Chelsea were out of the Champions League after extra time on away goals by 10-man PSG in dramatic circumstances, as they twice blew two-goal leads; PSG went through to the quarter-finals courtesy of their 2-2 scoreline at Stamford Bridge.
PSG had a last year’s quarter-final exit
Zlatan Ibrahimovic was earlier sent off for a two-footed lunge on Oscar, which the referee deemed worthy of red, amidst heated protests from the home players. PSG played with a sense of injustice after the Swedish striker’s sending off, as they felt that they were unfortunate, in what was a 50-50 challenge by both players. However, PSG showed a great team spirit to more than just stay in the match.
The breakthrough finally came for Chelsea, with nine minutes remaining, when Gary Cahill’s scored after a sweet half-volley from ten yards out that was in the back of the net before Salvatore Sirigu could blink. They should have been able to hold out, but five minutes later, with time running out, David Luiz, the former Blues fans’ favourite, rose high from a corner to head like a bullet and force the tie into extra time.
Chelsea then took the lead soon after Thiago Silva’s senseless handball gifted the hosts a penalty, which Eden Hazard rolled in with calmness. However Silva made amends for his mistake, with a world-class header that looped over the tall Belgian with only six minutes of time remaining, and the Parisians went through.
Jose Mourinho will be demoralised after this result; this is a man who has won the Champions League twice with Inter Milan and Porto, and would have wanted to win a third with his beloved Chelsea, but his team paid the price for the flat performance with the numerical advantage.
The ten-man-triumph for PSG was poignant at a moment when France mourned the tragic helicopter accident involving French athletes on Monday. The game saluted these tragic events as all the players wore black armbands, but it was PSG that played with a real passion and aggression that was missing from the hosts all night.
The only English teams now left in the competition are Manchester City and Arsenal, and both face uphill tasks to qualify for their quarter-finals, after last 16 matches away against Barcelona and Monaco, respectively. #Football