Chelsea beats Steaua 4-0 in Champions League
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Ramires scored twice to help Chelsea get its Champions League campaign back on track with a 4-0 win at Steaua Bucharest on Tuesday.
Following a surprise 2-1 home defeat by Basel to open Group E, Jose Mourinho’s team recovered in style under the roof of the National Arena.
The Blues dominated throughout and opened the scoring in the 20th minute through Ramires. They doubled their lead at the stroke of halftime when Daniel Georgievski scored an own goal before Ramires and Frank Lampard sealed Chelsea’s victory after the break.
The match was played with the roof closed because of the persistent rain in the Romanian capital over the past few days. Chelsea striker Fernando Torres, who was given a third successive start as Jose Mourinho made five changes to the team that lost to Basel, injured his knee in the early stages and was replaced by Samuel Eto’o after only 11 minutes.
Steaua enjoyed a good period of possession immediately after Torres left the field but Chelsea made the most of a swift counterattack to break the deadlock in the 20th minute when Eto’o skillfully diverted Andre Schurrle’s cross from the left for Ramires to slot the ball past goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu.
Following another quick move with Juan Mata, Schurrle found himself in a good position but dragged his shot over the bar from the edge of the box in the 27th. Mata forced Tatarusanu into a save after a one-two with Eto’o.
The in-form Schurrle created another chance in the 35th as Chelsea gradually took control of the game but his cross just outside the area was squandered by Oscar, who completely missed his left-footed shot.
Steaua tried to set up a faster tempo before halftime but Chelsea used another counterattack to double its lead in the 45th minute. Defender Georgievski, running back toward his goal, could not prevent the ball from ricocheting off him and into the net after Tatarusanu had parried away Eto’o’s effort.
Chelsea, which had lost the opening game in the competition group stage for the first time, continued to dominate after the break. Eto’o and Lampard missed good opportunities before Ramires fired home his second goal of the night from Oscar’s pass following another move ignited on the left flank by Schurrle in the 55th minute.
Mata then hit the woodwork before Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech hit the post with his back after tipping Cristian Tanase’s lob over the bar in the 59th minute.
Schurrle had a chance to cap his excellent display with a goal in the 70th but his curled shot at the far corner ended just wide. Lampard completed the rout in the 90th minute with a low shot from the edge of the box after being set up by Willian.