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Steaua Bucuresti
S Bucuresti
Ramires (19)
Georgievski (44, OG)
Ramires (55)
Lampard (90)

Lia Manoliu

Tue 01 Oct 2013 19:45 (Attendance: 36,713)


Matchday two takes Chelsea away for the first time in this season's Champions League. Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton provide the background to the game in Bucharest…

Home defeat. Hostile away ground. Laser pens. And now rain. Four inches of rain have fallen over three days and the retractable roof at the National Arena in Bucharest was closed only yesterday. The deluge may still take some toll on tonight's playing surface: there may be more running water outside the ground than flowing football inside it.

The third of Chelsea's four successive away games takes us to the home of another side familiar from last season in Europe. Like Matchday 1 opponents Basel, a side we beat en route to victory in last season's Europa League final, Steaua are not to be underestimated though they lack experience in the world's elite club competition.

The last visit ended in a disappointing 0-1 first-leg defeat, but the Romanians were defeated 3-1 a week later back at the Bridge. The Chelsea players will be highly motivated to prevent the same disappointment tonight. Hopefully the laser pens that were prevalent in Bucharest last time round will be strongly dealt with by officials should they reappear tonight. The rain is harder to harness.

Jose Mourinho is aiming to become the first manager to win the European Cup with three different teams.

Steaua were recently fined after their supporters threw fireworks in the preliminary round match at FK Vardar this season. In June UEFA had already investigated the Romanian champions under Articles 2.04g, 2.05 and 2.10 of the Champions League regulations, relating to 'arranging or influencing the outcome' of domestic matches.

After pleas of mitigation they received a one-year ban, deferred for a probationary period of five years. Outspoken club backer Gigi Becali, who mocked Chelsea at the time of the last tie, is, however, currently serving a three-and-a-half year sentence for multiple crimes including bribery.

The Liga 1 leaders come into this match having played on Thursday in the Romanian Cup and Saturday in the league. Both were handsome home wins, the first against amateur opposition with a much-changed XI, the second over mid-table Liga 1 opponents.

They were taken apart 3-0 in Gelsenkirchen by Schälke on the opening night of the Champions League - their only loss of the season so far and their first away since Stamford Bridge. Chelsea's was the more surprising defeat, 1-2 at home to the Swiss champions who were quite easily dispatched earlier this year.

Jose Mourinho has set a minimum target of 12 points for his side from the remaining 15 available. Steaua have not won any of the nine home group games in their last three Champions League campaigns.

It is almost exactly a year since Chelsea last triumphed on foreign soil in this competition, a 4-0 drubbing of Danish club Nordsjaelland. Juan Mata scored twice in Copenhagen (pictured below) and, following two performances closer to the type he would like to see, Mourinho has already confirmed the Spaniard as a starter tonight.

Juan Mata scores v FC Nordsjaelland

John Terry's goal against Tottenham on Saturday was his first ever against the Lilywhites in 25 meetings. He has now hit the net in 14 consecutive seasons.

Which was the only English club Steaua manager Laurenţiu Reghecampf faced as a player? #CFCPMB

Should one of the sides win the other Group E match tonight they would take a three-point lead into back-to-back fixtures where Chelsea play Schalke home and away and Steaua face Basel.

Other Group E fixture
Tuesday 7.45pm - Basel v Schalke

Champions League Group E table
P W D L F A Pts
Basel 1 1 0 0 2 1 3
Schalke 1 1 0 0 3 0 3
Chelsea 1 0 0 1 1 2 0
Steaua Bucharest 1 0 0 1 0 3 0


Click on tabs above for more briefing.

- Finish top of the Score Predictor league in October and you could in with the chance of winning a player-signed shirt.

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Last season's 0-1 defeat in Bucharest was more a result of the lack of intensity and pace in Chelsea's play. Perhaps there was a little complacency, and certainly the team was much changed from the previous match.

Jose Mourinho has already warned that failing this evening might leave the Blues needing to win all remaining fixtures in Group E. The fact that he named Juan Mata in his starting line-up 72 hours before kick-off proved again that the Portuguese is not only a fine man-manager but had planned ahead for this fixture already.

Of the known absentees against the Romanian league leaders Mourinho did not ask Kevin De Bruyne to travel, Marco van Ginkel underwent surgery on his anterior cruciate ligament last week and Eden Hazard has a minor injury.

Fernando Torres's domestic ban does not apply in UEFA competitions and Ramires is available again following the one-game suspension for his UEFA Super Cup red card.

Some observers have suggested the last 45 minutes at White Hart Lane gave the first glimpse of the second coming of the Special One, a team playing as he requires it. Yet the performance, albeit in defeat, against Bayern in the Super Cup was as powerful and impressive as Saturday's.

