Soccer-Steaua sting Chelsea to take Europa League advantage
BERNE, March 7
BERNE, March 7 (Reuters) - Raul Rusescu won and converted a first half penalty to give Steaua Bucharest a 1-0 win over last season's European champions Chelsea in the Europa League on Thursday.
Lazio won 2-0 at VfB Stuttgart while Fenerbahce snatched a late win 1-0 at Czech side Viktoria Plzen in last 16 first leg ties.
Goalkeeper Rob Elliot made a brilliant second-half save from Samuel Eto'o as Newcastle United held out for a dour goalless draw in bitterly cold conditions away to Russian big spenders Anzhi Makhachkala.
With the temperature well below zero, Anzhi started brightly but lost momentum after Brazilian playmaker Willian, signed from Shakhtar Donetsk for 35 million euros at the start of February, went off injured after 22 minutes.
Chelsea, who ended up in the competition after becoming the first titleholders to be eliminated in the Champions League group stage, are in danger of a second European exit of the season after losing in front of a full house at Bucharest's National Stadium.
The only goal came when Ryan Bertrand was penalised for impeding Rusescu at the far post and the 24-year-old forward stepped up to fire the penalty in the 34th minute.
Lazio, joint fourth in Serie A, overcame Stuttgart with goals in each half from Brazilian Ederson and Nigeria midfielder Ogenyi Onazi, who picked up the ball in his own half, advanced almost unchallenged and chipped the ball over Sven Ulreich.
Cameroon forward Pierre Webo scored an 81st minute goal to give Turkey's Fenerbahce a 1-0 win at Plzen, who knocked out Napoli in the previous round. (Reporting by Brian Homewood, editing by Justin Palmer)
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