Chelsea lose to PSG yet again in UEFA Champions League
In a boisterous game that saw two of Europe’s great foes Chelsea and PSG go head to head in the round of the last 16, it Paris Saint Germain that came out on top with a staggering performance from both legs which saw the result end 4-2 in aggregate in favor of the French power house.
An attacking front led by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Lucas, a rejuvenated Angel Di Maria and Lavezzi look so much for the blues. The French giants put in performance after performance and dominance after another
Chelsea seemed to have picked up the pace in the second half. They possessed and even forced the PSG players in committing fouls and getting booked. This all seemed to work out well, but as the second half resumed, it seems Larent Blanc had cautioned his players who came out stronger and ready to ramble
Ultimately, they were not in PSG’s class over two legs. Needing to win 1-0 here they were not, for a solitary second, ahead and trailed twice.
While PSG’s stellar names — Ibrahimovic, Angel di Maria — rose to the occasion, Chelsea’s disappointed, as they have done for much of the season. Cesc Fabregas was anonymous and at times simply overwhelmed, Pedro was loose and if Eden Hazard was hoping to play his way into PSG’s thoughts he might need to say it with flowers. He limped off here after 77 minutes to a smattering of boos from Chelsea followers who were beginning to recall the first six months of the season.
If Chelsea could chuck it then, as champions, heaven knows what will happen if Saturday does bring the curtain down on the competitive campaign. These do not look like players much concerned with playing for pride. If they were, they would not be in this mess.
The folly of those wilderness months is now becoming very real for Guus Hiddink’s side, with three down and one to go, and to be beaten soundly home and away in this competition will have been another sobering experience. In 2012, a Chelsea team who finished sixth in the Premier League somehow rallied to pull off an unlikely Champions League triumph, but there was scant prospect of a repeat here. Chelsea may have started playing in the second half of this season but they fell very short on Wednesday night.
Eden Hazard was booed by his own supporters and slammed by pundits on Wednesday night as Zlatan Ibrahimovic ripped Chelsea’s Champions League dream to shreds.
Ibrahimovic scored and made another as Paris Saint Germain secured a 2-1 victory at Stamford Bridge, the French club winning 4-2 on aggregate.
And manager Guus Hiddink later insisted Blues fans were perfectly within their rights to jeer Hazard, who was also criticised by Roy Keane for swapping shirts with Angel Di Maria at half-time.
The misery for Hazard was compounded after his being targeted by his own fans as he limped off with a hip problem late on.
Hazard has been linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge in recent months; PSG known to be keen on the forward.
And Wednesday night’s episode will only serve to reinforce the growing feeling that Hazard could leave this summer
Indeed, Hiddink refused to defend Hazard in the face of his treatment by Blues fans, saying: ‘They have the right to boo whatever they think. One can always express what they are feeling.’
On the shirt-swapping incident, Hiddink added: ‘I haven’t seen it, but I’m aware of it.
‘I’m not saying I’m unaware. That’d be too easy, just to say I didn’t see it. Yeah, it should not be done, but in some countries it’s usual you do it, and not after the game.’
Pundits Keane and Lee Dixon were less than impressed by Hazard’s shirt-swapping decision as they labelled it as ‘shocking’.
Keane told ITV: ‘I’m afraid to comment on this. It’s bad enough at the end of the game. Half time in a big game.
‘What has to be going through a player’s mindset in such a big game? You’re thinking about swapping jerseys at half-time? I wouldn’t even bother swapping shirts at the end of the game? At half-time? Shocking.’
Dixon, like the former Ireland midfielder, condemned the incident: ‘If you’re going to do that, do it down the tunnel where no one can see. Doing it on the pitch? What does that say? That says to me that Hazard is getting a little collection before he leaves and goes somewhere else.’
The result means Chelsea are almost certain to miss out on Champions League for the first time in 13 seasons.
And Hiddink admits it’s difficult to predict when the Blues will be back amongst Europe’s elite.
Author: Moses Echodu
Moses is a Ugandan writer and blogger. Studied information technology with major interests in Journalism.He is passionate about sports but at times ventures into other fields
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