PSG eliminates Chelsea on away goals with 10 men after 2-2 draw in London in Champions League



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LONDON — Even after the dismissal of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Chelsea couldn't contain Paris Saint-Germain and never seized the initiative at Stamford Bridge.

And if anything, the French champions were even more tenacious with ten men from the 31st minute on Wednesday. Chelsea was humbled and PSG was rewarded with a place in the Champions League quarterfinals.

"In years to come this game will really be seen as a turning point, a reference point with regards to this club's recent history," said PSG coach Laurent Blanc, who is trying to deliver the club's first European Cup.

After a 1-1 draw in Paris last month, the fiery and ill-disciplined second leg was settled in extra time, with PSG advancing on the away-goals rule with its 2-2 draw in London.

"It is an amazing performance because we were playing with one less," said Ibrahimovic, who was harshly dismissed for a challenge on Oscar. "We showed quality and big heart."

Twice PSG came from behind.

David Luiz — a Champions League winner with Chelsea in 2012 — sent the game into extra time with an 86th-minute header canceling out Gary Cahill's Chelsea opener.

Eden Hazard restored Chelsea's lead from a penalty, but Thiago Silva's looping header in the 114th minute allowed PSG to avenge last season's loss to Chelsea in the quarterfinals.

"Our performance was not good enough," Chelsea manager Mourinho said. "They were stronger than us. They coped better than us with the pressure."

Mourinho had used his pre-match media conference to decry the "aggression" of PSG in the first leg.

And referee Bjorn Kuipers's instant reaction to Ibrahimovic's lunging challenge into Oscar was to send off the Sweden forward. Replays suggested it was less reckless than it appeared in real time when both players were sliding in for the ball.

"I pulled out because saw (Oscar) also come in the tackle," Ibrahimovic said. "I don't know if he was acting afterwards."

Even though Kuipers was already preparing to brandish the red card, he was surrounded by furious Chelsea players. But Mourinho later said Ibrahimovic should not be suspended.

"The worst is when I saw ... all the Chelsea players come around," Ibrahimovic said. "It felt like they had 11 babies around."

Following PSG's protests, Thiago Motta was booked as the game became increasingly heated while lacking much goalmouth action.

"When we lost Ibra, our best player, you say, 'Keep it simple,'" Luiz said. "It was amazing tonight the spirit. Every single player gave everything."

Luiz was fortunate to escape punishment, though, after swinging his right elbow at Costa. And the Premier League leaders felt further aggrieved when Costa was tripped by Edison Cavani in the penalty area but no spotkick was awarded.

The second half was no less tempestuous but it was PSG still looking more confident going forward.

Cavani wasted a chance to put PSG in front at the start of the second half, rounding goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois but hitting the near post from a tight angle.

The Chelsea defense was coming under sustained pressure, and Costa was booked for a sliding tackle on Silva. Luiz was also shown a yellow card for trying to suggest he had been headbutted by the Chelsea striker.

Then the action switched from the hostilities between the players to the goalmouth, with two goals in five minutes.

PSG failed to clear a corner and after Costa missed a shot, Cahill was primed to strike into the net in the 81st minute. It was advantage Chelsea, but PSG's requirements hadn't changed — the visitors always had to score. That was achieved when Luiz powered a header into the top of the net from Ezequiel Lavezzi's corner.

And a game already defined by the clashes saw Costa, who had already been booked, avoid a red card for pushing Marquinho over before the end of regular time.

In extra time, with Chelsea's strike force bolstered by Didier Drogba replacing Ramires, the hosts took just five minutes to go in front. Silva used his raised arm to prevent Kurt Zouma from meeting a cross with a header, and Hazard buried the resulting penalty kick in the net.

Courtois protected Chelsea's lead by tipping over a dipping free kick from Luiz and then then denying Silva. But from the resulting corner, Silva's powerful follow-up header flew into the top corner.

PSG advanced to the last eight along with Bayern Munich on Wednesday after the German champions routed Shakhtar Donetsk 7-0 following a 0-0 draw in the first leg.


Rob Harris can be followed at http://www.twitter.com/RobHarris

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