Champions League

PSG give Chelsea the blues

2014-04-02 23:05
Ezequiel Lavezzi (AFP)

Paris - A solo strike from Javier Pastore right at the death clinched a 3-1 victory for Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Chelsea on Wednesday.

An early Ezequiel Lavezzi strike and a David Luiz own goal either side of an Eden Hazard penalty for Chelsea had looked set to give PSG just a narrow advantage ahead of next week's second leg at Stamford Bridge, but Pastore's effort leaves the French champions firmly in control of the tie.

It will also boost their confidence after the blow of seeing 40-goal top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic hobble off injured in the second half, making him a possible doubt for the second leg.

Chelsea were without a key attacking element of their own for this game with Samuel Eto'o sidelined due to injury, and yet manager Jose Mourinho left Fernando Torres on the bench at kick-off, with Andre Schuerrle preferred to the Spaniard in attack.

PSG, meanwhile, were at full strength with the exception of the injured Gregory Van der Wiel, whose place in the side was again covered by Christophe Jallet.

The home side were expected to control possession but few could have foreseen the extent to which they came flying out of the blocks.

Marco Verratti had the game's first shot on goal after just 17 seconds and the opening goal arrived inside four minutes, mixing delightful build-up play with some questionable defending.

Thiago Motta worked the ball out to Blaise Matuidi on the left, and the France midfielder's cross was met by the head of Chelsea captain John Terry. However, he could only knock the ball down for Lavezzi, who controlled on his chest before firing into the net off the underside of the bar on the half-volley.

It was the Argentine's sixth goal in PSG's last 10 games and Chelsea looked in shock. Soon after Lavezzi was chopped down by Ramires and the Brazilian picked up a booking that rules him out of next week's return leg.

Lavezzi then outpaced Gary Cahill to latch on to an Ibrahimovic through ball before shooting into the side-netting, but by now the expected roles had been reversed, and PSG were playing on the break.

The visitors had started to take the game by the scruff of the neck as they went in search of an equaliser, and they were gifted a penalty in the 27th minute when Oscar went down following an uncharacteristically rash challenge in the box by his compatriot Thiago Silva.

Eden Hazard, who won the French title on the same ground with Lille three years ago, sent goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu the wrong way from the resulting spot-kick.

Chelsea might even have taken the lead before the interval when Hazard connected first-time with a hanging Willian cross on the left-hand side of the area, but his volley struck the far post and rebounded to safety.

PSG had failed to make the most of their stunning start but they regrouped at the interval and almost seized the lead for the second time on 52 minutes, Lavezzi heading just over from another Matuidi left-wing cross.

And just after the hour mark they were back in front, Luiz conceding a foul wide on the left and then helping Lavezzi's wicked delivery into the net.

PSG's momentum was checked again midway through the second period when Ibrahimovic hurt himself playing a pass to Jallet in midfield and hobbled off clutching the back of his right thigh.

But the home fans' concern for the Swede's fitness was forgotten when Pastore, a late replacement for Lavezzi, wriggled away from the challenges of Cesar Azpilicueta and Frank Lampard before beating Cech at his near post.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
7 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Logs
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Which team will win the 2013/14 Champions League title?

 
 
Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.