PSG 3 - Chelsea 1: Initial reaction and community rating form

Shaun Botterill

That could have ended a little more pleasantly

The first half couldn't have gotten off to a much smoother start for the home side, with an early Lavezzi goal allowing the home side to drop their wide forwards deep to help cover Jallet and Maxwell. That was all undone when Thiago Silva flattened Oscar in the box though, allowing Eden Hazard to step up and level the tie from the spot.

Neither manager made any changes as the second half got underway, but probably started thinking about one when Ramires (already on a yellow) started the second 45 with a very rash challenge. Just before the hour mark Chelsea decided to make their first change, taking Andre Schurrle off in favor of Fernando Torres.

Just after the hour mark, some shambolic set piece defending made it 2-1 PSG. David Luiz gave away a free kick in a dangerous area, and then turned Lavezzi's delivery into the back of the net. In fairness, Petr Cech didn't do anything to deal with it, and would have been hard pressed to look any more confused by what he was seeing.

Midway through the second half, the Zlatan pulled up with a hamstring problem that wasn't caused by any contact. He immediately came off and went down the tunnel, and that will leave his involvement in the second leg very much in doubt. Mourinho responded by bringing Frank Lampard on for Oscar, while moving Ramires wide.

It looked as if that would do it, but in the dying moments of stoppage time Javier Pastore made it 3-1. What was probably a 50/50 affair before the third goal has now turned into a very, very difficult ask for Chelsea next week. That comeback will have to be done without Ramires as well, as he'll now miss the next match with accumulated yellows.

Thoughts:

  • While it's hard to bitch too much about the referee in a match where your side is awarded a penalty, he was terribly inconsistent tonight. He started the match letting just about everything go, started handing out soft yellows after the penalty, then suddenly decided to leave the cards in his pocket for fouls that were carded previously. Is 90 minutes really too long to stick to the same pattern?
  • I had no problem with selecting Schurrle over Torres, as the Spaniard really doesn't offer anything that the German doesn't. That said, I'd really like to have more than one useful center forward when next season kicks off so we don't have to do that again.
  • Jose Mourinho isn't the same manager that he was during his first spell in charge, but it's a shame he's decided to change the way he dresses on matchday. He used to be the best dressed manager in the league. His turtleneck tonight made me a sad panda.
  • Using Ramires and David Luiz in the midfield together scares the poop out of me. When they're on, they could form a devastating partnership. More often than not, though, one of the pair is a red card waiting to happen.
  • Samuel Eto'o's absence was sorely felt tonight, while PSG's midfield wasn't overly tidy in possession, and the French club looked shaky defending the flanks all night. Chelsea will need to be much more clinical during the home leg of this one, but it's certainly not an impossible task.
  • Cech has to be better, especially if we're allowing Thibaut Courtois to return to Atletico Madrid next season. He looked mostly awful dealing with set pieces all night, and we may be a bit lucky not to have conceded one or two more.

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