The key to the way the manager wants his side to play is players winning and retaining the ball in the opponent's half whenever possible. That was not something Mata was required to do under previous bosses but he responded against Spurs, putting pressure on their high line of defence.

Since he is banned next weekend the equally fired-up Torres may keep his place in the starting line-up this evening. He will hope to cause Steaua's rearguard many more problems than was the case back in March.

Against Schalke in the first group game, the Romanians' defensive line held well until the Germans opened the scoring through a dreadful misjudgement by Ciprian Tatarusanu. After that they lost their positional discipline and were picked apart with quick, short passing, perhaps betraying their inexperience at Champions League level.

Greece forward Pantelis Kapetanos has 14 games under his belt at this level and Ionuţ Neagu four - both snapped up on transfer deadline day - but 13 players were making their competition debut against Schalke, as was coach Laurenţiu Reghecampf.

Eight Chelsea players have played more times in this tournament than the entire Steaua squad.

Tall 30-year-old striker Kapetanos returned to Steaua after two years at CFR Cluj. He scored in the defeat and played 90 minutes in the away win against Manchester United during the 2012/13 group stage.

He has been used sparingly since arriving, sharing sole striker duties with bustling former Serie B journeyman Federico Piovaccari, but is almost certain to face the Londoners and went closest for Steaua in Germany.

Both Bucharest's goalscorers in this tie last season have since left the club. Raul Rusescu is now with Sevilla and Vlad Chiriches switched to Tottenham. Winger Alexandru Chipciu, who played all of both matches, is a long-term injury victim

It was the scheming skipper on the left wing, Alexandru Bourceanu (pictured below), who was behind many of Steaua's better moments last season and he was a thorn again in Schalke's side two weeks ago, especially from whipped-in corners.

Steaua Bourceanu

Another key man for the Army Team known to the Blues was attacking left-back Iasmin Latovlevici, who not only excelled defensively but used the width of the pitch to cause problems in the final third.

The Blues must be more decisive in front of goal to raise hopes of success in the Champions League, starting tonight. Although two creative attacking midfielders, Hazard and De Bruyne, are ruled out Mourinho has Mata, Oscar, Andre Schurrle and Willian, with Ramires or Cesar Azpilicueta as other options behind the striker. The Spanish right-back put in an impressive cameo against Tottenham.

If the confident authority of the second half at White Hart Lane is carried over, the visitors should create plenty of chances against a side that shipped three against a team sitting 14th in the Bundesliga.

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This is only the second competitive meeting in our history against Steaua Bucharest. Last season in the Europa League round of 16 Chelsea arrived in Romania having beaten West Brom 1-0 at the weekend and with an FA Cup quarter-final against Man Utd to follow on the Sunday.

Interim manager Rafael Benitez rang the changes, bringing in John Terry, Fernando Torres, Ryan Bertrand, John Mikel Obi and Yossi Benayoun. Victor Moses, Ramires and the ineligible Demba Ba stayed in London and Ashley Cole and Juan Mata began the evening on the bench.

It was a lack-lustre first-half performance from the Blues in terms of attacking commitment and creativity but the hosts rarely threatened. It took a soft penalty award to break the deadlock in the 34th minute.

Cole's replacement Bertrand (pictured below) found himself defending a Latovlevici cross the wrong side of Raul Rusescu, but was harshly judged to have fouled the striker, who fired the resulting spot kick past Petr Cech's hand.

Ryan Bertrand in action against Steaua

Benayoun had the chance to level shortly before the break but his rolled finish did not have enough on it to beat goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu.

Tatarusanu was rarely genuinely troubled despite making several saves. Following Mata's late introduction fellow substitute Marko Marin cut inside cleverly but then fired straight at the keeper.

David Luiz went close with a dipping free kick from distance, but the Blues could not restore parity and had to overcome a 0-1 deficit in the second leg.




14 March 2013 Europa League Round of 16 second leg
Chelsea………..…..….3 Steaua Bucharest…..……1
Mata 33                             Chiriches 45
Terry 58
Torres 71
                       Att: 28,817

Dan Petrescu, one of two Romanians to play for Chelsea, started his career at Steaua. He now manages Dynamo Moscow. Adrian Mutu played for rivals Dinamo Bucharest earlier in his career.

