Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Chelsea hammers 2:0 past PSG to advance to UCL semi-finals

Chelsea vs. Paris Saint-Germain Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction

Chelsea completed a brilliant comeback to beat Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 on the night to advance to the semi-finals of the Champions League on the away-goals rule.
Demba Ba bundled home with two minutes left on the clock to secure a 3-3 draw. For long spells it appeared that Javier Pastore’s late goal in the first leg would be enough for PSG, but they were undone by a sucker punch from Ba that booked Chelsea’s seventh Champions League semi-final appearance in the last 11 years.
Chelsea’s first positive piece of play arrived on nine minutes, as Oscar darted to the byline and cut the ball back to Samuel Eto’o. The Cameroonian has carved out a career fashioning chances from nothing, but he was surrounded by PSG defenders and his shot was charged down.

Julian Finney/Getty Images

Eden Hazard has been an inspirational figure for Chelsea this season, but he looked subdued early on and exited stage left on 17 minutes with an injury.
For half an hour, Chelsea made few inroads into their deficit as PSG defended with an assured confidence. But the momentum shifted on 32 minutes thanks to an old-fashioned long throw. David Luiz got to Branislav Ivanovic’s throw, flicked it on to Andre Schurrle who swept the ball beyond Salvatore Sirigu.
Chelsea were handed a massive chance to get the second goal they needed on 37 minutes. A set-piece again caused alarm in the PSG box, the loose ball fell to Gary Cahill but he took a wild swipe at the ball and sliced his shot wide.
PSG’s air of authority disappeared following the goal and Schurrle went within a coat of paint of grabbing his second on 52 minutes. Full of confidence, Schurrle let fly from 20 yards and his shot crashed against the bar with Sirigu beaten.

Julian Finney/Getty Images

Seconds later and the woodwork came to PSG’s aid again. A brilliant free-kick from Oscar beat Sirigu but thudded against the crossbar and away from danger.
With 25 minutes left on the clock, Jose Mourinho rolled the dice by throwing on Ba. It was a snub toFernando Torres, but it almost reaped dividends as the forward flicked a header into the path of Schurrle. The ball would not sit down for the forward and his shot was saved by Sirigu.
PSG lured Yohan Cabaye to the club from Newcastle in January, and he showed exactly why they made that move with a delicious pass that set Edinson Cavani free.
The forward’s first touch was exquisite, which handed him the chance to put the tie to bed, but his second was awful as he fired over the bar.
It was a chance PSG were made to rue.  With 88 minutes on the clock, Ba was on hand to turn home a loose ball to send Mourinho running down the touchline in delight.

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