Rubin Kazan v Chelsea – as it happened

Chelsea made hard work of things in Russia but still qualified for the semi-finals without too much drama

Right, that's it from me. Be sure to stick around on site for the report and reaction, plus live MBM coverage of Tottenham and Newcastle's attempts to join Chelsea in the last four. But from here, cheerio!

A slightly shambolic way for Chelsea to reach Friday's semi-final draw in the end. It was perfectly comfortable but it should have been a far more relaxed and authoritative experience.

PEEP! PEEP!! PEEEEEEEP!!! Chelsea have survived.

90+3 min: Chelsea have one minute to survive.

90+2 min: Chelsea have two minutes to survive.

90+1 min: Oscar kicks the ball away after the referee blows for a free-kick. Chelsea have three minutes to survive.

90 min: Fine defending from Moses and Natcho chips in towards Kaleshin. Another corner is swung in, but Lampard puts his laces through it.

89 min: Ake sloppily gives away possession in midfield, but the home side can't take advantage.

87 min: Marcano becomes the first player to have his name taken tonight after a trip on Torres so cynical it has its own blog and Twitter account.


86 min: … cleared.

85 min: Terry finds himself rumbling forward down the right. He hands over to Lampard, who looks to put the livewire Oscar through. Navas concedes the corner …

84 min: Eremenko lets fly from distance. It bobbles wide. The confirmed attendance: 18,000 and a bit.

82 min: … which the home side deal with comfortably.

81 min: Oscar, on for Benayoun, wriggles forward and wins a corner.

80 min: Ansaldi – he's a proper talent this guy – works space on the left and lofts a cross right onto Rondon's head. He's a yard or more above Ferreira and really should score but he can only plant his header straight at Cech.

79 min: The hugely impressive Ansaldi charges forward and then pulls the ball back for Dyadyun, who wangs a shot into the side netting from a good 30 yards.

77 min: Rubin still need two more, so there's no need for Chelsea to panic just yet.

76 min: Ryazantsev had flopped to the turf in front of Azpilicueta to win the penalty, but it was after the lightest of light touches. That's two soft penalties in two legs for Rubin.

GOAL! Rubin Kazan 3-2 Chelsea (Natcho 75)

Natcho calmly tucks it high past Cech.


And it's softer than Mr Soft's soft underbelly.

72 min: "The Rubin manager seems to be holding a set of worry beads," notes john Tumbridge, "and yet has the most impressive stone face since Buster Keaton." They're prayer beads apparently. He always has them in the technical area. [INSERT YOUR OWN "WELL, RUBIN-NEED-DIVINE-INTERVENTION" LINE HERE]

70 min: Azpilicueta makes an important interception as Karedeniz's cross almost sneaks its way through to the scurrying Kasaev.

69 min: Kasaev, who essentially has the build of an early 90s Maradona (which is no bad thing: we need more body shape variety in the game), muscles Terry out from underneath a high ball and gives away a free-kick.

67 min: Moses skitters away down the Chelsea left but gets himself into a tangle and gives away a throw-in.

66 min: Chelsea seem to have completely forgotten how to defend crosses.

65 min: … and it's so, so nearly 3-2! Chelsea clear the initial ball, but Ansaldi delivers it back in to find Marcano on his own eight yards out. This time, though, he guides his header the wrong side of Cech's post.

64 min: Mikel concedes a free-kick, maybe 35-yards out …

GOAL! Rubin Kazan 2-2 Chelsea (Karedeniz 62)

Ansaldio gets to the byline on the left flank and swings in a pretty hopeful looking cross, but the Rubin captain is allowed to run off Ake and nods home from close range? They couldn't, could they?*

*No, they couldn't.

61 min: And that's Ramires's last action. On comes the Europa League-loving Mikel John Obi.


60 min: Torres rampages forward briefly then leaves the ball behind for Ramires. The Brazilian's shot is skewed well wide, though.

59 min: So, as it stands, Rubin need to score four more. I'm going to stick my neck out and say Chelsea should be fine here.

57 min: Kasaev looks to wriggle space in the Chelsea box but defenders swarm the forward.

GOAL! Rubin Kazan 1-2 Chelsea (Moses 55)

And a fine goal it is too. On the edge of the box it's Lampard, Moses, Ramires, Moses and a lovely curled finish.

53 min: There's a bit more oomph about Rubin now. Chelsea look to draw the sting with some possession football.

