Chelsea Advances To Europa League Semi-Finals

Chelsea progressed to the last four of the Europa League despite a 3-2 setback against Rubin Kazan in Moscow on Thursday.

The English club held a 3-1 lead after the first leg at Stamford Bridge and did just enough in the return fixture to punch their ticket into the semi-finals.

Fernando Torres scored for the Premier League outfit in the early going and Chelsea looked certain to progress but Rubin made a game of it with three goals in the second half.

After two goals in the opening encounter Torres found the back of the net just four minutes into game when he chipped the ball over an onrushing Sergei Ryzhikov.

It was a dream start for Chelsea and it was content to soak up some pressure and hit back on the counter.

Rubin Kazan was unable to create any decent scoring opportunities and went into the half-time break down 1-0 on the night and 4-1 on aggregate.

Things looked bleak for the hosts but they were not ready to quit and equalized in 50th minute when Ivan Marcano headed past Petr Cech in the Chelsea goal.

However, Chelsea found a quick-fire equalizer as Victor Moses curled a shot that eluded the outstretched hand of Ryzhikov. The Blues now had one foot in the Europa League semi-finals.

Rubin refused to give up though and made it 2-2 on the evening when Gokdeniz Karadeniz beat Cech to give the home side a glimmer of hope.

Rubin continued to push forward and set up a tense final 15 minutes after winning a penalty. Berbas Natcho made no mistake from 12 yards out to give Rubin a 3-2 lead on the night but it stilled trailed the Blues 5-4 on aggregate.

Chelsea defended in numbers and did enough to hang on and advance to the Europa League semi-finals after an intense evening in Russia.