Chelsea vs. Paris Saint-Germain: (2-0)
Chelsea eluded all the probabilities, each of the predictions and prophecy to reach the last four of the Champions League quarter final on one of the greatest nights at Stamford Bridge. May be it’s a triumph of the human psyche or just one of those other things that sometimes happens in soccer.
Long enough, it appeared like Javier Pastore’s late goal in the first leg was adequate for PSG, but they were undone by a great punch from Ba that booked Chelsea’s 7nth Champions League semi-final appearance in last one decade. Probably Mourinho should have been the one bracing over his side’s hope in the competition, but it was Laurent Blanc who emerged for the first half in an obvious bid to calm any pre-match audacity.
Chelsea did not play exceptionally well. They hit the bar twice and found one last thrust when they really needed it, with four or five minutes of massive pressure culminating in Demba Ba’s conclusive goal. However home fans got there hope back with the Belgian’s replacement – Andre Schurrle, actually when he found the net 14 minutes after coming off the bench. And Chelsea’s anticipations appeared to agonize a huge blow in the 18th minute when PSG transfer target Hazard limped was injured and replaced. The momentum reversed on 32 minutes thanks to an old-fashioned long pass, David Luiz got to Branislav Ivanovic’s throw and flicked it to Andre Schurrle, who scraped the ball beyond Salvatore Sirigu.
A substantial team ethic permeate the Chelsea dressing-room, which makes them greater than the sum of their individual skills, a contrast to PSG, who still remain a puzzle of sparkling pieces waiting to be assembled completely.After going behind, the men from the French capital disposed little threat, and could have been two down when Schurrle burgled an effort at the crossbar. Soon after an Oscar free-kick suffered the same fate.
Mourinho played his last card, with 10 minutes left, sending on Torres for Oscar.
Right after 90 minutes Chelsea still had to hold on through four minutes of injury time, two corners and an astounding save from Marquinhos’s shot by Cech until the final whistle triggered an almighty commemoration.
One mistake, one goal and that brought obscurity for Chelsea. Lavezzi curled in a free-kick which Cech, stretching to his left, pushed away. It was never like Chelsea’s day neither like PSG’s, after Edinson Cavani had wasted a thriving opportunity to put the result beyond doubt, Ba became an unexpected hero.
Mental strength is the vital constituent for Mourinho’s men who have steel nerve about them and that will make them tough nuts to crack in the semi-finals. Mourinho has mirrored on his team’s “deserved” victory:
“I wanted Demba to play in front of the defenders, and Nando to defend Maxwell. I think we did enough in the beginning of the second half to score before, but we couldn’t. The team that decided to defend was punished, and the team that gave everything deserved to go through to the semis.”