Thu 11 Apr 2013 17:00 (Attendance: 25,000)
The Europa League campaign takes Chelsea to a third capital city in eastern Europe. Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton discuss in detail the quarter-final decider…
Rubin Kazan have already knocked the Europa League winners out of this season's competition. Now they attempt to overturn a 1-3 deficit to ditch the Champions League holders out of Europe in this five o'clock kick off, UK time.
The Blues flew out to Moscow with an impressive 100% record from five games against Russian sides to extend. Understandably much is made of that immensely disappointing evening in tonight's stadium, the Luzhniki, back in 2008.
The Blues were the width of a post away from becoming London's first European Champions four years earlier than Munich 2012. A slip on the mud, another miss and the title was Manchester United's.
Yet we returned to the scene during the group stage of the same competition in 2010/11 and ran out impressive 2-0 winners. It should not be an arena of ghosts and fears to the Chelsea squad.
Coach Kurban Berdyev warmly thanked the 45 Rubin supporters in the corner of the Shed in the first leg. It is hard to get to London, he conceded, and a long journey from Tatarstan. He professed himself hopeful of more home support in Moscow, but there is a problem.
Rubin played their three group matches at their own Central'niy Stadion in Kazan but since the knockout stages arrived in February they have played in Moscow. In the Round of 32 match against Atlético Madrid at Spartak's home ground (pictured below) the crowd was 2,593. Each of their three defeats in 22 European home matches has come in this city.
The UEFA-approved Luzhniki is actually 500 miles away from Kazan - it's like Chelsea having a home game in Aberdeen. The Proclaimers may walk that far and back to fall at Rubin's door, but how many Tatar supporters will?
As there are suggestions 2,000-plus official Chelsea supporters club members from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan will make the trip to the capital, the Blues could feel almost equally at home.
Chelsea have a two-goal advantage going into this match. It would have been that much better but for a period where the Londoners lost focus, the visitors switched virtually to five in attack, and an away goal was conceded from a soft penalty. It must serve as a warning against complacency and the threat of happenstance.
As a result of playing our FA Cup game against Manchester United on Monday 1 April, Chelsea have played a match on every day of the week this season. It is the first time that has happened since 2002/03.
Nine Rubin players and four from Chelsea's squad are under threat of suspension from the semi-final first leg should they be booked tonight.
There could still be three English sides in tomorrow's semi-finals draw, though Newcastle and Tottenham have plenty of work to do reach that stage.
Spurs' hosts Basel have won their last four home games in this competition without conceding, while Benfica, who travel to St James' Park, have won at Bayer Leverkusen and Bordeaux in the knockout phase.
Crowd trouble involving Lazio fans means their game with Turkey's second-placed club Fenerbahçe will be played behind closed doors.
Tonight's four Europa League ties
Rubin Kazan v Chelsea (agg 1-3) 5pm
FC Basel v Tottenham (agg 2-2) 8.05pm
Lazio v Fenerbahçe (agg 0-2) 8.05pm
Newcastle v Benfica (agg 1-3) 8.05pm
If the score after 90 minutes is 3-1 to Rubin Kazan then extra time will be played and if necessary penalties. The away goals rule applies so any other score will result in the game ending after normal time.
Chelsea have won three of our last five penalty shoot-outs, the last being at the Allianz Arena in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich. Rubin Kazan have never been involved in a shoot-out in UEFA competitions.
The draw for the Europa League semi-finals is tomorrow (Friday) starting at 11am UK time.
Click on the tabs above for more briefing.
With kick-off on the Lukhniki's artificial surface close, Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton complete their preview…
Tonight in Moscow the Blues, with a 3-1 first leg advantage, are aiming to make it to a round dozen European semi-finals. What lessons can be learned from the match in London to make that happen?
Since our meeting Rubin Kazan have drawn 0-0 away to Kuban Krasnodar, a side two places below them in the Russian Premier League.
