Originally posted on Fox Soccer  |  Last updated 3/7/13
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Rafael Benitez's Chelsea suffered a lackluster 1-0 defeat to Steaua Bucharest in their Europa League last-16 first-leg clash at the National Arena. In the first of two games in four days and the Blues' 50th game of a turbulent season, last season's Champions League winners went behind after 34 minutes when Ryan Bertrand was penalised for pulling back Raul Rusescu, who converted the spot-kick. Just like Sunday's opponents Manchester United , Chelsea warmed up for the FA Cup quarter-final with a European defeat, but at least their rivals were defeated by Real Madrid . The result in the Romanian capital will only serve to increase the pressure on interim manager Benitez. Chelsea began the season in contention for seven trophies and the Europa League is the unexpected eighth after their embarrassing Champions League group stage exit which prompted Benitez's unpopular appointment. Two chances of silverware remain, but chief executive Ron Gourlay this week insisted a top-four place in...
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