Live Commentary: Chelsea 3-1 Rubin Kazan - as it happened

Live Commentary: Chelsea 3-1 Rubin - as it happened
© AP Photos
Read how Chelsea opened up a two-goal lead in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final against Rubin Kazan.

Chelsea welcome Rubin Kazan to Stamford Bridge for the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final this evening.

The Blues were expected to open up an advantage ahead of next week's trip to Russia and they duly obliged as Fernando Torres netted a double in a 3-1 win.

Read how it all unfolded in our minute-by-minute updates below.

7.01pmEvening folks. We had a cracking couple of days in the Champions League quarter-finals and it's now time for the Europa League. Let's waste no time, here are tonight's teams.

7.03pmCHELSEA XI: Cech; Azpilicueta, Luiz, Terry, Bertrand; Ramires, Lampard; Moses, Mata, Benayoun; Torres

7.04pmRUBIN XI: Ryzhikov; Kaleshin, Cesar Navas, Sharonov, Ansaldi; Kuzmin, Orbaiz, Natcho, Gokdeniz; Eremenko; Dyadyun

7.07pmIt's six changes from Benitez to the Chelsea lineup that edged out Manchester United in the FA Cup quarters on Monday. John Terry and Ryan Bertrand come into the back four, while Frank Lampard and Yossi Benayoun are selected in midfield. Up top, Fernando Torres starts up front in place of Demba Ba, who is cup-tied, and there is also a place in the team for Victor Moses.

7.10pmAnd now the two substitute benches:

Chelsea: Turnbull, Ivanovic, Oscar, Mikel, Hazard, Ferreira, Marin
Rubin: Arlauskis, Ryazantsev, Kasaev, Kislyak, Marcano, Gokhan, Rondon

7.14pmAs you can see, there is a dearth of talent on the bench for Chelsea with the likes of Eden Hazard and Oscar standing out. The one name that stands out on the Rubin bench is striker Salomon Rondon. The forward made a switch to Rubin after a very successful spell in Malaga. He could trouble Chelsea if he comes on.

7.18pmBriefly away from this match, let me point you in the direction of our other offerings tonight. As mentioned above, there are three English teams present in the last eight and you can follow the other two on SM as well. For Spurs vs. Basel, join Michael Penkman by clicking here, or if Benfica vs. Newcastle is more your cup of tea, Mark Langshaw's coverage of that one is here.

7.23pmSTAT! Chelsea are clear favourites tonight at about 4/7 with the bookmakers but they won't have it so easy as @OptaJoe reveals on Twitter: "7 - Rubin Kazan have scored the first goal of the game in seven of their 10 matches in the Europa League this season. Threat."

7.26pmLooking at these two sides form in their domestic leagues, both lie fourth in the top tiers of England and Russia. Chelsea lie behind Manchester United, Manchester City and Spurs while Rubin are trailing CSKA Moscow, Zenit and Anzhi.

7.28pmREFEREE WATCH: Tonight's officiating team is Italian and the man in charge is Gianluca Rocchi.

7.30pmThe other quarter-final tonight doesn't involve an English team as Fenerbahce and Lazio meet in Turkey. We also have text commentary on that match and you can join Liam Power by clicking here.

7.33pmMore stats on tonight's game and a draw is the most likely result looking at these numbers: Chelsea are unbeaten in 11 European matches at home while Rubin are yet to lose an away match in this year's competition.

7.38pmOne man who is missing for the visitors tonight is French midfielder Yann M'Vila. The athletic central player was heavily linked with a move to Arsenal last summer but agreed a deal to join Rubin over the summer. He's out with an injury.

7.42pmRubin have beaten two Spanish sides so far in the knockout stage of the competition. Before seeing off Levante in the last round, Rubin caused a big upset by knocking out defending champions Atletico Madrid.

7.45pmChelsea, meanwhile, have had a very unconvincing run to the quarters since being knocked out of the Champions League in the group stage after winning the elite competition last year. They've seen off Sparta Prague and Steaua Bucuresti to be here but it's been far from rousing and Benitez will be hoping for a more impressive performance.

7.48pmHere's what Benitez has said about tonight's opponents ahead of the game: "Rubin have some pace on the counter attack. Hopefully we can keep a clean sheet and score some goals."

