PSG topple Chelsea in Paris
Wednesday 2nd April , 2014 8:58 pm
PSG secured a 3-1 victory over Chelsea in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final in Paris on Wednesday.
Ezequiel Lavezzi opened the scoring for Laurent Blanc’s hosts on four minutes with a sweetly-struck half-volley, but Eden Hazard kept his cool from the penalty spot on 27 to draw Jose Mourinho’s men level.
Hazard hit the upright in a lively first half for the Belgian playmaker – but the Parisians gained a first-leg lead to take to London next Tuesday when David Luiz turned a free-kick from Lavezzi into his own net just after the hour mark.
The visitors tried to ensure PSG only had a one-goal advantage as they defended deep in the closing stages – but a magical run from Javier Pastore in stoppage time saw him jink past three Chelsea defenders before steering a low drive past Cech at his near post to make it 3-1 on the night.
Chelsea got off to the worst possible start as PSG were ahead early on, when Blaise Matuidi’s left-wing cross was superbly controlled by Lavezzi, who thumped a left-footed half-volley into the roof of the net from 16 yards.
Luiz’s scuffed shot was easily saved on 18 minutes by Salvatore Sirigu, while the lively Lavezzi fired into the sidenetting under pressure from Gary Cahill.
Chelsea slowly recovered their composure and were awarded a penalty on 27 minutes when Thiago Silva clumsily fouled Oscar in the 18-yard box, giving referee Milorad Mazic no option but to point to the spot. Hazard made no mistake with the spot-kick, rolling the ball into the bottom left-hand corner.
The equaliser saw the visitors take control of proceedings, but the hosts were still a threat on the break, with Petr Cech saving Lavezzi’s low shot on 31.
Hazard nearly grabbed a second goal of the night after sweetly volleying a cross from Willian, only to see his left-footed strike smack the upright.
Edinson Cavani appealed for a penalty just before the break after going down under close attention from Cahill, but Mazic was unmoved and waved away the hosts’ protests.
In the second half, Lavezzi continued to pose a threat, steering a header from a left-wing cross inches over the crossbar.
And it was the Argentina striker who created PSG’s second goal on 62 minutes, when his free-kick into the heart of the Chelsea penalty box ricocheted off the unlucky Luiz’s shin yards from goal and rolled into the net.
That goal came minutes after Mourinho had replaced Andre Schurrle with striker Fernando Torres.
A more interesting substitution came on 68 when Zlatan Ibrahimovic went off with what looked like a pulled muscle, to be replaced by Lucas Moura. The second leg takes place at Stamford Bridge next Tuesday night.
Credit: Sky Sports