After watching his side fall to defeat in Bucharest, Rafael Benitez was left to reflect on a disappointing night after Raul Rusescu’s penalty sees Steaua head into next week’s second leg at Stamford Bridge with a slender lead.
Benitez admitted that after failing to score an away goal, it will take a strong performance from his team to go through, but he remains confident…
On the performance
‘It was a difficult game, they had a great atmosphere with their fans behind them,’ said the Spaniard.
‘It was a soft penalty, and in the second half we were working hard and pushing, but there were some great saves from their keeper. Obviously we now need to do our best at Stamford Bridge.
‘We were controlling the game, we didn’t create too many chances but they didn’t either. The pitch was tough, but we were in a good position, especially playing away from home, we felt we could score.
‘After the goal they didn’t look too dangerous and our goalkeeper wasn’t really making any saves, and I still feel that their keeper made the best save of the game [from Yossi Benayoun].
On our failure to create many clear-cut opportunities
‘They worked so hard in defence it wasn’t easy. After the goal they played on the counter-attack and were more compact so we had less space.’
On our chances of progression
‘We know we have a good chance at home. In these kind of games and competitions if you don’t score away it’s more difficult. We are disappointed but we still have the belief that we can win at home.’
On Sunday’s FA Cup game against Manchester United
‘It’s another competition and a different atmosphere, it will be totally different and another challenge for us.’