PSG exit in cruel fashion
By D. Crossan
Paris Saint-Germain suffered Champions League quarter-finals heartbreak as they fell 2-0 on the night at Chelsea to go out on the away goals rule.
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, second leg
Stamford Bridge, London
Chelsea FC 2-0 Paris Saint-Germain
(3-3 on aggregate, Chelsea go through on the away goals rule)
PSG had won the first leg at the Parc des Princes 3-1 but were on the back foot from the moment early Chelsea sub André Schürrle scored in the 32nd minute. Though Chelsea struck the woodwork twice early in the second half, PSG enjoyed plenty of opportunities to score a crucial away goal, before another Blues sub Demba Ba popped up with the 87th minute goal that condemned PSG to a quarter-finals elimination for the second season running.
PSG named the same starting eleven as for the first leg bar Lucas replacing the injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic, while Samuel Eto'o won his race against time to recover from injury to feature from the start for Chelsea. Eto'o had an early shot blocked to set the tone for a nervous evening.
Ezequiel Lavezzi and Edinson Cavani had memories of Chelsea overturning a 3-1 first leg deficit against their former club Napoli in 2012 in the round of 16. Lavezzi's pace troubled Chelsea just as it had at the Parc des Princes last week and PSG's prospects looked to have been improved when Chelsea dangerman Eden Hazard went off before 20 minutes were up and was replaced by Schürrle.
Chelsea began to get on top and before the half-hour Salvatore Sirigu tipped a deflected Frank Lampard free-kick around the post. The respite was only temporary for the Ligue 1 champions as Schürrle scored in the 32nd minute, netting an accomplished half-volley after David Luiz had flicked on a long Branislav Ivanovic free-kick.
Gary Cahill lashed a volley over after confusion following another Lampard free-kick, while there was a scare when captain Thiago Silva required treatment to his ankle following a great challenge on Eto'o. That was followed by anguish for Cavani as he collected a yellow card for preventing a free-kick being taken that will keep the Uruguayan out of PSG's next European tie.
Chelsea hit woodwork, PSG chances
Schürrle crashed a sweet first-time shot off the crossbar early in the second half and within seconds Oscar hit almost the same spot with a tremendous free-kick as Chelsea looked for the second goal that would see them go through on away goals.
Petr Cech beat away a vicious Lavezzi free-kick from the left as PSG enjoyed a rare sortie. Cavani volleyed over from a tight angle in the 72nd minute after a glorious Blaise Matuidi pass. Cavani shot over again following a delightful pass by PSG sub Yohan Cabaye and Lucas had an effort saved by Cech as Laurent Blanc's side enjoyed opportunities on the counter as Chelsea pushed forward.
There was heartbreak for PSG when Chelsea sub Ba scored three minutes from time. By that stage Chelsea had three centre-forwards on the pitch and the Senegalese international forward scored from close range after a Cesar Azpilicueta cross-shot fell his way.
Cech tipped a Marquinhos shot around the post in stoppage time as Chelsea held on and José Mourinho maintained his coaching record of never having exited the competition at the last eight stage.