José Rondón, who was omitted from their Stamford Bridge line-up with a slight knock but joined the action at half-time, was a starter on Sunday afternoon. Playmaker Ermenko (pictured below) was a second-half substitute and Vladimir Dyadyun, who was injured and made way for Rondón at the Bridge, was again the man replaced.
A week ago coach Kurban Berdyev admitted that his side were intimidated about facing Chelsea in London- evidenced by misplaced passes and slack pressing - and allowed the Pensioners to play as they liked.
The visitors, ponderous at the back, often looked flustered and bemused by the Londoners' attacking pace and variety and they handed Chelsea the initiative as well as space to exploit, leading almost inevitably to the two-goal lead.
The Blues might have forced the issue more and perhaps drawn more yellow cards for the eight Tatars hovering over a UEFA ban.
Tactical switches led to an improved showing from the Tatars and the introduction of Rondón provided more of a cutting edge although Rubin's attacking midfielders could not find the guile to provide him with clear goalscoring opportunities.
After that response, Chelsea's third goal 'just ruined everything for us', Rubin's coach admitted afterwards. Fernando Torres headed his second of the night and will again carry the main goal threat for the visitors as Demba Ba is ineligible in this competition.
Chelsea are also without Oriol Romeu, and defenders Gary Cahill, Ashley Cole and Ryan Bertrand. The last two have been Chelsea's left-backs of choice, leaving Rafael Benítez with the choice of moving a centre-back such as David Luiz across or draft in the vastly experiences Paulo Ferreira or Nathan Aké, the youngster who has shown such immense promise this season.
The impression after last week's action was that it would take a remarkable improvement from the Russians to turn this tie around, but this is a side that has beaten Inter 3-0 on their own turf in Kazan and Levante 2-0 (after extra time) on the artificial field of the Luzhniki. We have already seen in the Champions League this week that second legs can produce dramatic denouements.
Although the unfamiliar artificial pitch might ring some alarm bells it is the same surface on which the Blues won 2-0 in October 2010. Grass turf was specially laid for the 2008 Champions League final - and we all know how that story ended.
Of course it is not Rubin's real home ground either, and they have staged just a handful of games on it. They played Inter at their own, far more atmospheric Central'nyj Stadion and fancied this match there too. After an inspection UEFA scuppered that by declaring the surface unfit.
Whatever the stage Rubin boss Berdyev knows he has no choice but to go for two goals - anything less and his side are out - and has said he will ring the changes in tactics and personnel in order to achieve that.
However, the counter-attacking threat of Chelsea - who look far less comfortable breaking down deeply defensive opponents - will concern him. A 2-0 victory would see Rubin progress, a 3-1 win would usher in extra time and any other two-goal winning margin, as well as any draw or away win, would see the Londoners through to the semi-finals.
Chelsea face Manchester City in an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Sunday, whereas Rubin have a league game against relegation-threatened Rostov.
Click on the tabs above for more briefing.
WE HAVE HISTORY
Chelsea have won all five previous games against Russian teams. Rubin Kazan's only previous encounter against an English team was against Tottenham in last season's Europa League. Each leg was won 1-0 by the home side.
Our only previous meeting with Rubin Kazan came in the first leg. Fernando Torres opened the scoring after a quarter of an hour, controlling David Luiz's stunning long pass in the area, then stumbling before prodding it home.
Just past the half-hour mark an extended period of pressure earned further reward for the Blues when Juan Mata recycled a loose ball on the edge of the six-yard box and Victor Moses volleyed powerfully into the top left of the goal.
Treatment for an injury to Vladimir Dyadyun before half-time seemed to allow tiredness to creep into Chelsea's minds and a Rubin move down the left was allowed to progress almost unimpeded until the ball struck John Terry on the upper arm.
It was arguably too close for him to evade but the referee awarded a penalty and cautioned the Chelsea skipper. Natcho sent Petr Cech the wrong way to present Rubin with hope their timidity scarcely deserved.
