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Ba (11)
S Bucuresti
Steaua Bucuresti

Stamford Bridge

Wed 11 Dec 2013 19:45 (Attendance: 40,000)


Following Southampton, Sunderland and Stoke come Steaua. Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton assess the contest with our latest opponents…

Chelsea need a win this evening to make sure of top spot in Group E and a marginally better pot of Champions League Round of 16 opponents when the draw is made on Monday 16 December at 11am. Already confirmed as seeds are Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United, Bayern Munich and the two Madrid sides.

One point would be sufficient for the 2012 champions should Basel fail to win at Schalke. Defeat would definitely mean a runners-up slot for the Blues as a draw in Germany would place Basel on the same points as Chelsea but ahead on head-to-head results.

This is the match in a very busy December that Jose Mourinho wanted his players to put to bed by gaining a point at least in Basel. That was not to be after they registered just one shot on target and Mohamed Salah struck late on, but the Portuguese manager is still likely to reshuffle his team cards tonight.

Steaua have never won in England in European competition. Their eight visits have produced two draws and six defeats.

Visitors Steaua Bucharest only managed a 0-0 stalemate in their last Champions League match at home to Schalke, thereby matching Spartak Moscow's tournament record of 22 games on the spin without a win between 2000 and 2006.

Steaua needed all three points against the Germans to maintain hopes of any form of European football in the spring and now are doomed to bottom slot. The Romanians have drawn six of their last seven games in all competitions, slipping to third in Liga 1, and have nothing to play for in this competition except pride and experience.

Saturday brings a testy trip to Ceahlăul Piatra Neamţ, five points behind the defending champions, and coach Laurențiu Reghecampf may decide his priorities lie in that direction. The players were allowed to bring their partners to London as a treat, so Harrod's might want to stock up on Chelsea kits.

The Romanians' last defeat in any competition was against Chelsea on 1 October on matchday two (pictured below). On the road in Europe, though, they have lost 0-3 to Schalke and drawn 1-1 in Basel.

Ramires scores against Steaua

The Blues are smarting not just from the Swiss miss last time out but also from the club's first league defeat to Stoke for over 38 years on Saturday. Once again inefficiency in front of goal when dominating the game led to problems later on.

Unfortunately the opposition are having no such difficulties hitting the mark. In the last three league games Southampton, Sunderland and Stoke have managed just seven shots on target but every single one has resulted in a goal.

The unusually high ratio of those goals conceded after set-plays - four - also suggests there is work to be done in identifying and clearing danger in the keeper's area.

The only English team still to qualify are Arsenal. The only scenario in which the Gunners would be turfed out of the Champions League tonight is a victory for hosts Napoli by a margin of more than two goals, plus a win for Dortmund at Marseille.

The last team to win the Champions League despite losing twice in the group stage (as Chelsea have done) were AC Milan in 2006/07. In tonight's other Group E fixture, Schalke need a win and Basel at least a draw to join the Pensioners in the knockout phase.

Other Group E fixture
Tue 7.45pm - Schalke v Basel

Champions League Group E table
P W D L F A Pts
Chelsea 5 3 0 2 11 3 9
Basel 5 2 2 1 5 4 8
Schalke 5 2 1 2 4 6 7
Steaua Bucharest 5 0 3 2 2 9 3


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Following the jarring defeat at Stoke and in the middle of a congested schedule across several competitions, Jose Mourinho has promised several personnel changes for tonight's encounter with Steaua Bucharest.

The Blues comfortably won 4-0 away to the Romanians, who will be without their experienced skipper Alexandru Bourceanu because of suspension. The influential defensive midfielder has played every minute up to now and even with him present Steaua were unable to press Chelsea's attacking midfielders and often found themselves stretched to breaking point at the back.

Bourceanu's central midfield partner in that match, Lucian Filip, suffered a broken leg a few weeks ago and will also miss out.

With qualification for the first knockout round of the Champions League already secured, Mourinho can rest two or three regular starters ahead of Saturday's visit of Crystal Palace and the Capital One Cup trip to Sunderland four days later.

