Rubin Kazan vs. Chelsea
Having had a poor game at Stamford Bridge in London, Rubin hoped they would be able turn the scores around when Chelsea were scheduled to visit on April 11th. Rafael Benitez’ side hoped to score a few away goals, however, and as it turned out, they would do it first!
The first half started just as Chelsea would have wanted it to. A defensive and goalkeeping error saw Fernando Torres find the net in only the 5th minute. Well assisted by Frank Lampard, all Torres had to do was just aim over Ryzhikov and the Spanish striker managed to to just that. This early goal, however encouraging for the visitors, also acted as a wake-up call to the hosts who looked to find the net quite a few times before the half-time whistle was blown. Fernando Torres’ brilliant goal inside just 5 minutes was what, up to this point, separated the two sides on the night. The aggregate score, at this point, was 4-1 to Chelsea.
Kurban Berdyev decided Oleg Kuzmin would make way for Vitali Kaleshin as the sides came out for the second half. It seemed Berdyev’s half-time prayers were starting to be answered as his side found their first goal just 6 minutes into the half. A great header into the net by Ivan Marcano (all from a Gokdeniz Karadeniz corner and helped out by a Pablo Orbaiz cross) restored the home side’s hopes. Their joy wouldn’t last long, however, as Chelsea went ahead yet again just 4 minutes after that, courtesy of a great Victor Moses goal. Ramires provided the assist and the home side now had to work even harder if they were to go through to the semis.
The second half was just filled with quick goals from both sides, with the third second-half goal coming just 7 minutes after the second. Ramires had just made way for John Obi Mikel, and the latter had been on just 2 minutes when Gokdeniz Karadeniz leveled things for his side, assisted by Cristian Ansaldi. It was 2 goals from 2 headers for the home side, and with 27 minutes still to play, they were starting to believe it was possible to overturn the aggregate which now read Rubin Kazan 3-5 Chelsea.
13 minutes later, Rubin Kazan were awarded yet another penalty (as they had been in the first leg of this tie). Cesar Azpilicueta had committed a foul on Aleksandr Ryazantsev inside the penalty area and the resulting penalty was well-taken by 25-year-old Israeli midfielder, Bibras Natkho. It was now 4-5 on aggregate and all it would have taken Rubin was 2 goals from this point. Fortunately for Chelsea, however, and unfortunately for them, they weren’t able to score even one of those goals, and it ended Rubin Kazan 3-2 Chelsea. The English side had managed to get past their Russian hosts, who had given them quite a scare!
Statistic-wise, Rubin Kazan had a total of 20 attempts against Chelsea’s 8. Chelsea were 50% on target, while Rubin were only 35% on target. Each side picked up 1 yellow card on the night. No players were sent off during this game.
Kurban Berdyev and Rafael Benitez lined up the following squads:
Rubin Kazan Starting XI
Ryzhikov, Ansaldi, Navas, Marcano, Kuzmin, Eremenko, Karadeniz (c), Natkho, Kasaev, Rondon, Orbaiz
Subs: Arlauskis, Sharonov, Kislyaki, Tore, Dyadyun, Ryazantsev, and Kaleshin
Chelsea Starting XI
Cech, Luiz, Ferreira, Terry (c), Azpilicueta, Ake, Lampard, Benayoun, Ramires, Torres, Moses
Subs: Turnbull, Ivanovic, Marin, Mata, Hazard, Mikel, and Oscar
Final Score: Rubin Kazan 3-2 Chelsea* (Agg: 4-5)
Torres 5′, Moses 55′ | Marcano 51′, Gokdeniz Karadeniz 62′, Natcho 75′ (pen)
Having eliminated Rubin Kazan, Chelsea were drawn against Basel 1983 of Switzerland for the semi-finals of the competition. They will play the first leg of this game away and the second leg at home.
Newcastle United vs. SL Benfica
Newcastle United had had a bad night in Lisbon during the first leg of this game, and so they were determined to turn things around in Newcastle. Benfica knew the game wasn’t quite over, however, and planned to still play an attacking game despite their lead on aggregate.
Both teams had shown that they wanted it, and so the first half was very tight. There were to be no goals in not only the first forty-five, but also for a big part of the second forty-five as well. It took 71 minutes for a goal to break the dead-lock in this game, but the wait was worth it, as we saw two brilliant goals at the end of this game.
Some great chances during this game included a great save by Massasio Haidara just off the line. Tim Krul had been defeated by a determined Nicolas Gaitan, but his defender was there to save him some early blushes.
Another great chance in this game was brought out by Newcastle United’s Papiss Cisse. Sylvain Marveaux had just come on for Haidara, and he almost provided immediate impact with a superb cross to Cisse, but the Senegal International just headed wide. Cisse managed to score just moments later, however, and what a goal it was! Assisted by Shola Ameobi (who had come on for Gael Bigirimana just as the second half had gotten underway), Cisse nodded the ball into the net from close range to make it 2-3 to Benfica on aggregate.
The game looked set to end like this, but Eduardo Salvio prevented a Tim Krul clean sheet by scoring a beauty, assisted by Rodrigo in the second of the three minutes added on at the end of the ninety. Benfica were through to the semi-finals despite this draw, however, as they had done well in Lisbon. The score on aggregate at the end of the game: Newcastle United 2-4 Benfica.
Statistic-wise, Newcastle had 10 attempts in total against 12 attempts for Benfica. Newcastle were, however, more accurate (50%) in front of goal than their opponents (41.7%). Benfica had better chances overall. A total of 7 yellow cards were issued during this match, 4 of which went to the home side. No players were sent off during this match.
Alan Pardew and Jorge Jesus lined up the following squads:
Newcastle Starting XI
Krul, Simpson, Williamson, Haidara, Yanga-Mbiwa, Cabaye (c), Sissoko, Gutierrez, Anita, Bigirimana, Cisse
Subs: Elliot, Perch, Gosling, Campbell, Arfa, Marveaux, and Ameobi
Benfica Starting XI
Artur, Luisao (c), Garay, Almeida, Salvio, Gaitan, Matic, Perez, Melgarejo, Lima, John
Subs: Lopes, Pereira, Aimar, Gomes, Rodrigo, Jardel, and Cardozo
Final Score: Newcastle United 1-1 SL Benfica* (Agg: 2-4)
Cisse 71′ | Salvio 90+2′
Having eliminated Newcastle United, Benfica were drawn against Fenerbahce of Turkey for the semi-finals of this competition. They played the first leg away and the second leg at home.
Written by Ange Marline