Benitez frustrated as Chelsea lose to Steaua Bucharest
Raul Rusescu scored a first-half penalty to give Steaua Bucharest a 1-0 victory over Chelsea at Arena Nationala last night, giving the Romanian side a narrow advantage in their Europa League last-16 tie.
Ryan Bertrand was penalised for pulling back Rusescu while competing for a cross in the area in the 34th minute, and the forward duly stepped up to convert the spot-kick.
Chelsea had few chances in an insipid performance, but Juan Mata and Marko Marin went close late on.
Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez expressed his disappointment with the penalty decision. "I think it was very soft. To give a penalty in this situation, and especially when you have so many referees in their positions, it is soft," said Benitez, above.
The Spaniard added: "You cannot change the situation but it is very soft. If you give the penalty, why not the [red] card? Strange."
Petr Cech believed Chelsea deserved more for their efforts. "I hardly made a save all game," reflected Cech. "We're just disappointed we didn't score." MORE
Interview: Rory Delap
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Bale scores again as Spurs beat Inter
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Newcastle battle to draw in Moscow
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Steele seeking that 'invincible' feeling
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Ferdinand will not be charged by Uefa
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Button up to speed – but not McLaren
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Murray's return delights Johnson
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London Welsh are docked five points
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Hibbard: Johnson criticism made me
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Rutherford strikes century on debut
New Zealand opened up a first-innings lead in the first Test as Hamish Rutherford hit a century on debut last night. England dismissed Peter Fulton for 55, caught behind by Matt Prior off James Anderson.