Any changes will not reduce the quality of the side by much - just ask Arsene Wenger, whose team were beaten 2-0 on home soil in the Capital One Cup by a supposed 'second string' from west London.

Definitely returning is left-back Ashley Cole, prevented from playing since 2 November, first by a rib injury then the form of Cesar Azpilicueta, who may revert to his more familiar post at right-back. Branislav Ivanovic, the only outfield to have started every Premier League and Champions League game to date, could sit this one out.


Frank Lampard and Petr Cech have also been involved in all 20 matches of the two competitions, with John Terry and Ramires absent for just one European outing and Eden Hazard and Oscar not far behind.

Oscar and his compatriot David Luiz, absent for the same period as Cole, have returned to training and could well figure against the Liga 1 leaders who go into the game knowing they will finish last in Group E.

Andre Schurrle is a doubt as he was taken off at the Britannia Stadium at the weekend with a knock. Chelsea's pace and quality in attack was difficult for Steaua to handle back in October and the German played a key role.

Head coach Laurențiu Reghecampf bemoaned the naivety of his side, who conceded two goals in each half. Their right-back Daniel Georgievski in particular endured a torrid evening against Schurrle, capping his display with an own goal before being subbed. He has recently made way for Andrei Prepeliţă, usually a midfielder.

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This is only our second ever competitive meeting against Steaua at Stamford Bridge. The previous occasion was in last season's Europa League Round of 16, our second tie in the competition en route to success in the final.

The Romanians brought a 1-0 lead to London and protected it for half an hour. After 33 minutes Juan Mata levelled the tie after exchanging passes with Ramires.

Ten minutes later the visitors threw progress into doubt by scoring after a corner, through Vlad Chiriches (now of Tottenham) just before the break. That away goal meant Chelsea now needed at least two more to go through.

Steaua began to give away fouls in dangerous areas and from one those Mata picked out John Terry, who headed in off the post.

John Terry scores against Steaua

The Spaniard also had a key role in Chelsea's third, cutting in a curling a purposeful pass towards Eden Hazard. The Belgian, though, stepped over the ball, allowing it to reach the lurking Fernando Torres.

The centre-forward created an opening and fired low into the goal. He should have had a second before the game ended when Hazard was fouled in the area but his spot-kick scudded off the crossbar. Never the less the 3-1 victory was enough to secure a quarter-final place.



Our other meetings
7 March 2013 Europa League Round of 16 first leg
Steaua Bucharest ….1 Chelsea…..……..……0
Rusescu 34 pen
                    Att: 50,016

1 October 2013 Champions League group stage
Steaua Bucharest ….0 Chelsea…..……..……4
                                     Ramires 19, 55
                                     Georgievski own goal 44
                                     Lampard 89
                    Att: 36,713

Chelsea's biggest home win in the Champions League
05/12/2012 - Chelsea 6-1 Nordsjaelland - Group stage

Steaua's biggest away in the European Cup/Champions League
07/09/1988 - Sparta Prague 1-5 Steaua - First round, first leg

Chelsea last played Steaua Bucharest at Stamford Bridge: 272
Steaua lost: 71
Arsenal won a trophy: 3,126
Liverpool won the league: 8,621


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Chelsea have conceded seven shots on target in our last three games against Southampton, Sunderland and Stoke - all have been goals

The Blues have topped our group in eight of our 11 Champions League campaigns. In 1999/2000 there were two group stages where we were runners-up in the second one. Last season was the first time we failed to progress to the knockout stage.

The Blues have a 71 per cent win record in home group Champions League games.

We have lost only three of our last 38 home Champions League matches (including 27 victories) since 2006.

Only Bayern Munich have conceded fewer than Chelsea's three in five group matches this term.

