West London side Chelsea made the trip to France for the first leg of their round of 16 matches against Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain. It was expected to be a tough game between the two sides, who were both keen to secure qualification to the next round of the Champions League and would not go down easy. There was some good attacking football from the start of the match and it was the home side that eventually took the lead in the match in the 39th minute, when Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s free kick was deflected off of John Obi Mikel into the back of the net, after the Blues’ midfielder conceded the foul. Further, the Nigerian international was once again in action at the other end this time, as he managed to equalize for the Premier League outfit just on the brink of half-time. The two sides went into the break with the score 1-1 and everything to play for in the second half.
After the break, there were more chances created as either side tried their best to take the lead. However, the hosts once again took the advantage as Edison Cavani beat Thibaut Courtois to put his team in front in the 78th minute. Guus Hiddink’s side tried to push for more away goals prior to the second leg, yet were beaten 2-1 on the night.
Here is what the manager had to say in his post-match press conference:
“We have some weeks to prepare for the second leg and I hope everyone is on board for this game.”
“I envy the bench of PSG. A very strong bench of 15 or 16 international players, which is very good. If you see what this team can bring on in the second half, world-class players as substitutes. This is a very strong PSG, a very well built team in their total squad.”
“Of course the result is negative on one side but, on the other hand, it’s also important to have an away goal.”
“But it hurt a bit at the end because I think the team was playing very decently against a team which has a lot of capacity to play.”
“So at the end, yeah it hurt a little bit, but still we are in a race.”
“When there are two legs then it’s important to have the away goal. At the end, if we can do it at Stamford Bridge then the defeat doesn’t count so much.”