BERTRAND: GREAT EXPECTATIONS

Posted on: Fri 22 Feb 2013

After seeing him come off the bench to secure our place in the last 16 of the Europa League with a brilliant late strike, Ryan Bertrand paid tribute to Eden Hazard.

The Belgian replaced Oscar midway through the second half against Sparta Prague, and with the Blues trailing 1-0 on the night, and the game heading for extra-time, he produced a magnificent finish with virtually the last kick of the game to set up a clash with Steaua Bucharest.

'We started the game well and their goal came as a surprise to everyone, but we said to each other on the pitch that we needed to forget about it and move on,' said the 23-year-old.

'The most important thing was winning the tie, we left it late but we did it in the end.

'It was a fantastic goal by a fantastic player and it came as no surprise to any of us, it was a great display from Eden personally.'

The young left-back completed the full 90 minutes in both games against the Czech outfit, and admitted that while he was always confident of progressing, the visitors had caused us problems, particularly on the break.

'I never thought we would lose, but it's just a case of making sure we didn't let them get a second sucker punch,' he explained.

'They hit us a few times on the counter-attack, so we had to make sure we concentrated and nullified that threat.'

We now face Steaua Bucharest in the last 16 of the competition, with the advantage of playing the second leg at Stamford Bridge once again.

As Bertrand acknowledged, however, the Romanian side showed their quality by overcoming Ajax against the odds.

'For them to take a 2-0 deficit back home and overturn it proves it will be a hard place to go to. It will be a difficult game but it's one we'll hope to do well in,' he said.

'We've got the Europa League and FA Cup. A club like Chelsea expects silverware year in, year out and we'll do our best.'