Against all the odds, Chelsea were eliminated from the Champions League on Wednesday night after the 10-men Paris St Germain side twice came from behind to win the last-16 clash on away goals at Stamford Bridge.
PSG seemed the only side on the night to have played with a plan. Chelsea could not develop the right mix between their desire to attack and their need to defend. They ended up doing neither and now the blues have the Premier League as their only remaining hope of adding to their Capital One Cup success.
The first leg ended in a 1-1 draw and handed Chelsea the much needed advantage going in to the game. Home side’s advantage grew even further when Zlatan Ibrahimovic was sent off after 31 minutes for his tackle on Oscar. Scenes were not pretty as the entire Chelsea team howled over the ref to produce the red card and he did just that. It can be said that the red card was harsh in many ways.
After going down to 10-men, PSG grew even more in the game as they played to win the match and it showed with Marco Verrati bossing the midfield at Stamford Bridge. PSG were hoping to score an away goal which would have sealed the tie for them but Gary Cahill struck nine minutes from the end of normal time to put Chelsea on the verge of Quarter-finals.
We all knew that certain David Luiz was coming back to face his former side for the first time in London and Luiz was a constant thorn for the home side. Chelsea fans saw their worse nightmere come true when the former BLUES defender levelled the score with 4 minutes left on the clock to send the game in to extra time.
From the outset, Chelsea seemed to be caught in the situation of “Whether to attack or hold back”. With their one-man advantage, the best team in the Premier League were expected to have an easy run against the French side but that was not the case. Chelsea looked uncomfortbale whenever PSG came forward for their set plays.
Jose Mourinho was releived when PSG captain Thiago Silva, conceded the spot-kick for a handball inside the penalty box. Up stepped Eden Hazard and calmly slotted the ball home to put Chelsea ahead on the night and on aggregate, but everyone knew that PSG needed just 1 more goal to not only draw the game but to qualify to the next rounds as well.
PSG came close to doing that when Thiago Silva was denied from a corner by Thibaut Courtois but it was from the subsequent corner when Silva powered his header pass Courtious to make it 2-2 on the night and send the visitors through.
This result could prove to be massive one for the French side as Laurant Blanc did admit prior to the game about how a positive result would change PSG’s perception in French and European football. With this result PSG have now advanced to the last eight for a third straight season.
The game could have ended in an ill-tempered manner when David Luiz appeared to have elbowed Diego Costa off the ball after the Chelsea striker was denied a penalty when Edinson Cavani fouled him fair and square inside the box.
Jose Mourinho was left to praise and admire PSG’s tactics on the night and had no issues with the French side going through to the Quarter-finals. Chelsea boss claimed that his side are not about crying over the bad result but they will get their focus back and would make no mistakes in winning the Premier League trophy.
Image Credits: dailymail