MATCH REPORT: PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN 3 CHELSEA 1

Apr 02, 2014 Posted Under: News

Summary
An injury-time goal from Javier Pastore means we have a two-goal deficit to overhaul next week if we are to progress to the Champions League semi-finals.

Ezequiel Lavezzi had thumped PSG ahead in the opening stages of an evenly-contested and end-to-end first period that ended level courtesy of a calm – what else – Eden Hazard penalty, won by Oscar.

Our hosts regained their lead with an hour played when an inswinging Lavezzi free-kick was turned into his own net by the unfortunate David Luiz, the quality of the delivery too much for defence and keeper alike.

It looked like both teams had settled for what would have been a fair result, but Pastore’s late intervention leaves our European aspirations hanging in the balance.

Team News
Andre Schurrle was selected to lead the attack in place of Fernando Torres, one of three changes Mourinho made from Saturday’s defeat at Crystal Palace. In the midst of his three-game domestic suspension, Ramires returned to midfield for his first outing since our 2-0 triumph over Galatasaray in this competition two weeks ago, replacing the ineligible Nemanja Matic. Paired alongside compatriot David Luiz in the 4-2-3-1 formation that had served the team so well in so many of our biggest match-ups this campaign, they were joined in the starting 11 by fellow Brazilians Oscar and Willian, the latter having not featured in our last two league games. Frank Lampard would have to wait until the second half for his 100th Champions League appearance.

For PSG there was a start at the heart of the defence for Alex, our former defender, while to his right Christophe Jallet was the man chosen to replace the injured Gregory van der Wiel. The dangerous attacking trio of Ezequiel Lavezzi, Edinson Cavani and Zlatan Ibrahimovic were as expected selected in attack.

First Half
Not 20 seconds had passed before PSG, roared on by a vociferous home support, threatened for the first time. Marco Verratti latched onto a half-cleared Chelsea clearance but his shot went well wide.

The respite proved temporary. Any hope we had heeded that very early warning proved wishful thinking with just three minutes of this two-legged tie on the clock. Matuidi crossed from the left and the backpedalling Terry could only direct his cleared header to the lurking Lavezzi. Ten yards from goal, the Italian chested and half-volleyed immaculately over Cech and in off the underside of the bar.

We responded strongly to the early setback in what was a truly frenetic opening quarter-of-an-hour. The Parisians showed early nerves of their own and that, coupled with decent Chelsea pressing, gave us some presentable possession in the final third. Andre Schurrle, predominantly deployed at the tip of the attack, dropped deeper and embarked on a strong, penetrating run that took him deep inside the Paris box but his dangerous-looking cutback was cleared by Verratti.

Ramires then slid through Lavezzi and was booked, ruling him out of Tuesday’s return leg in London, and Alex also saw yellow for tripping our Brazilian no.7 as he glided past him.

David Luiz had our first shot in anger on 18 minutes having Cruyff-turned his way past Matuidi but it dribbled through to Sirigu. At the other end, Lavezzi raced on to a cute Ibrahimovic pass and for a moment looked like he had the beating of Gary Cahill. However our centre-back defended magnificently to ward him away from goal and when Lavezzi did shoot it was always destined for the safety of Petr Cech’s side-netting.

Our approach play had looked tidy but had been short of a final killer touch. On 25 minutes, joyously, that decisive touch came. Willian scurried away down the right and shrugged off the attentions of Ibrahimovic before laying it into Oscar’s path. Entering the box, he got there a fraction before Thiago Silva and was brought down by his international teammate. It was an easy decision for the Serbian referee.

Hazard, as cool as ever from the spot, sent Sirigu the wrong way. His first Chelsea penalty away from Stamford Bridge meant a valuable away goal was ours.

PSG v Chelsea

The entertainment kept coming on a balmy Paris evening. Lavezzi was proving a real thorn for our backline – just as he was in Naples two years ago – and certainly outshone his more revered colleagues Ibrahimovic and Cavani in the opening 45. Spinning and shooting inside the box, we could be grateful his next effort was close enough to Cech for our keeper to get down low to.

Then, a corner won as a result of Lavezzi’s industry was missed by Cech, who had chosen punching as his preferred option for dealing with most of PSG’s set-pieces. Thankfully, Ivanovic was on hand to clear our lines not far from goal.

The final clear opportunity of the half fell to Hazard. The brilliant Belgian had impressed on his return to the land where he made his name and nearly had a second goal to celebrate but his left-footed volley thudded against the far post, with Sirigu well-beaten. Willian’s cross was a good one but it required the majesty of Hazard to create a genuine goalscoring chance from it.

PSG appealed for a penalty of their own just before the break when Cavani and Cahill simultaneously crumpled to the turf as a ball looped over their head. There seemed little intent on our player’s behalf and that was the opinion of the man that mattered.

A match that had promised much was certainly living up to its billing.

Second Half
Lavezzi met a teasing Matuidi cross five minutes after the interval and perhaps should have done better with his header, executed with time and space aplenty, than only landing it on Cech’s roof.

On the hour the advantage swung back PSG’s way. David Luiz gave away a soft free-kick wide on the left that was beautifully swung over by Lavezzi. Always destined for the far corner, it was first touched on by Ibrahimovic and then hit David Luiz very close to our goal-line. There was little he could have done to get out of the way and for the second time in five days we had conceded an own goal.

Hazard led the charge as we hunted a second equaliser straight away but he couldn’t quite pick out the recently-introduced Fernando Torres. The Spaniard had replaced Schurrle.

Ibrahimovic was then hurt and thus forced off with 67 gone. That meant a more central role for Cavani who immediately wasted a promising PSG counter-attack, stumbling in possession as he threatened to shoot from 15 yards out. He did better with seven minutes remaining, slipping inside a couple of white-shirted players and bending just beyond Cech’s far post.

In between those moments of danger Mourinho sent on Lampard for Oscar, meaning our all-time record goalscorer became the first man to reach a century of Chelsea Champions League games.

The closing stages were tight; both sides knowing a goal for the other could have a potentially decisive impact in the tie. In the third minute of added time a fourth goal did arrive though and devastatingly it went PSG’s way. Pastore beat two Chelsea men close to the touchline, cut inside and then fired a shot past Cech, who will be disappointed to have beaten at his near post.

We have it all to do on Tuesday but if any team is capable of the special European comeback we require it is Chelsea.

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry (c), Azpilicueta; Ramires, David Luiz; Willian, Oscar (Lampard 71), Hazard; Schurrle (Torres 58).
Unused subs Schwarzer, Kalas, Ake, Mikel, Ba.
Goal Hazard 25 pen
Bookings Ramires 11, Willian 31, David Luiz 85

PSG (4-3-3): Sirigu; Jallet, Alex, Thiago Silva (c), Maxwell; Verratti (Cabaye 75), Thiago Motta, Matuidi; Cavani, Ibrahimovic (Lucas 67), Lavezzi (Pastore 83).
Unused subs Douchez, Marquinhos, Digne, Rabiot.
Goals Lavezzi 3, David Luiz own goal 60, Pastore 90+3
Bookings Alex 19, Thiago Motta 81, Cavani 85

Referee Milorad Mazic from Serbia

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