GOAL! Rubin Kazan 1-1 Chelsea (Marcano 51)

Well, well, well. The corner is taken short and swung in from the angle by Orbaiz. Marcano thunders in and leaps highest, steering his header beyond Cech. Game on?

50 min: Rondon battles furiously with Terry inside the Chelsea area and the Venezuelan gets the better of it initially. Terry recovers. Corner …

48 min: Kasaev looks to have a bit about him, but he can't get the better of Azpilicueta. (I'm a poet, I just don't know it).

47 min: Torres takes an uncomfortable whack on the mask. He seems OK to continue, though.

46 min: A couple of scares apart, Chelsea held the home side at arm's length in the first half. Rubin could really do with an early goal here, just to give themselves a strand of hope.

PEEP AGAIN!!! Off we go once more. Rubin have made a change: Kaleshin replaces Kuzmin.

PEEP! And that's the last action of an entirely satisfactory half for Chelsea.

45 min: FINE SAVE! Natcho sand-wedges a dinked pass behind the Chelsea backline to put Karadeniz in. He pokes across goal but Cech gets down superbly to tip the ball away.

44 min: Torres and Moses exchange a couple of quick passes as the game momentarily gets beyond walking pace, but the Spaniard's pass is too firm.

43 min: Moses charges away down the left and finds the central Torres. He can't quite escape the attentions of Marcano and Ansaldi, who just about manage to smuggle the ball away.

41 min: Chelsea have parked the bus very effectively here. Torres looks to take the handbrake off and the Blues break, but Lampard can't deliver from the byline.

39 min: Rubin are passing more than a village idiot on Mastermind, but they're struggling for any incision whatsoever.

37 min: Rubin are doing their best to build some momentum. Kasaev has a blast at goal that rattles away of a pair of Chelsea shins.

36 min: Ansaldi – the left-back who looked pretty useful in the first leg – overhits a cross and chunters to himself angrily.

34 min: Kasaev tippy-toes into the box, then cleverly backheels to Eremenko. He passes the ball goalwards, but it's an effort that would struggle to win a test of strength with a day old kitten.

33 min: Kuzmin smites a ball into the box and Rondon, who seems to be getting nothing but chest-high service at the moment, attempts to bring the ball down. He can't.

32 min: Moses picks the ball up on the left and skips past Kuzmin. But from a decent position he can't pick anyone out with the cross.

30 min: Rondon chests down in the box … then volleys well wide under pressure from Terry.

29 min: For a change, Chelsea enjoy a little possession in the Rubin half.

28 min: Benayoun skitters down the right and looks to find Torres, making a run in the inside right channel. But the pass is heavier than a tractor with Mastodon on the stereo.

26 min: Azpilicueta's clearance from near the corner flag only goes as far as Kasaev on the edge of the box – but his cross is woeful.

24 min: The pattern: Rubin have the ball and ping a few passes from right to left. Chelsea sit deep and hold an excellent shape. Rubin pass backwards. Chelsea continue to sit deep and hold an excellent shape. Rubin attempt hopeful pass forward. Cech collects.

23 min: Eremenko pings a high ball in the vague direction of Rondon, but it's all the way through to Cech.

22 min: "Might I add that all Mexican wrestlers seem to have a dramatic improvement in form when they put their masks on," writes Alex Adams. "Rey Mysterio Jr. and Nacho Libre spring immediately to mind." Didn't really work for Hulk Hogan, though.

21 min: Neat interplay between Rondon, Natcho and Karadeniz, sees the Venezuelan striker lash a shot at goal, but he drags it well wide.

19 min: Stat.

18 min: A lovely little flick from Eremenko gives Kasaev some space down the Rubin left, but they manage to bungle it out for a Chelsea throw. The home side really haven't got themselves going.

17 min: "Richard Hamilton (NBA) wore a mask for his whole career, although that was more of a Peter Cech scenario," writes Benjamin Stormo. There's Edgar Davids too, but again that's due to his eye condition.

16 min: … Lampard whips it in, Kuzmin nods clear, but someone had strayed offside regardless.

15 min: Moses is tripped out on the Chelsea left. Free-kick, 30-odd yards from goal …

13 min: Some neat football from Rubin gets Natcho in space 30 yards out but he opts against having a dip (I'm here all week, remember to tip your waitress) and haplessly foot-fumbles the ball into Chelsea's possession.

