By Ayesha Shaukat Khan
Islamabad — A Thiago Silva header in extra time helped Paris St-Germain (PSG) book their place in the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League despite being reduced to 10 players in the first half.
Chelsea, who last won the Champions League in 2012, crashed out of the tournament in front of their home crowd after leading twice during the game.
Chelsea versus PSG always promised to be an exciting match as the 1-1 first leg at the Parc Des Princes two weeks ago set up a showdown at Mourinho’s castle, Stamford Bridge.
But Chelsea were unable to take advantage of both the home game and the early dismissal of PSG’s talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic to push the result in their favour.
Ibrahimovic was sent off after 31 minutes following his two-footed dive at Chelsea midfielder Oscar. The controversial straight red card made tempers flare and turned the game into a highly volatile affair.
The decision by referee Bjorn Kuipers seemed harsh. It appeared to be partly influenced by the Chelsea players who surrounded the referee en masse after the challenge from Ibrahimovic and pressured him for a red card.
The first clear chance of the game came to PSG. After being played onside by Gary Cahill, Edinson Cavani tried to pick his spot past Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois but somehow missed the target.
More controversy followed when the referee once again failed to make the right call when Chelsea’s Diego Costa was denied a clear first-half penalty after being fouled by Cavani in the penalty area.
The first goal of the game came after 81 minutes when Cahill finally put one past Salvatore Sirigu following a Costa mishit.
But a former Chelsea player came back to haunt the Blues when David Luiz equalised for PSG four minutes before the final whistle with a thunderous header.
His goal celebration earned boos from the Chelsea fans, but the equaliser forced the game into extra time.
Eden Hazard coolly slotted home from the penalty spot after PSG captain Silva conceded a penalty with his challenge on Kurt Zouma in the first half of extra time.
Hazard’s goal would have ensured Chelsea a place in the quarterfinals but Mourinho’s men were guilty of not exerting enough pressure to put PSG down.
PSG roared back into the game and Silva more than redeemed himself for the penalty he gave away with an exquisite header to score PSG’s second after 114 minutes.
It was 2-2 at the end of extra time at Stamford Bridge and PSG headed into the quarterfinals on away goals.
It was a tense match marred by terrible refereeing but in the end 10-man PSG were simply better at handling the pressure and not giving up. They were bold and deserved to win against a meek and unconvincing Chelsea display.