Chelsea still dominated a more even contest after the break but the Tatars' rearguard was shredded again when Mata flighted a beauty over for Torres to power-head into the net. The game finished 3-1 to the Blues.
Chelsea's biggest away win in Europe
Jeunesse Hautcharage 0-8 Chelsea - 15/09/1971 - UEFA Cup Winners' Cup first round first leg
Rubin's biggest home win in Europe
Rubin Kazan 4-1 Shamrock Rovers - 30/11/2011 - Europa League group stage
Visit again at lunchtime for more briefing.
The Blues are looking to become the only English club to win all three major UEFA competitions having won the Champions League last season and the Cup Winners' Cup in 1971 and 1998. Three clubs that have achieved it are Juventus, Ajax and Bayern Munich.
This is the 32nd successive midweek that our players have either played for the club or been away on international duty. The last clear week all the players were at Cobham training was the last week of August leading up to the Super Cup against Atlético Madrid.
Chelsea have lost three of our last four European away games.
Rafael Benitez has been in charge of 135 UEFA competition games - more than any other coach in this season's quarter-finals.
|Chelsea's away record against Russian teams|
|2004/05||CSKA Moscow||W 1-0||Champions League group stage|
|2010/11||Spartak Moscow||W 2-0||Champions League group stage|
Chelsea's last ten years in Europe
2002/03 - UEFA Cup - first round
2003/04 - Champions League - semi-final
2004/05 - Champions League - semi-final
2005/06 - Champions League - round of 16
2006/07 - Champions League - semi-final
2007/08 - Champions League - runners-up
2008/09 - Champions League - semi-final
2009/10 - Champions League - round of 16
2010/11 - Champions League - quarter-final
2011/12 - Champions League - winners
|Last six results|
|Mar 14||Steaua Bucharest (Europa League h)||W 3-1|
|Mar 17||West Ham (h)||W 2-0|
|Mar 30||Southampton (a)||L 1-2|
|Apr 1||Manchester United (FA Cup h)||W 1-0|
|Apr 4||Rubin Kazan (Europa League a)||W 3-1|
|Apr 7||Sunderland (h)||W 2-1|
Scorers Mata 18, Torres 18 (1 pen), Lampard 14 (5 pens), E Hazard 12 (2 pens), Oscar 9 (1 pen), Ramires 8, Ivanovic 7, Moses 7, Cahill 6, Ba 5, D Luiz 4 (2 pens), Terry 4, Bertrand 2, Sturridge 2, Cole 1, Marin 1, Romeu 1 (pen), own goals 4. Total 123.
|Chelsea's next three games|
|Sun 14 Apr||Manchester City (FA Cup) Wembley||4pm|
|Wed 17 Apr||Fulham away||8pm|
|Sun 21 Apr||Liverpool away||4pm|
Petr Cech will play his 421st game for Chelsea and equal Steve Clarke as our seventh all-time appearance maker.
Frank Lampard needs two goals to equal our all-time top scorer Bobby Tambling on 202.
RUBIN KAZAN STATS
2 Russian league titles in 2008 and 2009
1 Russian Cup in 2012
2 Russian Super Cups in 2010 and 2012
Rubin Kazan are looking to complete a double of eliminating the holders of both last season's major UEFA competitions having already disposed of Atlético Madrid in the Round of 32.
