Russian star unhappy over Chelsea support

Rubin Kazan Zenit

Chelsea both lost and won away to Rubin Kazan last night.

Chelsea players and staff can be happy with their victory over Rubin Kazan - despite actually losing 3-2 on the night, with a 3-1 home leg lead enough, just about, to see them through.

Supporters of Chelsea also certainly left the stadium happy - but so did a number of 'home fans' - which certainly irked the Rubin Kazan players.

Midfielder Alan Kasaev said: "It was unfortunate that the Russians are rooting for Chelsea."

Are Rubin really that unpopular with their home support?

Well the answer is no - because the match took place 400 miles away from Rubin's regular stadium.

Due to fears over the pitch with the unpredictable climate surrounding the Tsentrainiy Stadium, the decision was made in conjuction with UEFA to switch the tie to the Luzhniki in Moscow, where Chelsea lost the 2008 Champions League Final.

This meant there were a number of supporters at the stadium who follow a number of the Moscow clubs in the Russian Premier League - with no affiliation or sympathy to Rubin Kazan.

It was not that Russians are incredibly patriotic regarding Roman Abramovich and wanted to support his club, more that they probably wanted to chastise the 'real' Rubin fans.

Looking at the performance and result, effectively on a semi-neutral venue, it does make you wonder whether Chelsea got away with one.

Had the game been at Rubin's home stadium, in front of a more raucous crowd, and on an unpredictable pitch - they may just have found themselves like Tottenham, absent from this morning's Europa League draw.

Did Chelsea get lucky with the stadium switch? Or was it karma after 2008?

 

image: © Paulo Pabis

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