7.53pmPREDICTION: With a little over 10 minutes until the off, it's time for my (doomed) prediction on the outcome. I'm favouring the Blues tonight and expect them to win by at least two goals. Torres to bag one or more.

7.55pmBenitez has been speaking to ESPN and he says that he's never had to deal with so many games at once. This week they've already had a couple of games, losing to Southampton at the weekend before that big win over United in the Cup. They also welcome Sunderland to the Bridge on Sunday and that will make it four games in eight days!

7.59pmAll of tonight's quarter-finals begin at five past eight and I'll bring you the goals as they go in. Don't you worry.

8.01pmThe two sides are ready in the tunnel and here they come out to a warm reception at a fairly-full Stamford Bridge. It's a clear but crisp night, with temperatures a little over freezing - great conditions for football.

8.01pmThe two sides are ready in the tunnel and here they come out to a warm reception at a fairly-full Stamford Bridge. It's a clear but crisp night, with temperatures a little over freezing - great conditions for football.

8.03pmThe Europa League 'anthem' is played out before the compulsory pre-match handshakes. Chelsea are in blue shirts and tops and white socks while Rubin are in all-deep red.

8.04pmSUSPENSION TIGHTROPE: Chelsea only have two men on a booking in Ramires and Bertrand while Rubin have no less than seven men on a caution.

0 minKICKOFF! Rubin get us underway.

2 minBitty start to the game as Rubin win the first free kick for an aerial foul on Eremenko.

4 minIt's clear that Rubin are set up to afford Chelsea as little chances as possible. At the moment they're doing very little up front and would definitely take a goalless draw tonight.

5 minHowever, we all know how important an away goal often turns out to be in European competition. If they are to grab one, it's likely to be on the counter as Chelsea push more bodies forward.

7 minThe capacity at Stamford Bridge is over 40,000 but there's only about 30,000 inside tonight. Hardly any Rubin fans have made the trip.

9 minSuperb pass from Terry for Torres over the top but the Spaniard can't take it on and shoot. Instead, he dribbles along the byline before sending the ball back into the midfield. The Spanish striker is still wearing a black protective face mask after breaking his nose in the last round.

10 minSKILLS! From a Chelsea point of view, much of the focus will be on Mr Mata and he has just shown why. After receiving the ball on the edge of the area he skipped past one challenge before nutmegging another defender. Unfortunately for him, there wasn't a blue shirt there to rifle home his cutback.

13 minFirst attempt on goal from the Blues comes from Torres as he outmuscles a red shirt before dragging his shot tamely wide.

8.19pmUPDATE: We have our first goal of the night and it's come in Portugal for Newcaslte! Dream start for the Magpies as Papiss Cisse scores an away goal.

16 minGOAL! Chelsea 1-0 Rubin (Torres)

16 minThe Blues go one up and, as I predicted, Torres is on the scoresheet. A long ball over the top from Luiz is bundled goalwards by Torres and the Rubin defender and goalkeeper can't clear so Torres just slides in to poke it home. Very scrappy, but the Spaniard won't care.

19 minSomeone's feeling confident! Torres has a spring in his step as he checks inside a defender before pulling off a 'rabona' cross into the middle. This time it just evades the two blues shirts in the middle.

20 minSHOT! First decent effort of the night from Rubin as Natcho unleashes from distance. It's well struck but Cech is more than equal to it as he parries away.

24 minHe likes a shot, this boy! Yet again it's Israeli Natcho who lets fly. It bounces awkwardly in front of Cech but he backs away and catches it on the line.

8.31pmUPDATE: Newcastle's lead in Portugal didn't last long as Rodrigo equalises for Benfica just moments after Cisse had hit the woodwork.

32 minGOAL! Chelsea 2-0 Rubin (Moses)

32 minThe hosts double their lead and it's a bit of a horror show from Rubin. First Moses headed Azpilicueta's cross weakly towards goal. Ryzhikov should have easily dealt with it but dived too far and had to parry it out. The ball came back in and a poor clearance fell to Moses who smashed it home on the half volley.

