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EUROPA LEAGUE Ro16 1st LEG: Chelsea surprised by Steaua Bucharest

Chelsea are on the back foot following their Europa League Round of 16 first leg against Steaua Bucharest.

The reigning European champions were beaten 1-0 by the Romanian club in the National Arena and will now need to drastically improve their output at Stamford Bridge next week if they want to progress.

Rafael Benitez's side were extremely lacklustre against the Romanian league leaders who were served by Raul Rusescu's first-half penalty and will head to Southwest London with plenty of confidence.

Chelsea looked to operate on the counter but were unable to cause much damage as Steaua were awarded a spot-kick in the 34th minute when Ryan Bertrand pulled down Rusescu in the area before he picked himself up to slot home under Petr Cech.

Blues defenders John Terry and David Luiz were kept fairly busy by the Steaua attack but the visitors did have some opportunities of their own later, however, they were wasteful.

Benitez will be urging his side to snap out of that uninspiring mindset as they prepare for the FA Cup quarter-final with Manchester United on Sunday ahead of the return bout against Steaua at homer next week.

2012/13 UEFA Europa League - Round of 16 first leg

Steaua Bucharest (ROM): 1 (Raul Rusescu (p) 34') Chelsea (ENG): 0

National Arena, Bucharest - 45,000

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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