Chelsea's biggest away win in the Champions League
5-0: v Galatasaray, 20 Oct 1999, first group stage

Steaua's biggest home win in the Champions League
1-0 twice: most recently v Widzew Lodz, 16 Oct 1996, group stage

Chelsea won away in the Champions League: 364
Steaua beat an English team in UEFA competition on home soil: 208
Arsenal won a trophy: 3,055
Liverpool won the league: 8,550


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The Blues have topped our group in seven of our last 10 Champions League campaigns. Last season was the first time we failed to progress to the knockout stage.

Chelsea have won eight and lost seven of our last 22 away games in the Champions League.

Chelsea's away record against Romanian teams
2008/09 CFR Cluj D 0-0 Champions League group stage
2012/13 Steaua Bucharest L 0-1 Europa League round of 16 first leg


Chelsea's last 10 years in Europe
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
2012/13 - Europa League - winners, having transferred from the Champions League group stage

Last six results
Aug 30 Bayern Munich (Super Cup) lost 4-5 on pens D 2-2
Sep 14 Everton (a) L 0-1
Sep 18 Basel (Champions League h) L 1-2
Sep 21 Fulham (h) W 2-0
Sep 24 Swindon (Capital One Cup a) W 2-0
Sat 28 Tottenham (a) D 1-1


Champions League games since
An away win: 2
An away draw: 3
An away defeat: 0


Chelsea's next three games
Sun 6 Oct Norwich away 1.30pm
Sat 19 Oct Cardiff home 3.00pm
Tue 22 Oct Schalke (Champions League) away 7.45pm



Major honours
24 Romanian league titles, last in 2013
22 Romanian Cups, last in 2011
1 European Cup in 1986
1 European Super Cup in 1986
6 Romanian Super Cups, last in 2013

Steaua Bucharest were the first eastern European team to win the UEFA European Cup (in 1986).

Steaua's National Arena, which has a capacity of 55,200, hosted the 2012 Europa League final between Atlético Madrid and Athletic Bilbao.

Steaua have spent all their history in the Romanian top-flight.

Last ten league seasons
2003/04 - 2nd
2004/05 - 1st
2005/06 - 1st
2006/07 - 2nd
2007/08 - 2nd
2008/09 - 6th
2009/10 - 4th
2010/11 - 5th
2011/12 - 3rd
2012/13 - 1st

Steaua won the Romanian League last season for the first time in seven years, winning 24 of their 34 matches with 79 points, a record 16 clear of runners-up Pandurii Targu Jiu.

Steaua have lost only one of their 16 games this season in all competitions, winning 11. They are undefeated in nine home matches this term.

Steaua's home games against English teams in Europe
1997/98 Aston Villa W 2-1 UEFA Cup third round first leg
1999/00 West Ham  W 2-0 UEFA Cup second round first leg
2003/04 Southampton W 1-0 UEFA Cup first round second leg
2003/04 Liverpool D 1-1 UEFA Cup second round first leg
2005/06 Middlesbrough W 1-0 UEFA Cup semi-final first leg
2007/08 Arsenal L 0-1 Champions League group stage
2010/11 Liverpool D 1-1 Europa League group stage
2012/13 Chelsea W 1-0 Europa League last 16 first leg
2010/11 Liverpool D 1-1 Europa League group stage
2012/13 Chelsea W 1-0 Europa League last 16 first leg


Ten-year European record
2003/04 - UEFA Cup second round
2004/05 - UEFA Cup round of 16
2005/06 - UEFA Cup semi-finals having transferred from the Champions League third qualifying round
2006/07 - UEFA Cup round of 32 having transferred from the Champions League group stage
2007/08 - Champions League group stage
2008/09 - Champions League group stage
2009/10 - Europa League group stage
2010/11 - Europa League group stage
2011/12 - Europa League round of 32
2012/13 - Europa League round of 16


Champions League results
Jul 16 FK Vardar (2nd qual h) W 3-0
Jul 23 FK Vardar (2nd qual a) W 2-1
Jul 30 Dinamo Tbilisi (3rd qual a) W 2-0
Aug 6 Dinamo Tbilisi (3rd qual h) D 1-1
Aug 21 Legia Warsaw (Play off h) D 1-1
Aug 27 Legia Warsaw (Play off a) won on away goals D 2-2
Group E
Sep 18 Schalke (a) L 0-3

European scorers (11): Piovaccari 3, Iancu 2, Bourceanu 1, Latovlevici 1, Pintilii 1, Stanciu 1, Tanase 1, own goal 1


Last six domestic results
Aug 17 CFR Cluj (h) W 3-0
Aug 24 Gaz Metan Medias (a) D 2-2
Sep 14 Sageata Navodari (h) W 5-0
Sep 22  Botosani (a) W 2-1
Sep 26 Avantul Barsana (Cup h) W 4-0
Sep 28 Poli Timisoara (h) W 3-0




Liga 1 top six
Pld Gd Pts
1 Astra 8 +17 19
2 Steaua Bucharest 7 +14 19
3 Petrolul Ploiesti 9 +6 19
4 Botosani 9 +4 18
5 Ceahlaul Piatra Neamt 9 +7 16
6 Pandurii Targu Jiu 9 +4 14


Referee Carlos Velasco Carballo, his two assistant referees and two additional assistants are all from Spain. He previously handled our 2-0 group stage win away to Spartak Moscow in 2010/11, the 2011/12 1-3 round of 16 defeat at Napoli and the 3-2 home victory over Shakhtar Donetsk in the 2012/13 group stage.

