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April 4, 2013
• Stamford Bridge, London
Referee: G. Rocchi
• Attendance: 32994
Fernando Torres 16', 70'
V. Moses 32'
B. Natcho 41'
Shots on Target
Two goals from Fernando Torres either side of a fantastic volley from Victor Moses saw Chelsea triumph 3-1. Bribas Natcho added a late first half penalty to cause one or two nerves but the hosts were the better side throughout. The away goal will makes things interesting when the Blues travel to Moscow for the second leg.
FULL-TIME: Chelsea 3-1 Rubin Kazan
90' + 2'
Yellow Card Marko Marin
90' + 2'
Chelsea clear the danger and should now see the game out.
90' + 1'
Two minutes to be added on here. Rubin have a free kick deep in the Chelsea half.
Kaleshin brings down Eden Hazard as Chelsea attack in the closing stages. Azpilicueta crosses for Fernando Torres but Rubin clear, only as far as Ramires, though, who smashes a shot high over the bar.
Chants of 'Jose Mourinho' ring around Stamford Bridge to slightly tarnish an otherwise positive atmosphere on the night.
Orbaiz makes a late challenge on Ramires in the middle of the park and gets himself booked. Petr Cech is then called into action as Karadeniz pounces on Luiz's slip, but the Rubin midfielder's effort doesn't test the Chelsea shot-stopper.
Yellow Card Orbaiz
Navas makes a crunching tackle on Marko Marin. The German, who just came on as a substitute, wasn't expecting that one!
Torres is almost in for his hat-trick but he sees the flag go up for offside after Ramires's shot is deflected into his path. Good call from the assistant referee.
Rubin are hanging on now as the introduction of Oscar and Hazard has added extra bite to the Chelsea attack.
Juan Mata comes off to a standing ovation. Another masterful performance from the former Valencia man, he really is a class act. Oscar, not too shabby himself, comes on for the final ten minutes.
Yellow Card Yossi Benayoun
Almost a chance as Gokdeniz catches Chelsea napping with a quick run from free kick but the Rubin midfielder is marginally offside. A timely warning to the Blues that this tie isn't over just yet.
Some more neat little combinations from Hazard and Mata almost gets Chelsea in behind again but Ansaldi reads the play well to cut out the final ball.
Eden Hazard is straight into the action, dribbling in and out of Rubin's midfield before finding Fernando Torres but the Spaniard is flagged offside.
Assist Juan Mata
Goal Fernando Torres
GOAL! Fernando Torres with a thumping header to restore Chelsea's two-goal lead! The Spaniard meets Juan Mata's corner after Yossi Benayoun had started the move with a sublime bit of skill on the halfway line.
Goal.com's James McManus reports: " Rafa Benitez has just brought on Eden Hazard to replace Victor Moses, who receives a warm round of applause from the home crowd on his way off the pitch. The need to rotate his squad and keep them fresh is clearly always nagging just at the back of the Spaniard's mind."
Bertrand, who has looked the part tonight, gets forward down left flank impressively once more but Rubin manage to crowd him out before he can dig out a cross.
CHANCE! Great opportunity to equalise for Rubin but Rondon's shot is tame and straight at Petr Cech. John Terry had backed off allowing the Venezuelan space to have a go but the effort was very, very poor. Let off for the Blues, that.
Not much happening right now as both teams work out how to play the rest of the half. I can tell you it is currently Tottenham 2-2 Basel and Benfica 1-1 Newcastle in the other Europa League games.
Victor Moses tries to get Chelsea on the attack on the right flank but is crowded out by two Rubin players and eventually runs down a blind alley.
CHANCE! Fernando Torres is spending plenty of time on the left-hand side, and from there he produces a dangerous cross into the box which Sharanov does well to divert for a corner. The Rubin keeper didn't look particularly comfortable there.
The replays show there was contact in that challenge but perhaps not enough to warrant a spot-kick.
PENALTY SHOUT! Victor Moses races into the box and is seemingly upended up Ansaldi. The referee is having none of it, he lets Rubin play on.
Almost an opening for Rubin as Rondon looks for Eremenko with a diagonal from deep but the striker doesn't quite have the pace to get on the end of it.
But Rubin survive the danger. Chelsea's crosses into the box have been poor in truth, a couple of efforts from Torres and Mata fail to find a team-mate before Ryzhikov claims the ball.
Now Victor Moses has a shot blocked for a corner, Chelsea have come out of the blocks with intent!
CHANCE! Chelsea earn a free kick about 40 yards from goal after Fernando Torres was brought down. The original delivery is poor but Chelsea work the ball to Juan Mata afterwards, his effort on goal from 6 six yards out is brilliantly saved by Ryzhikov!
Azpilicueta gets forward down the right flank and delivers a left-footed cross into the area but Ryshikov comes off his line to catch the ball easily.
Chelsea take the kick-off and we are underway in the second period.
That penalty from Bribas Natcho just before the break has really put the cat amongst the pigeons here at Stamford Bridge. Until that point Chelsea were cruising and looked comfortable with a two-goal lead. The second half is set up nicely...
HALF-TIME: Chelsea 2-1 Rubin Kazan
45' + 1'
One additional minute to played at the end of the half.
CLOSE! Ansaldi has another long range drive, but this one is far better than his earlier effort. He hits a right-footed shot which bounces and bobbles it's way past the far post with Petr Cech scrambling across.
Chelsea are instantly back on the attack. Fernando Torres crosses from the right but Sharanov is there to make a fine defensive header. The tie looked almost over only five minutes ago, it's anything but that now!
