A combination of Chelsea FC's professionalism and calming words from their coach helped the London team overcome the difficult challenge of FC Steaua Bucureşti for a 3-2 aggregate victory and a place in the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals, according to Rafael Benítez's players. For the Romanian side there was bitter disappointment but also a promise to return to European competition next season.
Eden Hazard, Chelsea midfielder
We played well and we've qualified – that was the most important thing. The first leg was tough because we were away from home, but today we did what was required. We knew that it was going to be difficult because they're a really good side – they play nice football. We knew that it would be hard if we conceded, because we would need three [goals] but we did it. We were professional and could have scored more. Chelsea are a big club – we have to win titles and to qualify for the Champions League. There's a lot to do but we'll try to do it all.
Ramires, Chelsea midfielder
The whole team did well. They scored just before half-time so we went into the dressing room with our heads slightly down. But the coach was calm and told us to stay positive because there were still 45 minutes remaining. So we kept going in search of the victory.
There's no time to celebrate – the games are coming one after the other. For us [players], not much changes. Benítez is the coach and we have to do what he says because he wants the best for the team. There isn't anyone better than him to tell us what is best. The players try not to get involved in this issue. As long as he's here, the players will seek to support him because he's our manager and we want to win.
David Luiz, Chelsea defender
No, Steaua didn't scare us when they equalised. They are a very good team. Chelsea respect every opponent and every player on the other team but we have the quality to win the game and it showed tonight. It was nice for John Terry and Fernando Torres to score and nice for the team too.
Chelsea have the quality to win this competition so I try and give my best every day to help them do that. The Romanian fans were amazing and did a good job for their team, but also the Chelsea supporters did a great job for their team.
Adrian Popa, Steaua midfielder
It was disappointing to lose because we believed we could go on and win. The key moment of the game was when John Terry scored early in the second half. We are proud to have reached this stage but now we want to go on and win the championship in Romania so next year we can come back [to European competition]. Do I think Chelsea can win the Europa League? See what happens with Tottenham – I think they are the favourites to win it.
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