Chelsea withstood a barrage of Paris Saint Germain's (PSG) attacks and battled to a hard fought 1-1 draw away, at the home of the French champions, in the first leg of the last 16 of the Champions League. Last year, Chelsea progressed to the last four of the Champions League competition at PSG's expense; they lost the first leg in Paris 3-1 but won at Stamford Bridge after the tie finished 3-3 on aggregate. Therefore, José Mourinho's men believe that the last night's 1-1 score in the first leg is a good cushion going into next month's second meeting in London.
The Blues' precious goal came from the Serbian international, Branislav Ivanovic, 31, who headed for the visitors in the 36th. Ivanovic's goal came after John Terry swung a cross into the area and Gary Cahill, 29, flicked on the ball and the Serb defender's powerfully headed home. This was the Serb's 5th goal of the season, and his first in Europe since his winner against Benfica in the 2013 Europa League final.
The Blues were under the attack early on, when the hoists forced 22 year-old keeper Thibaut Courtois into a succession of fine saves, firstly from French international Blaise Matuidi, 27, and then from legendary Swedish striker, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 33, who tried from close range. The young Belgian keeper was once again called into action before half-time, when he pushed Edison Cavani's ball away at the near post, but Chelsea grabbed the lead soon after.
PSG came out fired up after the interval, they dominated the second-half, pressed for a second goal and got a deserved equaliser when Edison Cavani, 28, headed in a Matuidi cross. The Uruguayan striker, Cavani, took advantage of poor marking from the Londoners and then came close to winning it for PSG, but he prodded wide after an intricate one-two with Matuidi in the penalty area. PSG came close again when Ibrahimovic managed to get himself in a shooting position with his left foot, while Courtois again saved well.
There were some famous faces watching the match last night at the Parc des Princes: Sir Alex Ferguson, who is believed to be in Paris for a UEFA meeting, was seen enjoying the match, and PSG's former player David Beckham.
Chelsea are meeting PSG at Stamford Bridge on 11th March. #Football