• FT

    FK Rubin





    FC Basel

    2 (4)


    2 (1)

  • FT





  • FT






Luzhniki Stadium

Referee: Firat Aydinus | Attendance: 25000

* Local time based on your geographic location.

FK Rubin Kazan

  • Ivan Sierra Marcano 51'
  • Gokdeniz Karadeniz 62'
  • Bebars Natcho 75' PEN

3 - 2


2nd leg: 4 - 5 (Agg)


  • Fernando Torres 5'
  • Victor Moses 55'

Rafa doesn't see Red

Wherever Rafael Benitez goes he cannot escape the history achieved at Liverpool - not even ahead of Chelsea's Europa League quarter-final second leg against Rubin Kazan in Moscow.

Benitez was an unpopular appointment at Stamford Bridge due to his prior association with Liverpool - a side he led to the Champions League title in 2005 after a controversial semi-final defeat of the Blues.

In a bid to quell the discontent emanating from the stands, Benitez in February called for them to back the team and confirmed he would be leaving Chelsea at the end of the season.

Speculation has mounted in recent weeks over where Benitez will go next. A leading side in England is an option, and he did not totally dismiss the prospect of a return to Liverpool this week - in part because his family home remains in the north-west.

A local journalist informed Benitez that Russian Liverpool fans are intending to attend the match at the Luzhniki Stadium and asked about a return to Anfield.

The Spaniard, wearing a wide smile, said: ``All the support is welcome, but especially for the players, so hopefully the players will feel a little warm and will be fine.

``I have my family in Liverpool so that is my home and I will come back to Liverpool any time.

``Just to clarify: I'm talking about my home, where my family is, not the team.

``I am the Chelsea manager and I will go back next week because we have to play against Liverpool.''

The reaction of Chelsea's anticipated small band of travelling fans will be intriguing at a venue where they have experienced defeat on the biggest stage - the 2008 Champions League final penalty shootout loss to Manchester United.

The ghost was put to rest when Chelsea beat Spartak Moscow 2-0 on their return to the arena in October 2010, also in the Champions League, but the Europa League is new territory for a team perennially in the latter stages of the top-tier European competition.

That is nothing to do with Benitez; his predecessor Roberto Di Matteo's side had already become the first holders to exit the competition prior to his November appointment.

Now the Spaniard is seeking to finish his Blues career on a high, beginning with safe passage into Friday's semi-final draw ahead of Sunday's FA Cup semi-final with Manchester City at Wembley.

Benitez will rotate his players with City in mind, with captain John Terry and midfielder Frank Lampard expected to return to the starting line-up.

Chelsea must also adapt in defence, where the absences of left-backs Ashley Cole (hamstring) and Ryan Bertrand (illness) force a change.

Rubin, meanwhile have vowed to do their utmost in their temporary home to upset Benitez's side and reach the last four.

The Russian club have already beaten Atletico Madrid, last season's Europa League champions, in the competition and have the 2012 European Cup-winning Blues in their sights, even though they trail 3-1 from the first leg.

``We understand the situation,'' coach Kurban Berdyev said.

``At the moment Chelsea has a very good advantage, but we can say that we're going to do everything possible we can do to win this game on the pitch.''

Rubin had hoped to play Chelsea in Kazan, but a pitch inspection ruled it would not be possible.

``We think if we had played in Kazan, at first we'd have a full stadium with fans to support us and of course we'd have more chance to beat Chelsea,'' Berdyev added.

``We're feeling comfortable playing here and we hope that our fans from Kazan will come to support us.

``We hope the fans of Moscow will come together to support us.''

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