Painter returns to Seagulls
Fernando Torres scored then missed a penalty for Chelsea as they
turned around their tie against Steaua Bucharest with a 3-1 win at
Stamford Bridge to seal a 3-2 aggregate triumph and reach the
quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League.
Juan Mata cancelled out Steaua’s 1-0 first-leg lead in the 33rd
minute after a neat one-two with Ramires, only for the visitors to
level things up on the stroke of half-time when Vlad Chiriches
poked home from close range after a goal-line scramble.
Blues captain John Terry made it 2-2 on the night when he
skipped past Steaua defender Lukas Szukala to get on the end of
Juan Mata’s free-kick from 20 yards with a bullet header, then
Torres sealed Chelsea’s progression 20 minutes from time but could
not add to his haul as he skied a penalty late on after a foul on
It was Raul Rusescu’s penalty which handed Steaua the advantage
at the end of the first leg and the striker nearly doubled their
overall lead after 12 minutes. John-Obi Mikel dithered over a
clearance and Cristian Tanase stole the ball before finding
Rusescu, who breached the offside trap before his shot was saved by
After a quick Mata free-kick was held by Ciprian Tatarusanu,
Steaua captain Alexandru Bourceanu fired a 30-yard warning shot
narrowly wide and Cech saved from Tanase, who was causing Terry, in
particular, problems with his pace.
When the hosts took the direct route it paid off. Mata picked up
the ball inside the Steaua half in the right channel and ran at his
marker. The Spaniard played the ball inside to Ramires, who
continued running at the defence before playing a return pass.
While Torres moved out of the way, Mata used his body to shield the
ball from Iasmin Latovlevici and his shot squirmed in under
Torres shot narrowly wide soon after before Mata and Hazard
crafted an opening, only for the Belgian’s shot to be saved.
Chelsea still could not relax, though, as Ashley Cole had to be
alert to halt Adrian Popa after David Luiz had given the ball
From the resulting corner and the last move of the first half,
Steaua restored their advantage. The set-piece was played to the
near post and a scramble ensued inside the six-yard box, with
Tanase’s shot smartly saved by Cech, who could do nothing about the
rebound as Chiriches fired into the roof of the net.
Chelsea needed two goals in the second half and the first came
after Cornel Rapa fouled Hazard and Mata delivered the resulting
free-kick towards Terry. The skipper’s powers may have been reduced
by age and niggling injury, but when left unmarked he remains a
potent force and his header from 10 yards went in off the post.
Cech saved a dipping shot from Alexandru Chipciu before Mata set
up the third goal Chelsea needed. He cut in from the right, Hazard
stepped over the left-footed cross and Torres picked up the
The striker, whose most recent prior strike was at Brentford in
the FA Cup, stepped around Lukasz Szukata and netted low across
goal. The World Cup winner lost his footing in the area soon after
under the challenge of Szukata, emerging with a bleeding nose,
before shooting narrowly wide.
Chelsea were awarded a penalty when Hazard was caught by
Bourceanu. Torres stepped up and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way
– but his shot hit the top of the crossbar. Fortunately for the
hosts he had already done enough to secure a place in the
The 26-year-old left-back made two appearances for the Cherries
after moving to Dean Court last month.
But with Wayne Bridge missing Tuesday night’s defeat at Barnsley
with a hamstring injury, Painter has been recalled as defensive
He will be available for selection when Albion host derby rivals
Crystal Palace on Sunday.