Rubin have lost three times in their last 22 European home games, with all three of those defeats coming in Moscow. At their own ground in Kazan, they are unbeaten in 18 UEFA matches.
|Last ten league seasons|
|Rubin's away games against English teams in Europe|
|2011/12||Tottenham||W 1-0||Europa League group stage|
Ten-year European record
2002/03 - Did not qualify
2003/04 - Did not qualify
2004/05 - UEFA Cup second qualifying round
2005/06 - Did not qualify
2006/07 - UEFA Cup first round
2007/08 - Intertoto Cup third round
2008/09 - Did not qualify
2009/10 - Europa League round of 16 having transferred from the Champions League group stage
2010/11 - Europa League round of 32 having transferred from the Champions League group stage
2011/12 - Europa League round of 32 having transferred from the Champions League play-offs
|2012/13 Europa League results|
|Sep 20||Inter Milan (a)||D 2-2|
|Oct 4||Partizan Belgrade (h)||W 2-0|
|Oct 25||Neftçi Baku (h)||W 1-0|
|Nov 8||Neftçi Baku (a)||W 1-0|
|Nov 22||Inter Milan (h)||W 3-0|
|Dec 6||Partizan Belgrade (a)||D 1-1|
|Round of 32|
|Feb 14||Atlético Madrid (a)||W 2-0|
|Feb 21||Atlético Madrid (h)||L 0-1|
|Round of 16|
|Mar 7||Levante (a)||D 0-0|
|Mar 14||Levante (h)||W 2-0|
|Apr 4||Chelsea (a)||L 1-3|
Europa League proper scorers
Rondón 5, Karadeniz 3, Dyadyun 2, Ryazantsev 2, Kasaev 1, Natcho 1 (pen), Orbaiz 1. Total 15.
|Last six domestic results|
|Dec 1||Dinamo Moscow (a)||L 0-3|
|Dec 10||Spartak Moscow (h)||L 0-1|
|Mar 10||Zenit St Petersburg (h)||W 1-0|
|Mar 17||Terek Grozny (a)||D 0-0|
|Mar 30||Lokomotiv Moscow (h)||W 2-0|
|Apr 7||Kuban Krasnodar (a)||D 0-0|
|Russian Premier League top six|
|2||Zenit St Petersburg||23||+20||47|
THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE
Referee Fırat Aydınus, his two assistant referees and two additional assistant referees are all from Turkey. Aydınus has never previously officiated a Chelsea game.
There are no suspensions.
Demba Ba is cup-tied having previously played for Newcastle United in this season's competition.
Europa League bookings list
Players receive a one-match suspension for collecting three and five yellow cards.
Chelsea (15): D Luiz 3 (already served his suspension), Bertrand 2, Cole 2, Mikel 2, Ramires 2, Benayoun 1, Cahill 1, Marin 1, Terry 1.
Rubin Kazan (19): Ansaldi 2, Dyadyun 2, Eremenko 2, Kuzmin 2, Marcano 2, Natcho 2, Orbaiz 2, Ryzhikov 2, Sharonov 2, Kaleshin 1.
Chelsea are into the Europa League semi-finals despite being narrowly beaten in Russia.
An early goal should have made things comfortable, but a second-half fight back from Rubin made for a harder night's work than many would have predicted when Fernando Torres put us in front after four minutes.
An early scare was quickly forgotten once the Spaniard lifted us into the lead, seemingly putting us out of reach of our hosts, who took until the last minute of the first half to really stretch Petr Cech, who was forced to save well from Rubin captain Gokdeniz Karadeniz.
Ivan Marcano then headed level five minutes into the second half, only for Victor Moses to quickly restore our three-goal aggregate cushion. That should have been that but Karadeniz was then allowed a free header to level, before Bebras Natcho converted a penalty after a foul by Cesar Azpilicueta inside the area.
It made for a potentially nervy final 15 minutes, but Cech was called into action only once, and we take our place in the last four, two games away from a trip to Amsterdam for May's final.
The major headline in Rafael Benitez's selection was the decision to start Nathan Ake in deep midfield alongside Frank Lampard, meaning a European debut for the 18-year-old. He had been touted as a potential stand-in left-back with both Ryan Bertrand and Ashley Cole missing, but that role was given to the ever dependable Paulo Ferreira, who had featured just five times previously this season, the last time in February. This was the sixth competition he had played in this season.
