Chelsea grabbed their first win of this season’s UEFA Champions League campaign as a double from Ramires helped them stroll to a 4-0 win over Steaua Bucharest in Romania.
The Blues fell to a defeat in their opening game of the competition against Basel but Ramires’ first of the night and Daniel Georgievski’s own goal had Chelsea ready to bounce back at half-time.
In the second half, Ramires added another before Frank Lampard completed the rout in injury time to end an easy night in Eastern Europe for Jose Mourinho’s side.
Mourinho made two changes from the 1-1 draw at Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday by bringing in both Juan Mata and Andre Schurrle for John Obi Mikel and the injured Eden Hazard. It proved to be a masterstroke as both men were impressive, despite neither player getting on the score-sheet. In fact, it was the two inclusions who combined for Chelsea’s first chance of the night. Mata picked out Schurrle in the penalty area and the German beat the goalkeeper, but not a trailing defender who flicked the ball off the goal-line.
There was no defender to clear off the line when Chelsea took the lead after 19 minutes. Schurrle was involved again as he crossed low for Samuel Eto’o to touch towards goal and Ramires pounced to prod in from four yards out. It was awful defending from Steaua, particularly from Georgievski who Schurrle beat time and time again all night, but Ramires must take the credit for taking a chance and grabbing a goal.
Mata was pulling all the strings for Chelsea and could have grabbed a goal from himself in the 29th minute. He collected Schurrle’s pass and let fly with a snap-shot from 20 yards out, but it was too close to Ciprian Tatarusanu who made a good save.
With a minute to go until half-time, Chelsea had a second goal but it came under fortuitous circumstances. Eto’o raced on to Mata’s smart pass and saw his powerful low shot well saved by Tatarusanu, but the rebound bounced off the shins of Georgievski and into his net for an own goal. It was harsh on the defender and it resulted in cat-calls from his own fans every time he touched the ball from that point on.
The game was more or less wrapped up by half-time and it allowed Chelsea to go out for the second half and just play their football. It took them just ten minutes to add a third goal with Ramires grabbing his second of the game. It was well-worked as Schurrle skipped away from Georgievski and cut the ball back for Oscar, who could have gone for goal himself but he unselfishly laid it on for Ramires to ram past Tatarusanu from ten yards out.
Three minutes later, Mata was once again denied a deserved goal but this time by the frame of the goal. The Spaniard raced onto Oscar’s clever backheel and peppered his shot towards goal, but the bounced back off the post to the disbelief of Mourinho and the away fans.
The rest of the game turned into a training session of attack vs. defence and Chelsea put the icing on the cake with a fourth goal in the 90th minute. Eto’o’s cross was laid back by Willian into the path of the club’s leading goalscorer and Lampard made no mistake with a trademark accurate finish into the bottom corner via the post.
The goal sealed a win that was only Chelsea’s third in their last eleven away European games and it sets up a mouth-watering game with Schalke on the next match-day as the Germans top the group with two wins from two.
Match Report by Kyle Dixon (@kyledixon95)