Chelsea will face a more difficult home test against Steaua Bucharest after they were deservedly sunk 1-0 after being outplayed by the Romanian outfit.
The home side got off to the better start in a raucous atmosphere, immediately putting Chelsea under pressure as they moved the ball with speed and precision to try to find a way through. The first real opportunity came to the visitor, however, although Fernando Torres gave an early sign of the torrid evening he was about to endure when, after getting past the highly-rated Vlad Chiriches, fell over the ball and saw his touch go out of play.
Disaster then struck for Chelsea as Raul Rusescu attempted to get on the end of a back-post cross but was impeded by Ryan Bertrand. A penalty was duly awarded, and Rusescu stepped up himself, giving Petr Cech no chance with a powerful shot into the bottom corner.
Chelsea looked to hit back immediately, and Yossi Benayoun and Eden Hazard worked a nice one-two to get clear, but the Israeli's shot was not good enough to beat Ciprian Tatarusanu, and the chance was gone.
The second half was livelier but resulted in fewer clear-cut chances from both sides - Steaua saw more of the ball going forwards, and Chelsea's intermittent counter-attacks were broken by going through the awful Torres, who was having an off-day even for him. It was one of the Spaniard's worst performances in a Chelsea shirt - which is saying something.
Chelsea introduced Juan Mata and Marko Marin as they searched desperately for a goal, and despite enjoying long spells of the ball towards the end, they could not find a way through. The closest they went was when Marin embarked on a solo run, sending in a diping effort from range, but Tatarusanu was equal to it to keep his side in the lead.
In the end, it was a poor result for a Chelsea side that lacked both discipline and urgency, and they will have made their job in the home leg much tougher. Rafael Benitez's poor reign goes on, and his side look a long way from the reigning European Champions.