.

Published: Thursday 7 March 2013, 21.09CET

Steaua's Rusescu makes Chelsea pay penalty

FC Steaua Bucureşti 1-0 Chelsea FC
Raul Rusescu's penalty gave the Romanian league leaders an advantage to defend in west London when this round of 16 tie concludes next week.

FC Steaua Bucureşti will defend a narrow advantage at Stamford Bridge in a week's time after Raul Rusescu's first-half penalty and a wholehearted performance put the 2012 UEFA Champions League winners on the back foot in Bucharest.

Rusescu drilled home a 34th-minute spot kick after he had been impeded by Ryan Bertrand while attempting a header from Iasmin Latovlevici's clever cross. The 24-year-old deserved that reward for an imposing display of muscular centre-forward prowess, his partnership with Alexandru Chipciu giving John Terry and David Luiz little respite in this round of 16 opener.

Backed by a passionate crowd, Steaua were at the London side's throats from the first whistle, contesting every ball. Hunting in packs, they did not allow Chelsea time to find any fluidity and consequently enjoyed the better of the first half. Indeed, a shooting chance fell Mihai Doru Pintilii's way as early as the sixth minute, but the angle was against him. When Chelsea responded, Branislav Ivanović headed wide from a Frank Lampard corner.

With Pintilii buzzing impressively in the central acres and Latovlevici ever-ready to add power and speed down the left, there was much to keep the home fans on the edge of their seats. They were good value for their breakthrough goal, yet it was so nearly cancelled out within two minutes when Yossi Benayoun swapped passes with Eden Hazard. The Israeli midfielder's shot was scuffed and Ciprian Tătăruşanu was able to make the stop.

Chelsea fought hard to try and restore parity ahead of the second leg. That invited Steaua to hit them on the counter and Cristian Tănase was not far wide on the volley. At the other end, an incisive pass found Fernando Torres well-placed inside the penalty area, but instead of going for goal he tried to lay the ball off to a colleague. Towards the finish, Marko Marin demanded a save from Tătăruşanu, while Luiz flashed a free-kick just too high.

Last updated: 09/03/13 0.06CET

Related information

Player profiles
Team profiles
Related match

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2013/matches/round=2000358/match=2010074/postmatch/report/index.html#steauas+rusescu+makes+chelsea+penalty

UEFA.com features

Brahimi following in Madjer's Porto footsteps
  • Brahimi following in Madjer's Porto footsteps
  • Trenčín winger Simon commanding attention
  • Sheridan taking the heat at APOEL
  • McGregor making his mark back at Celtic
  • Heat of the moment: Commentators' finest hours
  • Pick of the matchday two photos
  • Spain game evokes happy memories for Sweden
  • Košice and Liberec: Tale of the dugouts
  • Atlético's Filipe Luís to fill Cole's boots at Chelsea
  • Pick of the matchday one photos
1 of 10
  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The UEFA word, the UEFA logo and all marks related to UEFA competitions, are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.