There are no suspensions.

Europa League bookings list

Players receive a one-match suspension for collecting three and five yellow cards.
Steaua (3): Bourceanu 1, Cristea 1, Popa 1.
Chelsea (1): Van Ginkel 1.

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Steaua Bucharest v Chelsea


S Bucuresti

  • 12
    Ciprian Tatarusanu
  • 17
    Daniel Georgievski Substitution
  • 4
    Lukas Szukala
  • 6
    Florin Gardos
  • 14
    Iasmin Latovlevici
  • 55
    Alexandru Bourceanu
  • 8
    Lucian Filip
  • 77
    Adrian Popa Substitution
  • 23
    Nicolae Stanciu
  • 10
    Cristian Tanase
  • 25
    Federico Piovaccari Substitution


  • 26
    Ionut Neagu
  • 33
    Fernando Varela Substitution
  • 20
    Leandro Tatu Substitution
  • 11
    Andrei Prepelita
  • 19
    Adrian Cristea
  • 1
    Florin Nita
  • 35
    Pantelis Kapetanos Substitution
Shots on Target
Shots off Target
Most fouls
Yellow Cards
Red Cards


  • 1
    Petr Cech
  • 2
    Branislav Ivanovic
  • 26
    John Terry
  • 4
    David Luiz
  • 3
    Ashley Cole
  • 11
    Substitution Emboaba Oscar
  • 7
    Nascimento Ramires
  • 8
    Frank Lampard
  • 10
    Substitution Juan Mata
  • 9
    Substitution Fernando Torres
  • 14
    Andre Schurrle


  • 29
    Substitution Samuel Eto'o
  • 19
    Demba Ba
  • 23
    Mark Schwarzer
  • 28
    Substitution Cesar Azpilicueta
  • 22
    Substitution da Silva Willian
  • 12
    John Mikel
  • 24
    Gary Cahill


Steaua Bucuresti vs Chelsea Highlights

Video thumbnail Play
Steaua 0-4 Chelsea
Match Highlights from Arena Nacionala
10:32 min


The Champions League campaign is on a steadier footing after a thoroughly deserved away win in Romania.

Ramires scored in each half, with an own-goal sandwiched between the Brazilian's strikes. Frank Lampard completed the scoring in the closing stages.

Jose Mourinho's men were 2-0 up and comfortable just before half-time with the third goal scored shortly after the interval. Steaua had the occasional chance after that, but on a night when the Blues continued the bright passing and movement seen in the second period at White Hart Lane, it was always likely a fourth would come and so it did with two minutes left on the clock.

With the Chelsea Under-19 side winning by the same scoreline in the same city against their equivalents from Steaua, it has been a good visit to Eastern Europe for the west Londoners.

Team News
Jose Mourinho was true to his word at the weekend and selected Juan Mata from the start. With Eden Hazard out injured, the substitute who replaced him during the Spurs game, Andre Schurrle, kept his place, as did Fernando Torres up front.

Oscar completed the attacking quartet with Ramires remaining alongside Lampard behind them. That midfield pair and the defence were the same as in the impressive second half at White Hart Lane.

Steaua made two changes from their away defeat in the first group game. Lucian Filip played in midfield in place of Mihai Pintilii and Federico Piovaccari was preferred to Pantelis Kapetanos as the striker.

First half
Jose Mourinho had more or less labelled this a must-win match even at this early stage of the competition, and it was easy to see why given the pressure that would have built had we not done so ahead of back-to-back matches with Bundesliga side Schalke.

It was also easy to see Chelsea winning on our return to Bucharest given the balance of the opening minutes of this game.

Almost from the off Schurrle embarked on a weaving run that resulted in Mata with the ball at his feet and the keeper to beat. But realising he didn't have the room to work it over Tatarusanu only a couple of yards in front, the Spaniard intelligently spun and laid the ball back to Schurrle. Agonisingly the winger's shot hit a defender with the goalie struggling to regain position.