John Terry started his 100thEuropean game for the Blues, while in making his 421st appearance for the club, Cech drew level with Steve Clarke as our joint-seventh highest appearance maker of all time.
Torres, impressive at the weekend against Sunderland, came in for the cup-tied Demba Ba in attack, with support coming from Ramires on the right, Yossi Benayoun and Moses. Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Oscar were all among the substitutes.
An eerie quiet fell over the Luzhniki Stadium just before kick-off, the few thousand supporters struggling to make themselves heard in an arena capable of holding many times more the number inside for this game.
The home fans, you consider, might have burst to life had Cesar Azpilicueta made a vital block inside the area from Roman Eremenko's shot goalbound shot after just three minutes, but 60 seconds later they were silenced by Torres.
Lampard sent a long ball over the top of the Rubin defence and goalkeeper Sergei Ryzhikov committed himself to getting there first, but did not allow for the synthetic surface slowing the ball's progress, and Torres, quicker over 20 yards than his opponents, arrived first to lift it up and into the empty net from around 30 yards.
It was a major blow for the tie, cancelling out Rubin's away goal and gifting the Blues a three-goal cushion that the Russian side rarely looked like overturning in a stale first half.
Moses brought a save from Ryzhikov while Natcho shot wide and Eremenko worked Cech low to his left for the hosts, but excitement was at a premium.
Just before the break came Rubin's best opportunity, a floated ball into space behind the defence latched upon by Karadeniz, but Cech showed why he is among the best around with a fine outstretched save to his right. Chelsea had one foot in the last four.
Five minutes after the restart, the hosts gave themselves a lifeline when Pablo Orbaiz crossed from the right and defender Marcano rose above Ramires to head home. It was a goal spookily reminiscent of Cristiano Ronaldo's effort five years earlier in the Champions League final.
Chelsea's next attack saw us restore the lead on the night. Lampard supplied a pass to Moses on the edge of the area, and the Nigerian exchanged passes with Ramires before guiding the ball past Ryzhikov into the far corner to make it 2-1 on the night. Rubin now needed four, with the Blues boasting an extra away goal.
John Mikel Obi replaced Ramires to add an extra layer of steel, and give the Brazilian a rest, but Rubin quickly equalised once more, Karadeniz, the smallest player on the pitch, rising highest in the area to head home a left-wing cross, with Cech unable to beat it out despite getting hands to it.
Marcano then headed against the outside of the post as the home side finally applied some sustained pressure, and they were rewarded with a penalty when Azpilicueta was adjudged to have bundled over substitute Aleksandr Ryazantsev in the box. Natcho coolly despatched the kick into the top corner.
Jose Rondon then headed straight at Cech with 10 minutes to go. A goal then would have given Chelsea real trouble, but the striker's failure to convert signalled the beginning of the end for Rubin, and they created little else in the remaining time, Chelsea sub Oscar having the game's final opportunity with a curling effort comfortably saved by Ryzhikov.
Narrowly beaten on the night, Chelsea progress to the semi-finals regardless. The draw is on Friday morning.
Chelsea (4-1-4-1): Cech; Azpilicueta, Terry (c), David Luiz, Ferreira; Ake; Benayoun (Oscar 76), Lampard (Ivanovic 90+1), Ramires (Mikel 59), Moses; Torres.
Unused substitutes: Turnbull, Mata, Marin, Hazard.
Goals Torres 4, Moses 55
Booked Oscar 90
Rubin Kazan (4-2-3-1): Ryzhikov; Kuzmin (Kaleshin h-t), Navas, Marcano, Ansaldi; Natcho, Orbaiz (Dyadyun 65); Karadeniz (c), Eremenko, Kasaev (Ryazantsev 71); Rondon.
Unused substitutes: Arlauskis, Kislyak, Tore, Sharonov.
Goals Marcano 50, Karadeniz 62, Natcho 74 pen
Booked Marcano 86
Referee Firat Aydinus from Turkey