Chelsea 2 PSG 0: Three talking points as Mourinho reaches 8th semi-final
Chelsea 2 PSG 0: Three talking points as Jose Mourinho's men book their place in the last eight
PSG fail to deal with hazard posed by Schurrle
What a difference a week can make! Andre Schurrle was asked to play in a striker role in the first leg at Parc des Princes but lasted the best part of 59 minutes before being replaced by Fernando Torres. The Germany international was virtually anonymous in Paris but proved a real livewire at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea’s Champions League semi-final dream looked to be fading away when Eden Hazard was forced off with a knock in the 16th minute. But Schurrle injected life into the Blues side with his adventurous runs and turn of pace. The impact substitute showed the composure of Fernando Torres in his pomp to steer a low finish past Salvatore Sirigu before half-time. Buoyed by his first Champions League strike, the former Bayer Leverkusen man had a penalty claim waved away minutes later. Schurrle continued to pose a threat after the interval as he was at the end of a sweeping Chelsea counter-attack but saw his powerful effort come back off the crossbar.
I am (no) Zlatan
With Zlatan Ibrahimovic injured for the second leg at Stamford Bridge, Edinson Cavani was handed his favoured central-striker role for the return leg. The Uruguay international, who has been linked with Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United ahead of this summer’s transfer window, had history with the Blues, scoring twice in a 3-1 win in Naples in 2012. If the 27-year-old was hoping to prove to Laurent Blanc that he should be shifted off the wing and into a central position on a regular basis and earn some more Premier League admirers, Cavani failed. He was kept at close quarters by Gary Cahill and John Terry, and he even showed a lack of nous when he earned a yellow card which earned him a one-game suspension after David Luiz aimed a quick free-kick at the South American’s shins a yard away. It was his former Napoli team-mate and current PSG strike partner Ezequiel Lavezzi who posed the biggest threat as he weaved his way through the Chelsea defence on a couple of occasions. Surprisingly Lavezzi was the man replaced by Javier Pastore, and Cavani missed a late chance to kill off the tie before Demba Ba’s winner. How Blanc will rue having his larger than life Swedish striker, who has scored 40 goals this season, sitting in the stands and not on the pitch.
Mourinho goes striker crazy
Jose Mourinho needs a copy of 2012 Chelsea annual if the Portuguese coach’s pre-match interview with ITV is anything to go by. The 51-year-old refused to acknowledge Chelsea’s famous 4-1 victory over Napoli at Stamford Bridge as the Blues successfully overturned a 3-1 first-leg deficit en route to winning the competition. It was the same challenge facing Mourinho’s men on Tuesday night. Only a brave punter would have discounted their chances too, with Chelsea winning their last six games to nil at Stamford Bridge. It was a case of how many would the Blues score at the other end of the pitch. Schurrle’s early introduction brought Chelsea to life and the German gave Chelsea hope of securing the minimum required result; 2-0. But the Blues failed to kick on from his opener as Samuel Eto’o was quiet on his return to the starting line-up and facing Alex and Thiago Silva. Mourinho threw caution to the wind as ironically Mourinho threw Ba and Torres on as Chelsea had three centre-forwards up front at the end – they had none on the pitch at kick-off at Parc des Princes last week. And the Chelsea manager was rewarded for his bravery (or arguably sheer desperation) as Ba managed to beat Silva to a loose ball in the six-yard area and poke a finish into the roof of the net. It meant Mourinho’s unbeaten quarter-final record stayed intact as the Portuguese coach reached his ninth semi-final.