The bright start was countered by an injury to Fernando Torres who had been struggling since an early challenge. Samuel Eto'o stripped and was ready to come on as Torres had treatment off the pitch, but our no.9 decided he could continue.

Only a couple of minutes later his time was up, as the fourth official's number board signalled the introduction of Eto'o just 10 minutes in.

The roof had remained on the impressive National Arena during the wettest of wet days in the Romanian capital, and the pitch showed no sign of the puddles present during training 24 hours before.

Chelsea were forced to defend when Lampard didn't collect a pass in front of our penalty area from Mata but David Luiz was able to head the eventual cross to safety.

Soon after, the white-kitted Blues went on a counter-attack. The ball was swept out to the left to Schurrle who centred to Eto'o. The scoring chance looked to be the Cameroonian's but when the ball was nicked away from his toes by a defender, it came to Ramires who was able to bundle it in from a couple of yards out. The lead had taken 19 minutes to arrive.

Players celebrate in Steaua

At Tottenham, Mata had come on to play on the right side, but tonight he was more often the central playmaker with Oscar out wider, and he was justifying that by oiling Chelsea moves through some very congested spots. His lifted short pass over the defence on 25 minutes was close to giving Oscar a clear sight of the target. Mata then had shot that stuck under the keeper's body.

Lampard was booked on 32 minutes for a shove near halfway as Steaua were sizing up a counter-attack possibility.

The Romanian league champions were finding it tough to get at the Chelsea defence. Terry and David Luiz were playing the offside well when faced with long balls and the midfield were helping keep the home side at bay.

Highlighting the hard work was Schurrle tracking a run 40 yards back down his flank before dispossessing his opponent, who had only just taken possession of the ball.

When one cross did come over from Popa into the danger zone, Cech was able to help it on its way to safety.

Steaua v Chelsea

A loose touch denied Schurrle a shooting chance after Ramires had shown good vision to find the German in space, but two minutes before the interval we were able to double our lead with a helping foot from Steaua full-back Georgievski. Mata released Eto'o down the inside left channel and although the keeper saved, the defender haring back towards his own goal couldn't help but divert the rebound in.

The 2-0 scoreline was a fair reflection on the first 45 minutes.

Second half
Ashley Cole was booked before five minutes were up for tripping Stanciu; Steaua having counter-attacked following a highly uncharacteristic air shot from Lampard in the sort of position he relishes.

The third goal came four minutes later. Schurrle's running with and without the ball down the left had been a thorn in the home side all night and having just seen one dribble come to nothing, this time after powering past more red and blue shirts he centred to Oscar. The Brazilian had the vision to pick out Ramires's overlapping run for a thumping finish.

Steaua v Chelsea

The football was flowing. Mata rapped the post with Oscar again conjuring the opening but then Steaua had their best effort.

Cech backpeddled to tip a lob from Tanase over the bar but his momentum kept him falling onto the post. That hurt and treatment was needed for the big Czech, but with half an hour to go he was able to continue.

Schurrle went close before at the other end; Stanicu worked Cech and then fired over when the save came back his way.

Steaua v Chelsea

Eto'o, still in search of his first Chelsea goal, connected sweetly with a volley from an acute angle inside the final 15 minutes but unfortunately Tatarusanu was equal to it and saved.

Azpilicueta and Willian were late additions to the action, both in midfield positions and they got forward, but it was Lampard who scored the last goal. Before that Cech made the last save, tipping a long-range shot round the post at full stretch. The corner that followed resulted in a melee in our six-yard box but the clean sheet survived, taking Cech ever closer to Peter Bonetti's club record.

The game had long been over as a contest by the time of that late rally from the Romanians and there was one more chance to show our prowess on the break. Eto'o made an advance on the left of the area and gave the ball to Willian over on the other side. It was laid back to Lampard who found the net with a first-time shot via the inside of the far post.

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech; Ivanovic, D Luiz, Terry (c), Cole; Ramires, Lampard; Oscar (Azpilicueta 78), Mata (Willian 80), Schurrle; Torres (Eto'o 11).
Unused subs Schwarzer, Cahill, Mikel, Ba.
Scorers Ramires 19, 55, Georgievski og 44, Lampard 89.
Lampard 32, Cole 50

Steaua (4-2-3-1): Tatarusanu; Georgievski (Varela 70), Szukala, Gardos, Latovlevici; Bourceanu (c), Filip; Popa (Tatu h/t), Stanciu,Tanase; Piovaccari (Kapetanos h/t).
Unused subs Nita, Prepelita, Neagu, Cristea.

Referee Carlos Velasco Carballo from Spain.
Crowd 36,713

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