PSG 1 Chelsea 1: Three lessons learned

Three lessons learned as Chelsea leave Paris with a valuable away goal

By Jonathan Spencer

Cahill or Zouma?

This will be a hard call for Jose Mourinho to make. On the one side, you have the experienced English international, Gary Cahill, but on the other side, you have the young Frenchman, Kurt Zouma. Zouma has slotted in comfortably to the Chelsea side in the last few matches, playing against big opposition, such as Manchester City and Liverpool. Certainly in recent weeks, the youngster has been in the better form for club. Mourinho decided to go for experience tonight, though. On Cahill’s Paris performance, it is hard to tell if the manager made the right decision. Cahill should have been a lot tighter to Edinson Cavani for the equalising goal, as the Uruguayan forward was given acres of space to head home a free header. Mourinho will have a selection dilemma but he will be hoping that Chelsea’s attacking flare can win them the tie and secure a place in the last eight. Expect the Chelsea boss to stick with Cahill, as Mourinho likes a team with experience and he will want to be cautious going into the return match.

Advantage Chelsea

Chelsea will feel fairly pleased going into the second leg at Stamford Bridge. Whilst the match ended in a 1-1 draw, they scored that all vital away goal, coming from an unlikely source. Three of the four Chelsea defenders were directly involved in the goal, as John Terry crossed and Cahill flicked the ball onto the head of Branislav Ivanovic. Even though it may not have been the performance that Mourinho would have wanted, they have the narrow advantage. Also, Chelsea will hope to have Cesc Fabregas fully fit by then and not carrying an illness. It looks like Paris Saint-Germain have an uphill battle if they want to reach the quarter finals of the Champions League. If PSG are to go through, then certainly the defence will need to tighten up and Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Cavani are going to need very big performances in front of goal.

The best attack wins

With the tie delicately poised at 1-1 going into the second leg at Chelsea, both sets of clubs and fans will be very anxious about which way the result is going to turn out. Both managers know that their teams have an abundance of great attacking options and they will hope to deploy this threat at Stamford Bridge. For Mourinho, he will be hopeful that Diego Costa and Fabregas have more effective games than they both did tonight. Also, he will be eager for Eden Hazard to burst into life and be at his unstoppable best. Laurent Blanc will also be desperate for Ibrahimovic to have a much better game. If Cavani and Ibrahimovic are on fire, then PSG will have every chance of reaching the quarter-final stage.

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