Chelsea's home record against Romanian teams
2008/09 CFR Cluj W 2-1 Champions League group stage
2012/13 Steaua Bucharest W 3-1 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
Nov 9 West Brom (h) D 2-2
Nov 23 West Ham (a) W 3-0
Nov 26 Basel (Champions League a) L 0-1
Dec 1 Southampton (h) W 3-1
Dec 4 Sunderland (a) W 4-3
Dec 7 Stoke (a) L 2-3


Champions League scorers (11)
Eto'o 2, Ramires 2, Torres 2, Ba 1, Hazard 1, Lampard 1, Oscar 1, own goals 1

European games since
A home win: 0
A home draw: 5
A home defeat: 1


Chelsea's next three games
Sat 14 Dec Crystal Palace home 3.00pm
Tue 17 Dec Sunderland (Capital One Cup) away 7.45pm
Mon 23 Dec Arsenal away 8.00pm


If selected, Branislav Ivanovic will make his 50th European appearance for Chelsea.


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 East European team to win the European Cup (in 1986)

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 runner-up Pandurii Targu Jiu.

Steaua have not won for 22 games in the Champions League proper, a run that has lasted seven years. Their failure to beat Schalke on matchday five equalled the longest Champions League run without a win set by Spartak Moscow between 2000 and 2006.

Steaua have lost only two of their 29 games this season in all competitions, winning 16. They are undefeated in 12 games in all competitions since the Chelsea defeat on 1 October. Their other reverse was at Schalke two weeks earlier.

Steaua's away games against English teams in Europe
1997/98 Aston Villa L 0-1 UEFA Cup third round first leg (agg 2-3)
1999/00 West Ham D 0-0 UEFA Cup second round first leg (agg 2-0)
2003/04 Southampton D 1-1 UEFA Cup first round second leg (agg 2-1)
2003/04 Liverpool L 1-0 UEFA Cup second round first leg (agg 1-2)
2005/06 Middlesbrough L 2-4 UEFA Cup semi-final first leg (agg 3-4)
2007/08 Arsenal L 1-2 Champions League group stage
2010/11 Liverpool L 1-4 Europa League group stage
2012/13 Chelsea L 1-3 Europa League last 16 first leg (agg 2-3)


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
Oct 10 Chelsea (h) L 0-4
Oct 22 Basel (h) D 1-1
Nov 6 Basel (a) D 1-1
Nov 26 Schalke (h) D 0-0


European scorers (13): Piovaccari 4, Iancu 2, Bourceanu 1, Latovlevici 1, Pintilii 1, Stanciu 1, Tanase 1, Tatu 1, own goal 1

Last six domestic results
Oct 30 Poli Timisoara (Cup h) W 2-0
Nov 2 Corona Brasov (a) D 1-1
Nov 23 Pandurii Targu Jiu (a) D 1-1
Dec 1 Petrolul Ploiesti (h) D 1-1
Dec 5 Otelul Galati (Cup h) W 2-0
Dec 8 Otelul Galati (a) D 1-1



Liga 1 top six
Pld Gd Pts
1 Astra 16 +26 38
2 Petrolul Ploiesti 17 +15 34
3 Steaua Bucharest 14 +20 32
4 Pandurii Targu Jiu 17 +17 31
5 Dinamo Bucharest 17 +8 28
6 Ceahlaul Piatra Neamt 17 +4 27

Referee Gianluca Rocchi, his two assistants and two additional assistants are from Italy. He was in charge at the Bridge when we beat Valencia 3-0 in 2011 and Rubin Kazan were seen off 3-1 in last season's Europa League quarter-final.


Steaua captain Alexandru Bourceanu is suspended after reaching three yellow cards.

Europa League bookings list:
Players receive a one-match suspension for collecting three and five yellow cards
Steaua (11): Bourceanu 3, Piovaccari 2, Szukala 2, Cristea 1, Gardos 1, Georgievski 1, Popa 1.
Chelsea (6): Cahill 1, Cole 1, Lampard 1, Mikel 1, Ramires 1, Van

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Chelsea v Steaua Bucharest



  • 23
    Mark Schwarzer
  • 2
    Branislav Ivanovic
  • 4
    David Luiz
  • 26
    John Terry
  • 3
    Ashley Cole
  • 11
    Emboaba Oscar Substitution
  • 12
    John Mikel Substitution
  • 8
    Frank Lampard
  • 22
    da Silva Willian Substitution
  • 19
    Demba Ba
  • 17
    Eden Hazard


