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Mar 14, 2013

Torres, Terry fire Chelsea into quarters

Chelsea staged a thrilling comeback to beat Steaua Bucharest 3-1 and reach the Europa League quarterfinals on Thursday.

Second-half goals by John Terry and Fernando Torres helped Chelsea, the reigning European champion, squeeze past Steaua 3-2 on aggregate at Stamford Bridge.

Newcastle completed an English clean sweep into the last eight thanks to Papiss Cisse's stoppage-time winner against 10-man Anzhi Makhachkala.

The Senegal international, who fired the Magpies to a 2-1 Barclays Premier League win over Stoke on Sunday with a 92nd-minute strike, powered home Sylvain Marveaux's inviting cross in the 94th with the final touch of an intriguing contest.

Anzhi, reduced to 10 men 10 minutes into the second half when midfielder Mehdi Carcela-Gonzalez was sent off, had gone close with two minutes of normal time remaining when Mbark Boussoufa's free-kick came back off Rob Elliot's crossbar.

Substitute Salih Ucan was the hero as Fenerbahce did enough to squeeze through with a 1-1 home draw against Viktoria Plzen.

The Turkish side was 1-0 winners in the away leg, meaning this result -- secured after Ucan opened the scoring nine minutes after his injury-enforced introduction -- was enough.

Libor Kozak scored twice in the opening 10 minutes and completed a hat trick late on as Lazio turned on the style behind closed doors, winning 3-1 against against Stuttgart in Rome.

Armed with a 2-0 lead from the first leg in Germany, Lazio made an ideal start tonight and left Stuttgart's hopes in tatters before they even had a chance to settle.

The game was played behind close doors because UEFA last month ordered the Italians to lock out supporters from their next two home matches in Europe after crowd trouble during their last-32 match against Borussia Monchengladbach.

Benfica eased into the quarterfinals as it proved too strong for Bordeaux in the south of France, winning 3-2 on the night.

With the comfort of a 1-0 lead from the first leg, the Portuguese side withstood Bordeaux's early attacks before snatching a lead through Jardel's header.

Cheick Diabate gave the hosts a glimmer of hope with 16 minutes left but it was extinguished seconds later by Oscar Cardoza as Benfica made certain of the win.

The teams exchanged further goals in the dying seconds, with Jardel scoring an own goal before Cardoza replied instantly with Benfica's third, but the maths was already against the hosts.

Earlier, ten-man Basle produced a desperate defensive display to book its place in the quarterfinals at the expense of a wasteful Zenit St Petersburg.

Trailing 2-0 from the first leg, Zenit halved the deficit after half an hour through Axel Witsel and things looked to be going their way when Basle had Marcelo Diaz sent off for two yellow cards just before half time.

But Basle goalkeeper Yann Sommer saved a late penalty from Roman Shirokov and the hosts hit a post and missed an open goal as they threw all they had at their opponents, with a 1-0 win on the night not enough to avoid defeat.

There was more joy for Rubin Kazan as it beat Levante 2-0 on the night after a goalless first leg, albeit with the goals from Jose Rondon and Vladimir Dyadyun coming in extra time.

Rondon struck in the 99th minute for his fifth goal in the Europa League this season with substitute Dyadyun sealing victory with eight of the 30 extra minutes remaining after Levante had committed men to finding the equalizer which would have seen them through on away goals.

Information from Press Association and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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