Yellow Card John Terry
Penalty Goal Bibras Natcho
GOAL! The visitors have an away goal! Natcho converts the penalty after John Terry's blocked the striker's shot in the box with the top his arm. That could prove to be a vital effort over the two-legged tie.
PENALTY RUBIN KAZAN!
Rubin Kazan are starting to gain some momentum in attack now, Chelsea have dropped their level in past five minutes.
Fernando Torres has had a bright night so far, he shows another great touch to find Lampard in a pocket of space but Rubin stop the England international in his tracks.
Petr Cech absolutely clatters into Dyadyun as they contest a 50-50 ball. All Rubin get is a corner kick which is well cleared by David Luiz.
Assist Juan Mata
Goal Victor Moses
GOAL! Victor Moses with a sublime effort! The Nigerian lashes a volley into the top corner to double Chelsea's lead. Rubin Kazan failed to clear a number of deliveries into the box before the ball fell to the midfielder nicely insde the area and he made no mistake in finding the target with a sweet strike.
Chelsea have lost much of the early momentum they had, the Russian side are now edging their way back into the contest. They still look toothless in the final third, though, with the Blues a threat on the break.
Rubin Kazan have some possession in the Chelsea half but they can't penetrate the hosts' defence. The only time they can get the ball into their strikers is from long balls out of the back, a strategy which is being easily dealt with by Luiz and Terry.
CHANCE! Chelsea pile forward again and Fernando Torres is at the heart of it once more. He manages to turn inside the box but elects to pass to Moses rather than having a shot, allowing Rubin to snuff the momentum out of the move.
Great play from Ryan Bertrand to skip past a couple of challenges on the left-hand side before chipping a clever effort over the onrushing Rubin keeper. Unluckily for him Navas was there on the line to clear. Would have been a superb goal!
Tim Poole reports from Stamford Bridge: "WOW! Is Torres a Brazilian in disguise? After a smart turn, the 29-year-old crosses the ball with his standing leg in Ronaldoesque fashion."
That is Fernando Torres' 19th goal of the season in all competitions, not bad considering the amount of criticism he recieves.
Assist David Luiz
Goal Fernando Torres
GOAL! Fernando Torres opens the scoring for the Blues! David Luiz played a glorious ball from the back into the Spaniard, who managed to bring the ball down before bravely sliding in to bundle the ball over the line! Chelsea lead!
Rubin Kazan try to get on the front foot by launching a number of high balls up the pitch for Rondon to contest but for the moment John Terry is dealing with the threat well.
Torres takes an awkward high ball impressively on the chest but then shanks his shot into the stands. Chelsea are enjoying plenty of possession early on here.
Ramires flies in and balloons a shot over the bar, but the work before that from Juan Mata was sublime. The little Spaniard combined sweetly with Victor Moses and Azpilicueta down the right-hand side but his low cross into the box couldn't find a team-mate.
Tim Poole reports on a very good start from Benayoun: "It could be because i'm sat right next to his touchline but Yossi Benayoun has really stood out for me so far. Great pace, energy and dynamism from the midfielder. Rubin flash a shot just wide, meanwhile. But it was never going to trouble the vastly experienced Petr Cech."
Ansaldi has Rubin Kazan's first effort on goal but it's a hopeful drive from long range which sails well wide of Petr Cech's righ-hand post.
More good passing and movement from the hosts as Fernando Torres shows a wonderful touch and turn before Victor Moses threatens on the left. Ramires eventually gives away a free kick to give Rubin some respite.
First glimpse of Yossi Benayoun as he shows a bit of skill to get past his opponent on the left-hand side but then runs into traffic inside the box.
Bright start from the hosts, looks like Chelsea might employ something of a direct approach as Cesar Azpilicueta twice looks for Fernando Torres straight from the back.
Rubin Kazan get the first half underway!
Any thoughts you have during the match, hit me up at @HushKerai, the best of your comments will make it on the site!
Goal.com's Tim Poole reports: "If you’re looking for reasons to feel patriotically optimistic, though, you needn’t look far. Chelsea have won all four of their previous games against Russian sides and are unbeaten in 11 European games at Stamford Bridge. The squad may be stretched but the players – and the manager – are up for the fight. The fixture list may be taking its toll – but confidence will be high on the Kings Road after Monday’s 1-0 victory over Manchester United. Strap in, then, because tonight promises to be yet another European cracker."
Both teams have emerged from the tunnel, it's a frosty old night in west London, perfect conditions for football under the floodlights. Moments away from the kick-off...
Goal.com's Tim Poole reports: "Yes, for Chelsea’s European aspirations – tonight is the night. A perilous battle may await the Blues in the battle for the top four in the Premier League, while a gruelling semi-final against Manchester City beckons in the FA Cup. In Europe, though, the only way is up. A win tonight and Chelsea will be in a superb position to qualify for the semi-finals later this month. A strong win and who knows? Maybe Rafa will end up with a trophy haul after all."
Rubin Kazan: Ryzhikov; Kuzmin, Ansaldi, Navas, Kaleshin; Orbaiz, Eremenko, Karadeniz, Natcho, Sharonov; Dyadyun. Subs: Arlauskis, Ryaztsev, Kasaev, Kisylak, Marcano, Tore, Rondon.
Chelsea: Cech; Luiz, Terry, Azpilicueta, Bertrand; Ramires, Lampard, Moses, Benayoun, Mata; Torres. Subs: Turnbull, Ivanovic, Oscar, Mikel, Hazard, Ferrerira, Marin.
Good evening ladies and gents! Welcome to Goal.com's coverage of Chelsea v Rubin Kazan from Stamford Bridge LIVE!
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