Friday, July 20, 2018

Chelsea suffer quarter-final setback in the Champions League

PSG forward Ezequiel Lavezzi played a big part in the Parisians 3-1 first leg Champions League quarter-final victory over Chelsea

PSG forward Ezequiel Lavezzi played a big part in the Parisians 3-1 first leg Champions League quarter-final victory over Chelsea

Chelsea suffered a 3-1 defeat at French club PSG in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie.

The Blues were 2-1 down until stoppage-time, when Argentinian starlet Javier Pastore produced a moment of magic to seal victory and give the Blues a tough task in the second leg.


A 2-1 defeat would not have been the end of the world for Chelsea, but 3-1 is a slightly different prospect.

No doubt Chelsea have enough quality to score the goals needed in the second leg to progress, but whether they can keep the Parisian visitors out is another question.


The problem Chelsea has is keeping out PSG’s expensively assembled attack. Mercurial Swede Zlatan Ibrahimovic failed to impress in last nights game, before limping off. Ibrahimovic once again failed to impress against an English team in the Champions League.

Uruguayan Edinson Cavani had been linked with a move to Chelsea prior to his move to PSG. Cavani did not have his best game of the season either, but will also be a threat to the Blues defence in the second leg.

The best attacker on the pitch in last night’s encounter was clever Argentinian Ezequiel Lavezzi. Not only did the former-Napoli striker open the scoring, he also struck the free-kick that David Luiz put past his own keeper for PSG’s second goal.

Lavezzi often has to live in the shadow of the likes of Ibrahimovic and Cavani, but last night he was the star of the show. No doubt Lavezzi will also be a major threat and his fellow forwards may even show up at Stamford Bridge.

PSG’s attack is one of the best in the Champions League and most defences would struggle to prevent the French’s side attack from scoring.


Chelsea have the best defensive record in the Premier League, but even their defence may not be able to prevent PSG scoring at the Bridge. The Blues defence looked slightly vulnerable last night and that was without Cavani and Ibrahimovic performing at their best level.

If Cavani and Ibrahimovic show up in the second leg, then Chelsea could be in big trouble. If Chelsea can shackle the trio, then they will have a big chance of recovering the tie, as strangely PSG were not that impressive on the night, despite their three goals.

Not over

Despite the two goal deficit, the Blues are still in this tie. Chelsea have been written-off many times in recent years, most notably in 2012 when the Blues won the Champions League itself. Write a Jose Mourinho team off at your peril.

The Portuguese boss seems to have the ability to pull a rabbit out the hat when needed and he will need that in the second leg.


Chelsea have slipped-up majorly in the Premier League title race in recent months, with surprise defeats at Aston Villa and Crystal Palace curtailing their challenge.

The defeat in Paris could not really be put in the same category, as PSG have a highly-rated and expensively assembled team, whereas the other teams the Blues were defeated by were neither of the above.


Chelsea boss Mourinho will now no doubt be under pressure from the Chelsea hierarchy to pull-off a comeback in the second leg. Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has hired and fired a lot of bosses in recent years.

Abramovich brought Mourinho back to the club last summer as the Portuguese boss is a winner. The former-Real boss has proved that at Stamford Bridge in his first spell at the club. I wonder what the Russian will be thinking if the Blues finish the season without any silverware?

I do not think the Blues owner will be so quick to dismiss the Portuguese boss this time around though, even if Chelsea does end up empty-handed at the end of the season. Mourinho is still regarded as a Chelsea hero by many Blues fans.

Plus the fact that Chelsea are still in the Premier League title race and could still turn around the deficit in the Champions League, which they are now odds of 11/4 to do, I really would not back against the Blues achieving both those feats with Mourinho at the helm.

Can Chelsea recover from their quarter-final first leg defeat?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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