Chelsea crashed out of the Champions league as they lost 4-2 on aggregate to French champions PSG. The Blues knew they needed a good start here to overturn a 2-1 defeat in Paris, but Adrien Rabiot scored for the French club after they dominated the early stages. Diego Costa got an equaliser as the hosts pressed late in the first half, but they couldn’t get in front. Zlatan Ibrahimovic ended all hopes that Chelsea had as he struck to send his side through.
Guus Hiddink went with an open side for this one, when many expected him to start with Nemanja Matic alongside John Obi Mikel. The Serbian was left on the bench, with Cesc Fabregas playing in the middle. John Terry sat out again, so Branislav Ivanovic captained the side, with Kenedy surprisingly in at left back.
That team seemed too open, with Fabregas never likely to break up play in central midfield. That was the case from the start, as the French side danced around the Chelsea defence. They had a couple of early chances, and it felt like a PSG goal was coming. After a quarter of an hour of pressure, Ibrahimović’s cross found Rabiot, who tapped in at the back post, as he breezed through a confused Chelsea back line.
That goal seemed to wake the home team up, as they began to exert some control over the game from there on. They had to find two goals just to force extra time, but in truth they should have managed that by half time. There were so many good chances here for Chelsea, but they only managed to score the one.
Costa got that goal just before the half hour mark, he worked his way into some space and fired past Kevin Trapp. That goal lifted the fans, but the second just wasn’t coming. The Blues pushed forward and dominated as half time closed in, but they were unable to take advantage. Even at the time, it looked like their failure to take advantage then would be their undoing.
Chelsea did keep trying after half time, but Laurent Blanc got his side pushing forward again in response. The French champions showed absolutely no fear here, and their quality shone through. Costa limped off with an injury, and then seven minutes later Ibrahimovic scored from Angel Di Maria’s cross.
From there, the tie was over. The Blues had 20 minutes to score three times, without their leading striker. Their exit here means this is the last Champions League game at Stamford Bridge for a long time. With work on the stadium possibly starting next year, it could be a long time before the competition returns here.
The scale of the defeat showed just how big the gap between the Blues and Europe’s best is. Right now, they are miles off where they should be. Whoever takes charge of this side next season has some serious work to do.
LCN Man of the Match: Kenedy