There were several moments during the match where most people would have been thinking that this is another opportunity lost for PSG. After losing to Chelsea late on in last season’s Champions League quarter-final, the French side would have been desperate to claim revenge. But they had to dig deep after everything seemed to be going wrong for them. They squandered chances throughout the match and it all looked as if they had not learned from last year’s failures. This was particularly obvious with Edinson Cavani, who missed a glorious opportunity to score as he had last season as well. But this time it wasn’t to be that way. Laurent Blanc’s men simply refused to back down despite conceding with nine minutes to go in the 90. And they showed that never-say-die attitude after falling behind yet again in extra-time. This was maybe something they lacked last season. However, they showed a different side to themselves this time round and did brilliantly to overcome a one-man disadvantage and stubborn Chelsea back four. Blanc’s men proved they are up to the task of challenging the more experienced sides and that will serve them well in their upcoming tie in Europe.
Apart from the moment Diego Costa was fouled in the penalty area, nothing else seemed to go against Chelsea. They had one-man advantage for the majority of the match after Zlatan Ibrahimovic was wrongly sent off by referee Bjorn Kuipers and yet they failed to take advantage of their opponents. Despite the red card shown to their talisman, PSG controlled most of the match and created the better chances. In this situation many would have expected Chelsea to have a real go at PSG and kill the game off. Yet they failed to do so and could have easily lost the game in 90 minutes had Edinson Cavani scored in the second half. They were even gifted a penalty by Thiago Silva in extra-time but even that wasn’t enough for them. Silva’s headed goal emphasised Chelsea’s poor performance in what should have been a comfortable win after Ibrahimovic’s sending-off. Questions will be raised as to why Jose Mourinho’s side could not take advantage of a vulnerable and wounded PSG.
Silva and Luiz – the unlikeliest heroes came to the rescue for a PSG side that looked destined to go out at Stamford Bridge for a second successive season. Both players were immense throughout the match despite questions raised over their central defensive partnership. And yet they were both nearly made the villains in this epic battle. Luiz was arguably at fault for the first goal where he should have been present to stop Gary Cahill from opening the scoring. However, he rose to the task to head home the equaliser and send the game to extra-time. The same occurred with Silva, whose contribution stood out even more. The Brazilian was excellent all evening and suddenly everything went against him when his silly schoolboy error gave away a penalty. All seemed lost when Eden Hazard put the ball in the net but Silva wasn’t finished yet. His bullet header in extra-time wiped away his earlier mistake and it sent unexpectedly PSG through. It couldn’t have been any more bitter-sweet than that for Silva.
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