By Alan Duffy
Chelsea 2-2 Paris Saint-Germain (Agg: 3-3 PSG win on away goals) – Champions League Quarter-Final 2nd Leg – 12th March 2015
On a nasty, niggly night in west London, Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea were dumped out of the Champions League courtesy of a superb performence from a 10-man PSG side.
After a dour opening, the French giants went down to 10 men when Zlatan Ibrahimovic was harshly sent off for a challenge on Oscar, which saw pretty much the entire Chelsea side surround the ref. However, the hosts found themselves on the wrong end of a decision from ref Bjorn Kuipers, who ignored calls for a spot-kick after Diego Costa was clearly fouled in the box by Edinson Cavani.
After the break, the edgy, mean-spirited nature of the game continued, while the Blues struggled to make their one-man advantage count. Indeed, Cavani himself should’ve scored after rounding Thibaut Courtois, only for the Uruguayam to hit the post from a tight angle. Diego Costa was now involved in a number of running battles on the pitch, but it was defender Gary Cahill who finally broke the deadlock, with the England man firing home on 81 minutes. With the aggregate score now 2-1, the west Londoners looked set for a place in the last eight, only for a bullter header from ex-Blues man David Luiz to level the scores and force the game into extra-time.
Despite being a man short, Laurent Blanc’s side continued to impress only to go behind once again on 96 minutes, via an Eden Hazard spot-kick after a Thiago Silva handball. But then, with just six minutes of the second-half of extra-time left, Silva made up for his handball by produced a superb header from a corner, which arched over Courtois and into the back of the Chelsea net. And that goal proved the final, decisive moment in the game.
While PSG can now look forward to a quarter-final clash, Mourinho and co. will pick over the bones of a performance where aggression and gamesmanship got in the way of any good football.
Photos: Getty Images