  • 7
    Nascimento Ramires Substitution
  • 15
    Kevin De Bruyne Substitution
  • 24
    Gary Cahill
  • 10
    Juan Mata
  • 14
    Andre Schurrle Substitution
  • 9
    Fernando Torres
  • 1
    Petr Cech
Shots on Target
Shots off Target
Most fouls
Yellow Cards
Red Cards

S Bucuresti

  • 12
    Ciprian Tatarusanu
  • 17
    Daniel Georgievski
  • 4
    Lukas Szukala
  • 6
    Florin Gardos
  • 14
    Iasmin Latovlevici
  • 7
    Alexandru Chipciu
  • 80
    Gabriel Iancu
  • 5
    Substitution Mihai Pintilii
  • 23
    Substitution Nicolae Stanciu
  • 22
    Paul Parvulescu
  • 35
    Substitution Pantelis Kapetanos


  • 20
    Substitution Leandro Tatu
  • 1
    Florin Nita
  • 25
    Substitution Federico Piovaccari
  • 19
    Adrian Cristea
  • 11
    Substitution Andrei Prepelita
  • 33
    Fernando Varela
  • 26
    Ionut Neagu

Chelsea vs Steaua Bucuresti Highlights

Video thumbnail Play
Chelsea 1-0 Steaua Bucharest
Match Highlights from Stamford Bridge
10:2 min


A steady if unspectacular victory courtesy of Demba Ba's early goal means Chelsea finish group stage winners for the ninth time in our 12 Champions League campaigns.

Opportunities for more goals were few, although Branislav Ivanovic was denied by good goalkeeping and Ba another goal by wayward finishing. Steaua, who set a new record tonight for most consecutive Champions League games without a victory, wasted one gilt-edged chance shortly after the goal but that apart did not look likely to get back into the match.

Team News
Jose Mourinho spoke before the game of the need to rest players but still win the game and he set out to do that by making seven changes from the defeat at Stoke.

Mark Schwarzer at 41 years of age played the first Champions League game of his career and ahead of the goalkeeper, Ashley Cole returned to defence, as did David Luiz who was over injury, just like his countryman Oscar who was also back. Willian, ill and unavailable at the weekend, and Eden Hazard were the wide players with Ba leading the attack.

First half
Prior to kick off, and in common with other European games this week, a banner was displayed in front of the two teams before kick-off in tribute to Nelson Mandela, with applause around the stadium greeting it.

Chelsea v Steaua

Two minutes into the game, there was almost a positive start manufactured in Brazil but David Luiz didn't connect cleanly enough when Willian's corner dropped at his feet. Then Willian fed Oscar through the middle but his shot bent the wrong way and went wide.

Chelsea were quickly on top and Lampard blasted a ball from wide into the crowded goalmouth but didn't get the favourable touch he was seeking,

There was corner after corner in the opening stages, and it was Demba Ba who made one count after just nine minutes for his second Champions League goal of the season. Willian took it from the right and Oscar headed on towards the target, with Ba able to bundle it over the line having reacted better than Daniel Georgievski. There was a suspicion the Steaua defender might have scored himself which would have added to the own-goal he netted when the two teams met in Romania in October, but it was confirmed by UEFA as belonging to the Chelsea striker before half-time.

One goal to the good in the quest for top spot, Chelsea should have been punished by Gabriel Iancu soon after but the midfielder shot wide with only Schwarzer to beat, our defence having been opened up too easily by a simple pass down the middle.

Mikel was booked for pulling back Iancu inside the opening 20 minutes as the Romanian again slipped in goal-side, but from that point on until the interval, there was nothing more to worry about, apart from getting the insurance of a second goal given what had happened in recent games.

It took lightning reactions from Steaua keeper Tatarusanu to prevent Ivanovic celebrating his 50th Chelsea European game with a goal, when the right-back got a firm header onto a Hazard ball in.

Chelsea v Steaua

After a spell of midfield combat, Chelsea next advanced with a chip into the middle from Willian, much involved in this opening half, but Ba had strayed marginally offside. Then Lampard took a pop from 35 yards but cleared the bar by a couple.

