Having played an integral role in last week’s 3-1 Europa League quarter-final first leg victory against Rubin Kazan, Victor Moses has urged his team-mates to put the tie to bed with an early goal in tomorrow night’s decisive second leg in Moscow.
The Chelsea winger fired us into a 2-0 lead midway through the first half at Stamford Bridge, and believes an early blow to the Russian side would go a long way to securing our passage into the semi-finals.
‘We’re here to try to win the game tomorrow night, they have good strikers and they will be in our faces from the start of the game,’ said Moses.
‘We just need to get our noses in front and try to win the game. It won’t be an easy task but we’re looking forward to it and if we can score an early goal that will be great for us.’
Rubin Kazan may feel they were slightly fortunate to leave London a week ago with only a 3-1 deficit after the Blues dominated the game for long spells.
Moses, however, saw enough from Kerban Berdyev’s side to suggest there is plenty of life left in the tie.
‘I don’t know a lot about Russian football but I know it’s a great league here,’ he explained.
‘They’ve played against Barcelona and beaten them [in 2009]. They have a good manager and they have quality players who can win them the game. The most important thing for us now is to concentrate and try to do our best tomorrow night.’
Moses has made a promising start to his Chelsea career, scoring seven goals in 34 appearances, adding European football to his CV and tasting success on the international stage with Nigeria in the Africa Cup of Nations back in January.
The big matches keep on coming, with tomorrow’s game preceding an FA Cup semi-final date with Manchester City at the weekend, but the 22-year-old is eager not to look too far ahead.
‘I’m a new player and want to do the best I can, work hard week in, week out and try to play as many games as I can,’ he explained.
‘We’re focused on the game, it’s a massive one for us, we want to put the City game to the back of our minds as it’s not until Sunday. Rubin Kazan are a great team but we’ll be doing our best to get into the semi-finals.’
Our previous two visits to the Luzhniki have yielded mixed results, with one win and one defeat. Last time out we successfully overcame Spartak Moscow 2-0, and while a similar result tomorrow would be ideal, progression, regardless of the manner in which it materialises, remains the sole objective.