The Blues had a night to forget as we failed to take advantage of out first leg result and criminally let PSG back into a game where they were down to 10 men within 30 minutes. The French team advanced on away goals, after extra-time.
There is certainly no doubt that PSG deserved their victory of two legs, showing a real backbone when the odd’s were suddenly stacked against them. This is the first time, since the Qatari takeover, that the French side has delivered to its potential on paper during a big European night.
The ironies abound, but it looks like the best thing that happened to PSG was losing their star man Ibrahimovic to a questionable call from the Dutch referee, Björn Kippers. At least it’s not just Premiership referees that seems sub par at the moment. Unfortunately for Ibra it probably looked like a two footed stud’s up challenge on Oscar from everywhere except the TV camera angle. In fact it seemed the Swede actually tried to pull out at the death. The ref had his red card out before Oscar hit the Stamford Bridge turf. There was certainly no case for the argument that the Chelsea players influenced the referee’s decision, he made his own mind up, very quickly indeed.
From this point on the tie generally disintegrated into a bad-tempered affair where the idea of flowing football became sadly lost to a battle of ego’s. This was Chelsea’s downfall. I certainly feel that its time for Diego Costa to spend more time concentrating on his goal tally as opposed to doing all he can to wind up opposition defences. If only because it seems he and we are the ones who are losing out due to this strategy. He even acknowledged Jose’s request to calm down , by winking at him soon after the Ibra sending off……. but then proceeded to completely ignore our managers direct order.
He should have been sent off for a second bookable, after throwing Maxwell to the ground, luckily out of the referee’s crosshairs……Mind you the ref. had a number of missed calls tonight, a cast iron Costa penalty being one of them.
But all this said, we must see the woods for the trees. Chelsea were awful tonight. That includes Jose Mourinho, who having made a couple of poor decisions, failed to act quickly enough to rectify them and by the time he did, the tone had been set.
Where was the Jose of old who didn’t hang around, choosing to make wholesale changes if the game had the wrong feel to it. This was hard to watch.
Yet again Jose decided not to play what has been his best side at home all season, choosing Ramires over Willian in the starting line-up. Poor old Ramires had a stinker. His touch from the kick off looked suspect, everyone has an off night now and again. Once the home team gained a man on PSG, you hoped they would have of gone for the jugular. Instead the Blues seemed to labor in procession, devoid of creativity, hoping an opening would appear due to our numerical advantage. Meanwhile PSG dug deep and were the better side for most the game.
Matic was obviously carrying his ankle injury, he hid it well but was certainly not his usual effective self. Hazard didn’t want to let out the after-burners for some reason. Ivanovich lost his attacking tendencies. Cesc did more defending than orchestrating. As said Diego Costa spent far too much time trying to intimidate. Sub standard performances abounded in Blue.
It had the feel of one of those nights very early in the proceedings and neither the Chelsea players nor its manager had the stomach to turn it around.
Meanwhile as is common in these situations, the pantomime villan turned hero. David Luiz wanted to rub his former clubs nose in it, and he did!….. He could have cared less what the home crowd thought of him. He tried to get Costa sent off by faking a headbutt, having failed to knock him out with his elbow a little earlier in the game (Another referee miss). To put cream on the cake he scored the regular time equalizer with a thundering near post header, that matched anything his right foot could have offered…… the celebration was “anything but” respectfully low-key!…. take that his fist pump indicated.
He wasnt the only PSG player to get redemption in this game. Tiago Silva, who had given away an awful extra-time penalty by handballing under no real pressure, managed to score the tying goal with 5 minutes left. Justice was served.
The only good news is that if you canvassed most Chelsea Fans at the beginning of the season, we would take the Premiership over the Champions League this year. We “needed” to be Champions of England again, a decent CL run would have been a bonus but was always secondary this campaign…… we better get our wish.
Ironically within a week or so of the Premier League TV rights having been renegotiated for 70% more than the previous deal, all its headline acts look to have tumbled out Europe prestige competetion…… En Garde, EPL!
So come on Jose, pick the boys up by this weekend, lets give Southampton a good seeing too and all will be forgiven if we sit 8 points clear.