Chelsea crashed out of the Champions League on away goals after a disappointing clash against PSG. After a tense night and a lacklustre performance from the hosts, Gary Cahill made the breakthrough from a corner. David Luiz struck late on to level on the night and on aggregate, forcing the Blues into extra time for the first time since the 2012 final. Eden Hazard’s penalty ruled out the prospect of penalties, but then Thiago Silva headed in from a corner to send the French champions through on away goals.
Jose Mourinho started the game with Ramires out wide on the right, a decision that his predecessor was widely criticised for. Nemanja Matic played for the first time since being sent off against Burnley, which saw Kurt Zouma drop down to the bench.
The game was physical from the off, and the heated atmosphere spiralled after a coming together between Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Oscar. Both players slid in just outside the home side’s box, but Oscar won the ball and came out of it in pain. The referee went straight to his pocket, although Chelsea players crowding the referee was blamed for what seemed to be a harsh red.
It was then Mourinho’s men who felt hard done by, as they had a penalty waved away. After dancing past half the Parisian defence, Diego Costa was brought down by Edinson Cavani. The referee waved away the appeals, just one of a number of mistakes he made over the course of the game.
Chelsea dropped off in the second half, and their performance got more and more leggy. Cahill’s volley handed them a lead to protect in the 81st minute, even though it was far from deserved. From that position, a Mourinho team would usually be expected to hold out, but all was not well with the side. Luiz popped up to haunt his former team late in the game, scoring from a corner to force extra time.
The Premier League leaders made the perfect start to extra time, after being almost literally handed a penalty by Silva. The Brazilian leapt up and went at the ball hand first, and the slightest of touches had the referee pointing to the spot. Eden Hazard was as cool as usual with the penalty, stroking it home to give the home side the lead once more.
That looked like it would be enough for Chelsea, until Silva made up for his mistake with another headed goal. John Terry completely abandoned the opposition captain at a corner, giving him space to score from 12 yards out. After that, time wasting and nerves seemed to end all hopes the hosts had, as they failed to threaten and crashed out in hugely disappointing fashion.
It was a result deserving of the performance, both on the night and over the two legs. The Blues turned up for just 45 minutes of the 210 and PSG took advantage. It’s a disappointing defeat, one that shows how Mourinho hasn’t added the necessary ruthless edge this season. Steps have been taken, but this side aren’t the finished article yet. However, with a trophy in the bag and a comfortable lead in the league, they’re still on course for a good year.
LCN Man of the Match: Eden Hazard