Chelsea produced an efficient display to comfortably beat Rubin Kazan 3-1 in their Europa League quarter-final first leg game at Stamford Bridge on Thursday evening, courtesy of two goals from Fernando Torres.
The hosts took the lead early on after Fernando Torres poked home from inside the area after collecting a superb pass from David Luiz, and they had a second before the break after Victor Moses smashed a fantastic hit on the half-volley right into the top corner,
However, the visitors pulled one back after Terry was adjudged to have blocked a Christian Ansaldi shot with his arm, leaving Natcho to dispatch the penalty, before Torres managed to grab his second of the evening and Chelsea’s third after climbing highest in the box to nod home Juan Mata’s accurate delivery from the left.
Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez made six changes from the side that beat Manchester United in the FA Cup clash on Monday, with Branislav Ivanovic, Ashley Cole, John Mikel Obi, Oscar, Eden Hazard and Demba Ba making way for Torres, Terry, Frank Lampard,Ryan Bertand, Torres and Moses while Yossi Benayoun was handed a rare start.
Rubin Kazan manager Kurban Berdyev was without France international Yann M’Vila due to injury, while the competition’s second highest goalscorer Jose Salomon Rondon started on the bench alongside former Chelsea youngster Gokhan Tore, with Vladimir Dyadun handed the task of leading the line.
After a slow start from both sides, before Torres handed the hosts the lead in the 16th minute after bundling home inside the six yard box after latching on to a magnificent long pass from Luiz.
Shortly after the goal, a mazy run from Bertrand, during which he beat four men, saw his clipped goal-bound effort cleared off the line by Sharonov with the goalkeeper beaten as the game started to awaken from its early slumber.
Following a flowing move which saw Sergei Ryzhikov tip away a Torres header, Chelsea kept the move alive with Benayoun working the ball inside the box to Moses, who let fly with a vicious striker into the top corner in the 32nd minute to double the team’s advantage.
The visitors managed to pull a goal back before the break, though, when a Ansaldi strike hit Terry’s arm inside the box in the 41st minute before Natcho stepped up to send Petr Cech the wrong way from the penalty spot.
Chelsea started the second half in the ascendancy again, though, with only a wonderful save from Ryzhikov keeping the scores the same as he got down low to tip away a fizzing Mata strike after a superb move involving Ruiz and Ramires.
With the Russian outfit offering little to no threat going forward, Chelsea extended their lead in the 70th minute with Torres grabbing his second of the evening, after he powerfully headed home Mata’s excellent delivery from the left in the 70th minute.
Despite a number of efforts from distance, Chelsea were unable to add a fourth and any extra gloss to what represented a surprisingly serene evening against a more than accommodating opponent.