Reigning champions of England, Chelsea, have ended their European path on Wednesday night as they have suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain, who have outplayed Blues on both occasions of this two-legged tie.
French giants are progressing through to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals on a 4-2 aggregate win, which comes as a merited reward for Laurent Blanc’s men.
On the other hand, it was an utterly disappointing night for the English champions who have lost their only hope of playing in Europe next season.
Sitting tenth in the Premier League table, Chelsea were hoping to repeat their 2012 heroics when they managed to lift the European trophy as the sixth team in the English championship. Instead, Chelsea were never in control against the aggressive and overly dominant PSG side, who did not allow the Blues to secure another dramatic turnaround against the Saints.
Diego Costa was the bright spot for Chelsea tonight, a stand-out performer in generally bleak display from the Blues.
They called him a fraud in the build-up to the match, but Diego Costa had a different message to send to Paris Saint-Germain. The Spanish striker has been always pushing and trying to find space in between the PSG defenders, who kept him on close watch for the night.
Chelsea striker had a great chance to open the scoring after only three minutes of the game when he received a low pass on the edge of the box and blasted it towards the goal. Kevin Trapp pulled a superb intervention to deny his effort with a great save.
Action-packed half an hour offered plenty of excitement and we could have seen a goal only three minutes after Diego Costa’s opening chance, but Angel Di Maria’s close range shot towards the left post was blocked at just the right time for a corner kick after which Zlatan Ibrahimovic put the ball into the net, but was flagged for offside.
Ten minutes afterwards Paris Saint-Germain did what they came for.
Poor defending from Chelsea allowed Zlatan Ibrahimovic to pick a ball far right and take his time to prepare for the cross, which he did superbly, having sent pin-point pass to Adrien Rabiot for an easy tap in into an empty net.
Diego Costa wasted no time to make a response, and Chelsea did great to get back in the game ten minutes later with a fantastic play.
A couple of fluent passes and quick ball movement from Chelsea players were ended by Willian, who sent a wonderful pass deep inside the box for Diego Costa. The Spaniard tricked a shot and opened himself just enough space to send the ball back in the net for 1-1 at the half-hour mark.
Costa had a wonderful night at the Stamford Bridge, he had a couple of more attempts on goal, but was unfortunately forced off with an injury at the hour mark in the game.
Without their target man upfront, Chelsea have lost their edge in the closing stages of the game and struggled to make impact on goal.
Willian stepped onto the scene with a shot from the edge of the box after a brilliant solo effort five minutes later, but Kevin Trapp was once again spot on with his astonishing saves. PSG goalkeeper produced a string of fantastic saves on the night and was one of the best players for the French side.
Just when they hoped that something could be done, Chelsea were dealt with a decisive blow.
Having failed to utilise the momentum and exploit the pressure, Blues were hit with a counter wave that hit them hard enough to see them pack their bags out of the competition.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic was the one to sign the Blues off with a goal that capped his excellent performance at Stamford Bridge. Angel Di Maria slipped the ball to Ibrahimovic from the left side of the pitch, and Swede simply steered it home from close range.
Having been criticised in the past for failing to produce in the biggest of games, the towering PSG striker stepped on the scene when it was most needed. Ibrahimovic spent a lot of time dropping into midfield to pick up balls and help his teammates build the play, while he was also a constant threat upfront, harassing the Chelsea defenders.
Swedish striker has now scored 30 goals in his last 31 games for club and country proving that he still has plenty of magic left in those 34 years old feet.
A goal and an assist for Ibrahimovic’s perfect night and for the progression to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.
CHELSEA: Courtois 6 – Azpilicueta 6.5, Ivanovic 6.5, Cahill 6, Kenedy 6.5 – Mikel 6, Fabregas 6.5 – Pedro 6.5, Willian 7, Hazard 6 (Oscar 6) – Costa 7 (Traore 6).
Unused subs: Begovic, Baba Rahman, Loftus-Cheek, Matic, Remy.
PSG: Trapp 7 – Marquinhos 7, Silva 7, Luiz 7.5, Maxwell 7 – Rabiot 7.5, Motta 7, Matuidi 6.5 (Van der Wiel 6) – Di Maria 7 (Cavani 6), Ibrahimovic 8, Lucas 7 (Pastore 6).
Unused subs: Sirigu, Augustin, Kurzawa, Stambouli,
REFEREE: Felix Brych
Other results this evening
Zenit Petersburg 1-2 Benfica