Chelsea progressed into the semi-finals of the Champions League with a last-gasp 2-0 win over PSG in the second leg of the Champions League quarter-finals last night.
The Blues progressed to the last eight with an 87th minute strike from substitute Demba Ba.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho’s made two substitutions that worked perfectly. His first change was an enforced one when star winger Eden Hazard pulled up with a calf injury and Mourinho replaced the Belgium with German international Andre Schurrle.
The former-Bayer Leverkusen star scored the crucial first goal on 32 minutes and was generally lively on the wing for the Blues. Mourinho’s second change was rather more surprising though. Ba was sent-on ahead of Chelsea’s record-signing Fernando Torres in-place of Frank Lampard.
The move paid off with just three minutes remaining on the clock. Ba’s scuffed effort sent the Bridge crazy. It was definitely not Ba’s best goal of his career, but it may just be the most important strike of his career so far.
For all the money that Chelsea have invested in the team in the last decade, it was their will to win and never say die attitude that got them into the semi-finals of the Champions League. The Blues have shown great character in previous seasons to be successful in Europe’s elite competition and that character was on display again last night.
Jose Mourinho seems to instil the same sort of fighting spirit in all his teams. The Portuguese boss tends to build an ‘us against them’ mentality within his teams. This tactic has brought the self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ lots of success in his managerial career so far and no doubt will continue to bring Mourinho trophies in the future.
This season Chelsea have not been the dominant force they were in Mourinho’s first stint at Stamford Bridge. The Blues are still in the race for the Premier League title, but are no longer considered favourites, after slip-ups against the likes of Aston Villa and Crystal Palace.
Some fans were even questioning whether Jose Mourinho was still the boss to take Chelsea forward. Even last season at Real Madrid Mourinho’s managerial acumen seemed to be questioned.
Mourinho always stated that he did not believe his team would win the Premier League title and everybody thought he was playing mind games. The Portuguese boss will win either way though, as if the Blues win the title then he would take credit and if they failed he will say I told you so.
I do highly doubt that Mourinho has lost any of his managerial ability or acumen over the last few seasons. His tactics in the second leg against PSG proved he is still one of the best bosses in world football.
He may have got slightly lucky with Ba’s late goal, but if it was not for Mourinho then Ba would not have been on the pitch to score the vital goal. Mourinho’s willingness to change his style of play showed that he is still a true winner. He had a plan b and it worked.
Certain managers stand by their football philosophy through thick and thin, sometimes it pays off, sometimes it does not in Arsene Wenger’s case in recent years.
Despite their quarter-final victory Chelsea will still be regarded as outsiders to win the Champions League this season. The Blues are currently fourth favourites to win the trophy at odds of 11/2, despite the fact that there are still two ties to be settled.
Chelsea have been written-off before in the Champions League and surprised people, 2012 springs to mind. With Jose Mourinho in the dugout you just never know what the Blues can achieve this season, who knows they may just beat the odds and claim an unlikely double of Champions League and Premier League title this season.
Can Chelsea go all the way in the Champions League this season?
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!