8.39pmUPDATE: Dear oh dear Spurs! They've conceded two quick goals in North London! Spurs 0-2 Basel.

40 minPENALTY TO RUBIN! Terry is penalised for handball and booked by the ref.

41 minGOAL! Chelsea 2-1 Rubin (Natcho pen.)

41 minRubin have their away goal as their most dangerous player Natcho sends Cech the wrong way from 12 yards. It was a very harsh penalty as Terry's arm was right by his side when the shot struck.

45 minSHOT! Left-back Ansaldi launches a vicious effort goalwards and it has Cech worried but just swerves away from the post.

45+1 minHALF-TIME: Chelsea 2-1 Rubin

8.53pmI wasn't expecting three goals in the first half but that's what we've got at the Bridge. Chelsea looked home and dry until referee Rocchi strangely awarded a penalty to the visitors.

8.55pmIf you've only just joined us and want a recap of the first half, read our HT report here.

9.03pmSo, will Rubin be able to get another away goal or will Chelsea blow them away in the second? Kickoff coming up shortly...

46 minRUBIN SUB: Rubin's star striker Salomon Rondon is on for Dyadyun in attack as Chelsea get the second half underway.

49 minSAVE! Chelsea come very close to re-establishing their two-goal lead as Moses pokes a pass on to Mata and the Spaniard looks for the far corner but is denied by Ryzhikov's right hand.

54 minChelsea appeal for a penalty as Moses tricks his way into the area before tumbling under the challenge of a pair of red shirts. Referee Rocchi isn't interested but there definitely was contact there, if only slight.

57 minAlmost a freak equaliser for Rubin as Cech attempts to punch out a corner but hits it against the back of a Rubin head. Luckily for the Czech, the ball loops over the bar.

9.20pmUPDATE: Spurs have come from two down to level it up against Basel as Gylfi Sigurdsson's shot deflects in.

64 minCHANCE! Golden opportunity for Rondon to level the match as he turns Luiz inside out but can't beat Cech with his shot.

65 minCHELSEA SUB: Benitez tries to liven the attack by bringing on Hazard. You would have expected Benayoun to come off but it's actually Moses who is replaced.

9.28pmUPDATE: Benfica have turned it around against Newcastle as Lima takes advantage of Davide Santon's backpass mistake.

70 minGOAL! Chelsea 3-1 Rubin (Torres)

70 minThat's game over on the night as Mata picks out Torres with an inch-perfect cross and Torres bullets a great header high into the net.

9.32pmUPDATE: It gets from bad to worse for Newcastle as Oscar Cardozo converts from the spot to make it 3-1 Benfica.

76 minCHELSEA SUB: Another change from Benitez as Oscar replaces the once-again wonderful Mata.

81 minIt looks like Marko Marin will be the final Chelsea change as he's told to go and warm up by Benitez. Looks like Rubin are about to make a change too.

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82 minSUBS: Kasaev takes the place of Kuzmin for the visitors while Marin comes on for Benayoun for Chelsea.

85 minIf things stay as they are Chelsea will be happy with their night's work and I'll also be grinning as my pre-match prediction of a home win by two or more with Torres scoring is also bang on! I didn't put my money where my mouth is, unfortunately.

87 minYELLOW! The first booking for a Rubin player goes to Orbaiz just before the visitors almost find a second goal but Azpilicueta's chestback just reaches Cech.

89 minGreat skill from Hazard to brush past Navas before attempting to pick out Torres at the back post. Goalkeeper Ryzhitov is alert though and cuts it out.

90 minSHOT! Ramires unleashes an effort from 30 yards but it veers away from goal and never had Ryzhitov worried. Two minutes added on at the end.

90+2 minFULL-TIME: Chelsea 3-1 Rubin

9.54pmIt turned out being a fairly comfortable win for the Blues after Rubin had made it a little nervous just before half time.

9.57pmIt's just finished in the other matches and the headline news as they come to an end is that Spurs superstar Gareth Bale has had to go off on a stretcher right at the end of the match.

10pmThanks for joining Sports Mole tonight. Find our match report, with full-size images from the match, by clicking here.

Chelsea striker Fernando Torres celebrates a goal against Nordsjaelland on December 5, 2012
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