Jose Mourinho had a strange frustrated look at the end of 120 minutes as Chelsea crashed out of the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday night at their home turf in London’s Stamford Bridge. His team held the upper hand twice and played against the depleted Paris St-Germain, who were down to 10 men after losing their top star Zlatan Ibrahimovic due to a controversial red card in the 31st minute. Chelsea took the vital lead in the 81st minute, when Cahill scored his third UEFA Champions League goal. But Chelsea’s celebrations lasted only 5 minutes because David Luiz forced extra time with a stunning goal, 4 minutes from full time. As the game progressed, Chelsea went forward yet again, when Thiago Silva handled the ball to yield a penalty, from which Eden Hazard scored easily. That brought Mourinho’s anxiety down and he looked calmer. Then PSG struck in the 114th minute, when Thiago Silva made amends for his earlier lapse. The Brazilian defender produced a towering header 6 minutes from close and dashed Chelsea’s quarterfinal aspirations. PSG sailed into quarterfinals, what if the charismatic Ibra stayed on the sidelines. In the other round-of-16 second-leg game at Munich, Bayern Munich completely outclassed Shakhtar Donetsk with a thumping 7-0 thrashing. The match played in Munich’s Allianz Arena witnessed another red-card drama, when Shakhtar’s Olexandr Kucher was sent off the field for a foul on Mario Gotze. The referee’s decision looked harsh on Shakhtar, who had to play almost the entire match with 10 men. But the way Bayern played yesterday night; even 12 men would not have been enough for the Ukrainian football club from Donetsk. For their next games, PSG and Bayern will have to wait for four more second-leg round-16 matches next week, followed by the Quarterfinal draw at Nyon on March 20.
The match at Stamford Bridge was riddled with fouls and ugly incidents as both Chelsea and PSG played offensively to vie for superiority. The game remained scoreless until 9 minutes from regulation time. But in the first half, Zlatan Ibrahimovic was red-carded, when he committed a foul on Oscar. As per Ibrahimovic, the punishment was too harsh as he had a collision with the onrushing Chelsea midfielder that didn’t have the purposeful intent. The PSG striker found it intimidating that the Chelsea players; John Terry, Nemanja Matic and Gary Cahill should surround the referee Bjorn Kuipers immediately after the challenge to force out the red card. After Ibra’s 31st minute exit, PSG played with 10 men in the rest of the match. Chelsea put pressure on PSG in the last 10 minutes of regulation time and extracted a corner in the 81st minute. As Cesc Fabregas sent the ball in, Thiago Silva’s failure in clearing the ball allowed a second header for John Terry. As Terry passed the ball to Diego Costa, the sliced shot came to Cahill, who made no mistake and Chelsea went ahead 1-0. Five minutes later, however, the Stamford Bridge witnessed incredible scenes, when former Chelsea star David Luiz came at an angle, evaded Branislav Ivanovic and sent a slanted header in. The superb effort from the Brazilian sent PSG supporters into raptures as Jose Mourinho cried with frustration. But Chelsea heaved a sigh of relief, when Thiago Silva tried to save a header as he jumped with Kurt Zouma and committed a handball. The referee pointed to the spot and Eden Hazard easily converted. Chelsea went ahead for the second time in the match but just when it looked like that Chelsea has made it to quarterfinals, their dream was shattered by Thiago Silva, who leapt high to meet his head to a sizzling corner from Thiago Motta. After that not much remained in the match for Chelsea to make another comeback.
The second match at Munich saw Bayern Munich thrash Shakhtar Donetsk 7-0 to reach the last eight of the UEFA Champions League. After holding the German club 0-0 in the first leg at Lviv, Shakhtar succumbed miserably to the force of the big red machine. Early in the game, Shakhtar were reduced to 10 men, when Olexandr Kucher was red-carded in the third-minute for a foul on Mario Gotze. That is when the first goal came from the Thomas Muller penalty. Muller scored another goal later in 52nd minute. Jerome Boateng added one in the 34th minute, Franck Ribery in the 49th, Holger Badstuber in 63rd, Robert Lewandowski in 75th, and Mario Goetze in the 87th minute. It was a disappointing end for Shakhtar in this year’s Champions League after they creditably made it to the round of 16.
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