Fernando Torres scored twice to give Chelsea FC a healthy lead to take to Russia for their quarter-final second leg as FC Rubin Kazan suffered their first away defeat in this season's UEFA Europa League.
The Spanish international opened the scoring and Victor Moses made it 2-0 just after the half-hour mark as the Londoners made an excellent start. Although Bebras Natcho's penalty before the interval suggested a potentially closer outcome on the night, Torres dispatched a glorious header to leave Chelsea well in charge.
Showing six changes from the side which had ended Manchester United FC's FA Cup ambitions only three days previously, Chelsea demonstrated their vigour in a fast start, nailing their visitors to defensive positions.
Torres had just bundled a decent opening wide when, in the 16th minute, he was the target of a long pass from David Luiz. Although the striker's control was not clean, the ball fell fortuitously for him on the ground, and he was able to scoop it over the line.
Apart from Natcho's swerving shot, Rubin had resembled nothing like the side that eliminated holders Club Atlético de Madrid in the last 32. They fell further behind after Moses almost caught Sergei Ryzhikov by surprise with a header. Torres kept the move alive and, when the ball was not cleared, the winger fired in on the half-volley.
Chelsea were in cruise control, but suddenly the complexion of the evening changed as Cristian Ansaldi's shot struck John Terry's right arm, Natcho converting coolly from the spot.
Rubin had surprisingly left José Rondón – the second highest scorer left in the competition with five goals – on the bench for the opening 45 minutes, but his arrival after the break suggested more problems for the home defence. Apart from the odd moment of alarm, they never materialised, and the visitors could not find the finishing prowess that led Torres to thump in Juan Mata's left-wing cross with 20 minutes remaining.