SPORT

Chelsea Lose 0-1 To Steau Bucharest In Europa League Tie (PICTURES)

08/03/2013 09:00 GMT

Rafael Benítez is adamant Manchester United were not on Chelsea's mind in the Europa League loss at Steaua Bucharest.

Raul Rusescu converted a 34th-minute penalty after he was pulled back by Ryan Bertrand to give the Romanians a 1-0 advantage in the last 16 tie ahead of next week's second leg at Stamford Bridge.

Before then, last season's Champions League winners continue their FA Cup defence with Sunday's quarter-final at Old Trafford, a match Benítez insists his players were not distracted by while struggling in Bucharest.

"It's another competition and atmosphere," Benítez said.

"It will be totally different. It's another challenge for us."

Just like United, Chelsea warmed up for the FA Cup clash with a European defeat, but at least their rivals were defeated by Real Madrid.

rafael benitez

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Chelsea's priority is a top four finish in the Barclays Premier League and Champions League qualification, which may be just as well after the loss in Romania's capital.

Benítez made five changes from the side which beat West Brom, with John Terry included in central defence.

Given the captain's fitness travails, it is likely he will not be in the first XI at Old Trafford.

Terry may next be called upon for the return with Steaua, with Benítez confident of advancing to the quarter-finals.

"We know that we have to do our job now at home," Benítez said.

"In these kind of games and this kind of competition, if you don't score away it's always more difficult. Still you have to believe.

"We are disappointed, but still we have the belief we will win at home."