Laurent Blanc believes his side will need to be defensively strong during the early part of tomorrow’s Champions League quarter-final second leg, as the Blues will look to start the game positively in the hope of reducing our two-goal deficit.
Speaking ahead of the game, the Paris Saint-Germain manager said he expects his side, who lead 3-1 following last week’s first leg in the French capital, to come under pressure early on.
‘Tomorrow we are potentially going to have some issues in the first 20 minutes,’ said Blanc.
‘Chelsea are going to come out at us. They will have analysed the first leg and being two goals behind they will be very aggressive and try to score. It’s up to us to remain calm and even counter Chelsea. You saw from the first leg, particularly in the second half, we have the players to do that.
‘Things can change very quickly in the first 20 minutes; are Chelsea going to come out and play like they did in the first half of the first leg?
‘It’s going to be a terrific game, an intense game. We can’t just be content with sitting back and letting Chelsea come on to us. PSG are used to taking the game to the opposition, we know they’re a very good side but our ambition is to cause them problems.’
Having fallen behind in Paris to a Ezequiel Lavezzi strike inside three minutes, Jose Mourinho’s side responded well and dominated much of the first half, equalising through an Eden Hazard penalty before the break.
Blanc, who knows the Premier League well from his time as a Manchester United player, is hoping his side can prevent us from controlling possession this time around.
‘We’ve not come here to have Chelsea dictate the game and dominate us. The best way to play, and the best approach to take, is to have the ball and create chances,’ he explained.
‘The role of a top team is to still be able to play and dominate the game away from home. Ultimately the game will come down to who has the ball and how well they’re able to use it.’
The two-goal deficit ensures we will need to take the game to the French side to a certain degree, and Blanc will be looking for his attacking players to cause us problems on the break.
‘In the first leg we saw Chelsea defend very compactly, on the edge of their box with four defenders, and that obviously leaves space down the flanks,’ he said.
‘That’s perfect for Lavezzi because he has speed, he can explode and beat players. We caused Chelsea problems in the first leg but it’s now a case of whether we’re going to see Chelsea play with a high line and come out. If they do, that will leave space in behind for Lavezzi and our other players.
‘We don’t know what mindset Chelsea are going to approach the game with, we have an idea because given the result from the first leg we have already acquired a lead so they will have to try to come back from that, which means they will have to come out [and attack] to a certain extent.’
You can listen to live commentary of tomorrow’s game from 7.45pm on Chelsea TV.