Chelsea 1-2 PSG (agg 2-4): Zlatan Ibrahimovic delivers hammer blow to Blues

 

  • PSG midfielder Adrien Rabiot opened the scoring for the visitors in the 16th minute at Stamford Bridge
  • Chelsea striker Diego Costa levelled the scoreline on the night with a driven finish past goalkeeper Kevin Trapp
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has been linked with a summer move to the Premier League, sealed the match for PSG  
  • PSG have joined Real Madrid, Wolfsburg and Benfica in the quarter-finals of this season’s Champions League

The folly of those wilderness months is now becoming very real for Chelsea. Three down, one to go. Lose at Everton on Saturday and that is it, season over, and we won’t even be halfway through March. This was another sobering encounter for the weakest Champions of the Premier League era, beaten home and away by a superior Paris Saint-Germain side.

This was their last hope of playing in Europe’s biggest competition next season. To repeat the unlikely triumph of 2012, when the sixth-placed team in England somehow won the Champions League. It was improbable then, impossible now, Chelsea have started playing in the second half of this season but they were exposed here. Needing to win 1-0 to progress, Chelsea were never ahead, behind after 16 minutes, level, and then finished off with 23 minutes remaining when a second from PSG left them needing to score three more in normal time.

The crowd went flat, so too the team. The loss of Diego Costa to a calf injury seven minutes earlier was a huge blow, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s goal finished them off. He is being touted around English clubs for a last payday in Europe next season and, even at 34, he remains quite the handful. He made the first goal, scored the second – it was almost as if he wanted to be noticed.

A Premier League cast-off in Angel di Maria also had his day, in excellent nick as he was in the first leg. He made the winner, played in by Thiago Motta and crossing perfectly for Ibrahimovic from the right. The striker, and his team-mates, celebrated as if the match was over, which it was; and Chelsea fans began to recall this bust of a season.

So when Eden Hazard signalled to come off after 77 minutes, and another ordinary display against the team he so wishes to impress, there was a smattering of boos among the muted applause. Only the liveliest – Willian, always, and a battlefield promotion at full back, Kenedy – will escape the reckoning if Chelsea are finished off at Goodison Park. A team with this much invested in it should not be left playing for pride with close to a quarter of the season remaining. They need that FA Cup. Then again, they needed a clean sheet on Wednesday night. Maybe this is for the best, then. Chelsea’s players have been a little too used to getting what they want of late.

PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates after making it 2-1 on the night, his goal effectively sent Chelsea out of the Champions League

PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates after making it 2-1 on the night, his goal effectively sent Chelsea out of the Champions League

Sweden international Ibrahimovic beats Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois from close range with 23 minutes left on the clock

PSG's first-team stars mob midfielder Adrien Rabiot after the Frenchman converted an Ibrahimovic cross past Courtois

PSG’s first-team stars mob midfielder Adrien Rabiot after the Frenchman converted an Ibrahimovic cross past Courtois

Rabiot tapped home from close range to give Paris Saint-Germain an early lead at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday evening

Rabiot tapped home from close range to give Paris Saint-Germain an early lead at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday evening

Rabiot (centre left) is all smiles while John Mikel Obi and Gary Cahill (right of picture) show their frustration after the opening goal

Rabiot (centre left) is all smiles while John Mikel Obi and Gary Cahill (right of picture) show their frustration after the opening goal

Chelsea striker Diego Costa levels the scoreline on the night with a low driven shot past PSG goalkeeper Kevin Trapp 

Chelsea striker Diego Costa levels the scoreline on the night with a low driven shot past PSG goalkeeper Kevin Trapp

MATCH FACTS

CHELSEA (4-2-3-1): Courtois; Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Kenedy; Mikel, Fabregas; Pedro, Willian, Hazard (Oscar 77mins); Costa (Traore 60)

Subs not used: Begovic, Baba, Remy, Matic, Loftus-Cheek

Goal: Costa 27

Booked: Fabregas, Mikel, Ivanovic

PSG (4-3-3): Trapp; Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Luiz, Maxwell; Rabiot, Thiago Motta, Matuidi (Van der Wiel 87); Di Maria (Cavani 82), Ibrahimovic, Lucas Moura (Pastore 77)

Subs not used: Sirigu, Stambouli, Kurzawa, Augustin

Goal: Rabiot 16, Ibrahimovic 67

Booked: Rabiot, Motta

Referee: Felix Brych (Germany)

Former Manchester United defender Laurent Blanc (left) greets opposite number Guus Hiddink (right) before the European encounter

Former Manchester United defender Laurent Blanc (left) greets opposite number Guus Hiddink (right) before the European encounter