Ba was again causing chaos inside the six-yard box on 37 minutes as another corner came in, but amongst the scramble the ref spotted a foul. Cole then warmed the keeper's hands on a chilly night with a grasscutter of a shot.

Second half
Dan Petrescu, a hero for both sets of fans, was given a fitting reception as he was walked round the pitch at half-time as special guest, and it was a successor to the Chelsea no. 2 shirt, Ivanovic, who was booked soon after the restart for a late tackle. That looked a little harsh, unlike the card given to Georgievski moments later for sliding in on Cole.

Ba should have doubled the lead and his tally on 51 minutes as he ran onto Willian's good pass into the six-yard box, but half-volleyed over.

Two-thirds of the way through the game, Georgievski took his turn to win a contest with Ba as Hazard fired the ball in from wide from an attack started by Mikel. Ba was certainly getting into dangerous positions.

There was a low intensity to this half. The Blues tried to stretch the opposition by moving the ball wide when the chance was there, and Hazard headed over from close range after Schurrle, recently introduced into the action for Oscar, had caused panic in the Steaua defensive ranks.

Chelsea v Steaua

Schwarzer dealt comfortably with a Steaua shot from an angle soon after - the first opposition shot on target in four games that hadn't resulted in a goal. It was proving a gentle introduction to Champions League football for the Australian.

Ramires and Kevin De Bruyne were introduced in place of Mikel and Willian for the closing stages. The Belgian almost found Ba in front of the target but a sliding defender intervened, and then the Chelsea centre-forward had the ball in the net seconds later, only for the offside rule to frustrate him again.

Chelsea conceded our first corner of the night in stoppage time at the end. It was safely negotiated and the ref ended the match soon after.

With Schalke beating Basel in the other game in Group E, a draw at Stamford Bridge would have been enough for top spot but the win looked likely throughout tonight's match, and we will find out our next opponents in this competition when the draw is made on Monday.

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Schwarzer; Ivanovic, D Luiz, Terry (c), Cole; Mikel (Ramires 74), Lampard; Willian (De Bruyne 79), Oscar (Schurrle 66), Hazard; Ba.
Unused subs Cech, Cahill, Mata, Torres.
Scorer Ba 9.
Booked Mikel 20, Ivanovic 47.

Steaua (4-1-4-1): Tatarusanu; Georgievski, Szukala, Gardos, Latovlevici; Pintilii (c) (Tatu 63); Chipciu, Stanciu (Prepelita 60), Iancu, Pirvulescu; Kapetanos (Piovaccari 70).
Unused subs Nita, Cristea, Neagu, Varela
Booked Georgievski 50, Latovlevici 78.

Referee Gianluca Rocchi of Italy.
Crowd 41,181


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Matchday Programme


Last week at Swansea we worked hard, created a lot of chances to score and eventually we got the goal we needed to leave a difficult place with three points...

SUNDERLAND - 19/4/14 - JT

We have got four games to go and four victories is a must for us to win the league...


We have another big derby game today...

ARSENAL - 22/3/14 - JT

What a great night Tuesday was...


Before we talk about Galatasaray and Didier's return, I want to say how gutted we were to lose three points at Villa on Saturday evening...


Tonight, we return to the Champions League and we, like Manchester United, find ourselves in a difficult position, where we are left to defend English football in Europe...


At the moment, we are top of the league with three points more than Manchester City - or the same points if they win their game in hand...

EVERTON - 22/2/14 - JT

We go into this game top of the league and, with our match being the early kick-off this weekend, a win here against Everton is vital...


Are you happy with our players' performance at Manchester City? If so, show them today!


Monday night was a brilliant performance and a great result for us...


Tonight we go into a difficult game against West Ham understanding the importance of ensuring we take three points from this London derby...

WEST HAM UNITED- 29/01/14 - JT

After a good win over Stoke in the FA Cup, we come back to the league today with a London derby and we are determined to keep our winning streak going now...


Today, we play against the champions. We don't play against a team that is 11 points away from the leaders, we play versus Manchester United...

MAN UNITED - 19/01/14 - JT

We are back at Stamford Bridge today after three away games on the spin, from which we've picked up three important wins...