CHELSEA were beaten 3-2 against Rubin Kazan at the Luzhniki Stadium in the early Europa League quarter-final but progressed 5-4 on aggregate.
Protective mask-hearing Fernando Torres put them in front thanks to this tidy finish on five minutes and Marcano drew the Russians level early in the second half butVictor Moses and Gokdeniz Karadeniz then got their names on the scoresheet.
Chelsea fans will forever associate the Luzhniki with their team’s painful penalty shoot-out defeat to Manchester United in the 2008 Champions League final, although this occasion had a very different feel to it, with the 80,000-capacity venue barely a quarter full.
That queasy feeling will have surfaced again as Rubin’s Ivan Marcano headed in a cross from compatriot Pablo Orbaiz six minutes into the second half. Victor Moses settled Chelsea nerves and restored their lead on the night, playing a one-two with Ramires and then curling a shot into the net from 15 yards.
That goal left the Russians needing to score four times without reply to rescue the tie.
Captain Gokdeniz Karadeniz did pull one back before Bebras Natcho converted a penalty after Cesar Azpilicueta was harshly penalised for a foul on Aleksandr Ryazantsev in the box.
That allowed Rubin to win the game on the night, but Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez was pleased to be in the semi-final draw.
“The scoreline doesn’t matter too much. We did a professional job and I am really pleased with the players,” he told ESPN television.
“Playing on this pitch and in that atmosphere was not easy, but the main thing for us was to do job.”
*Additional reporting - © AFP, 2013