Despite being the group winner in their Champions League pairing, there were very few pundits who didn't believe that the French champions were the favorites as Chelsea squared off against PSG. Those pundits' opinions won't have changed much, following the 2-1 defeat at the hands of the French outfit in Paris on Tuesday evening.
Chelsea looked absolutely awful for the first 20 minutes, but after they came out of their defensive shell a bit, they wound up delivering one of their better performances this season. They'll need to do the same on the return leg, as they'll head back to London needing at least one goal to advance, or their hopes of returning to the Champions League next season will have come to an end.
Here are some quick thoughts following the first loss of Hiddink's second spell in charge, and also the first time the Blues have failed to win when John Obi Mikel finds the back of the net:
- It was certainly a very young bench on Tuesday, and really shows just how shallow this Chelsea squad is when injuries start to mount. Here's hoping we don't see any more.
- The first half was really the Mikel show, wasn't it? He gave away a foul, deflected the ensuing free kick into the back of Chelsea's net, and then made everything better by scoring an away goal for the Blues.
- I miss David Luiz.
- I was very worried about Chelsea's back line today, but they played very, very well on the whole. Baba Rahman and Cesar Azpilicueta really stood out for me, and did an excellent job against some very good PSG attackers.
- Speaking of Chelsea's defense, Branbear the center back was better than Branbear the fullback, despite losing Cavani just before the second goal.
- As much as Mikel's away goal puts Chelsea in a decent position heading home, I still hate the away goal rule. I'd love to see that done away with in the future, or at least see UEFA force the teams to play 30 minutes of extra time before deciding the tie on away goals.