12 min: Lampard loops a cross into the Rubin box, which Ryzhikov slightly nervously watches plop over the bar.

10 min: Here's a question: has any player forced to wear some sort of protective gear had such a dramatic improvement in form that they've continued to wear it for the rest of their career after recovering from the injury? Surely Torres will never be allowed to remove this mask …

9 min: Kuzmin gets forward from right-back but his cross only finds the fuzzy barnet of Ake.

8 min: "Just reiterating the usual question these days. Who is the man in the mask and what has he done with Fernando Torres?" writes Luke Garratt. "Bet he wishes all keepers came out like that though, no time to fumble on the ball." I have a theory that it's actually a time-travelling 2006 Fernando Torres, who's wearing the mask so we can't see his youthful features.

7 min: So as it stands Rubin need to score three to force this into extra-time. But you feel they're certain to concede again.

GOAL! Rubin Kazan 0-1 Chelsea (Torres 5)

And Chelsea extract full punishment. Lampard sweeps a superb first-time ball behind the Rubin back four to put Torres through. Ryzhikov comes charging off his line like some sort of sugar-crazed toddler and, from more than 30 yards out, the Spaniard dinks a wonderful volley over the keeper.


4 min: BIG CHANCE! And it's cleared off the line by John Terry! Karadeniz gets to the byline and pokes to Rondon, who gives the ball back to his captain. He passes low to find Eremenko with a clear shot at goal, but his effort is cleared.

3 min: Rondon looks to chest the ball down on the edge of the box, but David Luiz is quickly out to meet him.

2 min: Rubin control possession early on. Natcho looking to direct things from deep.

1 min: Interesting noise effect in the early stages – it sounds like there's a match going on nextdoor.

Peep! Off we go then. Chelsea get their 58th match of the season under way.

Click-clack, click-clack …

… out come the players. As they line up for the Europa League anthem, it is noticable that Nathan Ake has stolen David Luiz's hair. If they go up for a header together at some point we may have a velcro situation.

A reminder: history beckons

If the Blues can battle their way to victory in the Europa League they'll become the first club in the history of the game to be the reigning European Cup and Uefa Cup holders at the same time. And it's an honour that will last for a week, at which point Barcelona beat Dortmund in the Champions League final and take one of Chelsea's crowns.

They would also become the fourth side to win all three major continental honours, joining Juventus, Ajax and Bayern München on that list.

Here's Rafa in the tunnel …

"Ake is doing well with us in training. It's the sort of game that you need energy … it's an opportunity for him."

A bit of light pre-match reading

The Luzhniki is a lovely looking stadium, with the Moskva River flowing past nearby. It should probably have featured in this old Knowledge – Which football stadium is closest to water? Mind you, it's no Petrovsky

Tonight's teams

Rubin Kazan: Ryzhikov, Kuzmin, Marcano, Cesar Navas, Ansaldi, Karadeniz, Orbaiz, Natcho, Kasaev, Roman Eremenko, Rondon. Subs:
Arlauskis, Ryazantsev, Kisliak, Kaleshin, Dyadyun, Tore, Sharonov.
Chelsea: Cech, Azpilicueta, Terry, Luiz, Ferreira, Ramires, Ake, Moses, Lampard, Benayoun, Torres. Subs: Turnbull, Ivanovic, Mata, Oscar, Mikel, Hazard, Marin.
Referee: Firat Aydinus (Turkey)

So 18-year-old Nathan Ake gets his second senior start for the visitors, most likely in defensive midfield. José Salomón Rondón, Rubin's leading scorer in the competition, starts for the home side after being stuck on the bench initially at Stamford Bridge.


Late afternoon/early evening all. And welcome to the first leg of today's Europa League marathon. There could well be fireworks later on, but it's hard to see this as being anything other than comfortable for Chelsea. Rubin's goal at Stamford Bridge at means that an away goal for Rafa Benítez's side doesn't kill the game off, but the Russians were not particularly impressive in west London, a 20-minute spell either side of half-time apart.

Rubin will have to hope that the ghost of European ties past comes seeping up from the artificial turf at the Luzhniki Stadium to give Chelsea the raging heebie-jeebies. This is a return to this ground that saw That Penalty Miss in the 2008 Champions League final, but it'll be an ever-so-slightly different atmosphere this evening. With the pitch at Rubin's home ground judged unfit for football, this is being played 500 miles from Kazan. So the ground isn't exactly heaving …


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