Blanc's PSG retreat to the halfway line after Rabiot's 17th-minute goal improved their chances of qualifying for the last 16

Blanc’s PSG retreat to the halfway line after Rabiot’s 17th-minute goal improved their chances of qualifying for the last 16

Chelsea captain John Terry, who missed the Champions League last 16 clash through injury, looks dejected after seeing his side concede

Chelsea captain John Terry, who missed the Champions League last 16 clash through injury, looks dejected after seeing his side concede

Star man Ibrahimovic (left) is congratulated by Marquinhos (right) following his superb assist for Rabiot's early goal in west London

Star man Ibrahimovic (left) is congratulated by Marquinhos (right) following his superb assist for Rabiot’s early goal in west London

Chelsea goalkeeper Courtois looks on as Rabiot beats full back Cesar Azpilicueta to the ball to poke home from close range

Chelsea goalkeeper Courtois looks on as Rabiot beats full back Cesar Azpilicueta to the ball to poke home from close range

German custodian Trapp shows his excitement after seeing PSG team-mate Rabiot put his side in the lead at Stamford Bridge 

German custodian Trapp shows his excitement after seeing PSG team-mate Rabiot put his side in the lead at Stamford Bridge

Rabiot tries to stop Cesc Fabregas in his tracks by putting in a challenge on the Spanish midfielder during the early exchanges 

Rabiot tries to stop Cesc Fabregas in his tracks by putting in a challenge on the Spanish midfielder during the early exchanges

Spain international Costa (centre) is cheered on by stand-in captain Branislav Ivanovic (left) following his Stamford Bridge leveller

Spain international Costa (centre) is cheered on by stand-in captain Branislav Ivanovic (left) following his Stamford Bridge leveller

Costa clenches his fists as he celebrates his 27th-minute goal in front of the Stamford Bridge faithful during the last 16 encounter 

Costa clenches his fists as he celebrates his 27th-minute goal in front of the Stamford Bridge faithful during the last 16 encounter

Chelsea fans keep their eyes peeled on the action as Fabregas shoots at goal, however his effort goes just wide of the diving Trapp's goal

Chelsea fans keep their eyes peeled on the action as Fabregas shoots at goal, however his effort goes just wide of the diving Trapp’s goal

Costa stands over Ibrahimovic after the former Atletico Madrid man tripped over his fellow striker during the first half 

Costa stands over Ibrahimovic after the former Atletico Madrid man tripped over his fellow striker during the first half

Former PSG ace David Beckham (right) was joined by his son Brooklyn (left) as he watched the game from the Stamford Bridge stands

Former PSG ace David Beckham (right) was joined by his son Brooklyn (left) as he watched the game from the Stamford Bridge stands

Sweden international Ibrahimovic, who is expected to leave Parc des Princes in the summer, calls for the ball by putting his hand in the air

Sweden international Ibrahimovic, who is expected to leave Parc des Princes in the summer, calls for the ball by putting his hand in the air

Brazilian utility man Kenedy (centre, pictured with PSG goalscorer Rabiot) was handed his first ever Champions League start 

Brazilian utility man Kenedy (centre, pictured with PSG goalscorer Rabiot) was handed his first ever Champions League start

Former Real Madrid and Manchester United playmaker Angel di Maria attempts to bring the ball under control as Eden Hazard watches on

Former Real Madrid and Manchester United playmaker Angel di Maria attempts to bring the ball under control as Eden Hazard watches on

John Mikel Obi and his Chelsea team-mates remonstrate with German official Felix Brych following the Nigerian's second-half booking 

John Mikel Obi and his Chelsea team-mates remonstrate with German official Felix Brych following the Nigerian’s second-half booking

Goalscorer Costa acknowledges the Chelsea fans as he is replaced by Bertrand Traore after sustaining a muscle injury in the second half

Goalscorer Costa acknowledges the Chelsea fans as he is replaced by Bertrand Traore after sustaining a muscle injury in the second half

Ibrahimovic (far right) puts the icing on the cake for PSG by tapping home from close range after a fine cross by Di Maria

Ibrahimovic (far right) puts the icing on the cake for PSG by tapping home from close range after a fine cross by Di Maria

The 34-year-old showed he is capable of playing in the Premier League next season with his fourth Champions League goal of the season

The 34-year-old showed he is capable of playing in the Premier League next season with his fourth Champions League goal of the season

Midfielder Fabregas (left) and Mikel (right) look dejected after their side's chances of progressing were over after Ibrahimovic's goal

Midfielder Fabregas (left) and Mikel (right) look dejected after their side’s chances of progressing were over after Ibrahimovic’s goal

Source: Daily Mail

 

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