PSG get late goal and advance as Chelsea is dazed
Chelsea squandered many opportunities, looked flat and ended up not advancing due to a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge against Paris St Germain. Although the score line was 3-3 on aggregate, PSG advance to the Champions League quarterfinals due to scoring two away goals to Chelsea’s one.
Embattled PSG coach Laurent Blanc keeps his job, while Chelsea’s coach Jose Mourinho can only be questioned for his team’s terrible display. Mourinho once again reverted to familiar defensive-tactics during a big match and was beaten by a much hungrier side from Paris.
Chelsea had the opportunity to take control of the game after Zlatan Ibrahimovic was harshly sent off (a few other missed decisions are detailed below) after 31 minutes for a two-legged challenge against Oscar, but sat back and allowed 10-man PSG 51 percent possession over the 90 minutes and two overtime periods.
PSG twice came from behind during a feisty and ill-tempered match to advance and knock Chelsea out of the competition. Gary Cahill opened the scoring with a strike in front of goal in the 81st minute, but The Blues advantage was quickly cancelled out by former Chelsea defender David Luiz’s header in the 86th minute. PSG captain Thiago Silva conceded a silly penalty kick for a handball which was taken in style by Eden Hazard in the 96th minute, but turned from villain to hero as his header in the second overtime in the 114th minute sent PSG to the quarterfinals.
After the match, Mourinho was quoted saying that, “of course we have the game in our hands twice but the opponent was stronger than us. They coped better with the pressure of the game.” And ironically that “maybe because they were with 10 men we felt even more the pressure of winning and they had nothing to lose. They were just playing their game.”
Mourinho conceded that Blanc’s men coped better with the pressure, but shouldn’t Chelsea being at home and up a man be better suited to take the game to PSG and put on the pressure? Mourinho’s starting lineup wasn’t effective and his substitutions were not strategic at all. Chelsea is now left to focus on the Premier League where they sit atop the table five points ahead of Manchester City instead of competing in Europe's most prestigious club-soccer competition.
Missed decisions. Along with Zlatan’s red card, Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers, missed many calls throughout the game. Three key calls included:
- David Luiz should have been sent off for elbowing Diego Costa off the ball, but went unnoticed.
- Diego Costa should have been awarded a penalty after a trip by Edinson Cavani in the 42nd minute in the box, but nothing was given.
- Diego Costa should have been sent off for his two-arm shove on Marquinhos in the 91st minute, but again this went unnoticed.
Lastly, one fun fact about ‘superstar’ Zlatan Ibrahimovic, he now has more Champions League red cards than goals against English clubs - four versus three in 18 matches, all against Arsenal.