Paris was saved as the Brasilian Centerbacks stepped up and put in two crucial goals against all odds.
Nights like the one we witnessed in London tonight are one of the manyy reasons the fans love the champions league. Paris St. Germaine went into Stamford Bridge needing to score to advance with Chelsea grabbing a vital away goal. The game was ripe for a cracking match and the next 120 minutes did not disappoint.
Controversy struck Early when the referee made his first of many errors in what had to be one of the worst officiated matches I have ever seen. Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Oscar went for a loose ball and both slid to reach the ball. Match referee immediately pulled a red card for the Swedish international and the match was dramatically turned on its head. Chelsea players crowded the man and many PSG players were furious as they believed it influenced the officials decision. After seeing the replay you can clearly see that Zlatan pulled his leg away to avoid contact and in reality Oscar went studs up into the challenge. Zlatan walked off the pitch in disbelief and stunned and Laurent Blanc gave a stare into the stars as to question the gods for this obstacle during such a crucial moment for the club.
Their were several other missed calls. Diego Costa was brought down in the area and was not awarded in the penalty in one of Chelsea’s most clear opportunities in the first 80 minutes of the match. David Luiz swung a big elbow at Diego Costa the ref failed to see. The Blues were the first to draw blood late in the match in what was surely a match winner. Chelsea created mass confusion during a corner kick that enabled Gary Cahill to blast in a volley in the area.
Down to ten men and playing on the road without their leader Zlatan meant only a moment of divine intervention could turn the tide. Ironically one of football’s most distinctive players gave Paris exactly what they needed at the death of the game as David Luiz put in one of two goals the Parisians would score from set pieces. Courtois can shoulder some of the blame for his positioning but it was his back line who’s constant struggle to find the right area and marking that ultimately cost the blues their shot at the next round in the champions league.
Both teams went into extra time with a new focus but PSG still needed to play at least 30 more minutes down a man. Thiago Silva had been very solid up until extra time when in a bizarre moment he handled the ball in the area going up for a header. Eden Hazard put away the penalty and again Chelsea and Mourinho looked poised to advance. Pastore, Veratti and company though to their credit kept their composure and despite being down a man were the more dangerous team in regulation and it continued into extra time.
Thiago Silva would erase all negativity for his blunder as he put in a tremendous floating header in the 115th minute that sent the traveling fans into a moment of absolute nirvana. John Terry and Gary Cahill lost the Brasilian during the corner and summed up the loss and confusion present throughout the London Squad. The moment of redemption never came for Mourinho’s men and PSG took one of their biggest wins in their history against all odds that will surely be the confidence and turning point they need to truly compete for the most coveted trophy in European competition.
Chelsea had many problems that led to an earlier exit than many anticipated. Cesc Fabgregas showed shades of what many Barcelona and Arsenal fans had been vocalizing. He constantly starts off campaigns in a strong manner but seems to disappear and fail to perform on the business side of the season. Their was also no lack of determination or sense of urgency for the blues. The only player noticeably fighting for the ball and the team was their young Belgian #10. Mourinho will now focus on bringing in another premier league title and Paris will find themselves with a new confidence and determination that will strike fear into the hearts of any team they will square up against in the next round.
–Disgruntled Sports Fan