Chelsea fight their way into Champions League semis after dramatic finale

Late goal from Senegalese substitute Ba seals win

Chelsea snatched a dramatic late goal through Demba Ba to beat Paris St Germain 2-0 and reach the Champions League semi-finals on the away goals rule on another memorable European night at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.

Substitute striker Ba, who replaced Frank Lampard midway through the second half, struck with time running out for the 2012 European champions, who looked to be going out of the competition after losing the first leg 3-1 last week.

But Ba's goal in the 87th minute levelled the tie at 3-3 and Chelsea, evoking memories of their battling and ultimately successful campaign two seasons ago, went through on away goals thanks to Eden Hazard's penalty in Paris last week.

Andre Schuerrle, who replaced the injured Hazard after only 17 minutes on Tuesday, had given Chelsea hope with a superbly taken goal after 32 minutes but Jose Mourinho's perfect record of winning all eight European quarter-finals he had been involved in, seemed about to end with time running out.

Ba sealed victory, though, when a Cesar Azpilicueta shot was deflected to him in the area and he scooped the ball past keeper Salvatore Sirigu to send the home fans into raptures as Mourinho sprinted down the touchline to join his celebrating players.

"It all happened so quick," said Ba. "I saw the ball and it was in the goal. I just do what I have to do when I get chances. I didn't have chances this season but tonight I took it."

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho added on ITV: "Demba made a crucial finish for us and I think very much deserved. The team that decided to defend was punished and the team that played with their heart deserved to go to the semis."

The Portuguese coach's dash along the touchline evoked memories of his famous Old Trafford celebration when his Porto side beat Manchester United in 2004 although this time he was also keen to tell his players not to take any risks.

It is the seventh time in 11 Champions League campaigns that Chelsea have reached the last four and Mourinho is on course to become the first manager to win the European Cup with three clubs after triumphs with Porto in 2004 and Inter Milan in 2010.

Mourinho had told his players to "go out and play with a smiles on their faces" as they had nothing to lose after last week's defeat, but they failed to make an early impression as PSG dominated the midfield and pegged Chelsea back.

Thiago Motta, Blaise Matuidi and Marco Verratti took a stranglehold in the middle of the park for the visitors, who were playing with the kind of confidence that comes from a team who have won their last 11 matches.

But PSG coach Laurent Blanc, who said his best form of defending their first leg lead was to attack, appeared to have different tactics in reality and his side failed to seriously test Chelsea when they held the upper hand.

SUCCESS INEVITABLE

Although PSG were minutes away from reaching the last four for the first time since 1995, their was an increasing air of inevitability that Chelsea would steal that chance from them.

The visitors' only real attempts came in the closing stages with the score still 1-0 on the night and PSG 3-2 ahead on aggregate when striker Edinson Cavani twice went close.

If either of those efforts had gone in, Chelsea would have probably gone out but the London side survived and took their own scoring opportunity when it came.

They had also gone close twice early in the second half when first Germany international Schuerrle, who had a magnificent match, and then Oscar, from a freekick, clattered the bar.

With their fans roaring them on, Chelsea finished by far the better team and it seemed a matter of time before they repeated their heroics against Napoli in 2012.

On that occasion they came back from losing the first leg 3-1 in Italy to win 4-1 at Stamford Bridge after extra time before going on to win the trophy a few months later.

"This competition means a lot to us," said Chelsea defender and captain John Terry, who was suspended for the final when Chelsea won the competition for the only time.

"The experiences we have had keeps you fighting and believing. Winning it was the best feeling ever. These big performances are what we live for.

"Everyone doubted us tonight but we showed great character and fight to come back. It all paid off," he added on ITV ahead of Friday's semi-final draw.

DEMBA BA

Chelsea substitute Demba Ba struck a dramatic late goal to seal a 2-0 home victory over Paris St Germain and a place in the Champions League semi-finals on the away goals rule on Tuesday.

PSG were heading for a first appearance in the last four since 1995 when Ba bundled in a loose ball after 87 minutes to clinch the tie, which ended 3-3 on aggregate.

Chelsea went ahead in a tense end-to-end battle at Stamford Bridge with a superbly-taken goal from substitute Andre Schuerrle after 32 minutes and they also hit the bar twice in two minutes early in the second half.

PSG, who won the first leg 3-1, dominated early on and Edinson Cavani missed two good chances in the closing stages which added to the almost unbearable tension on the night.

Chelsea, despite losing playmaker Eden Hazard to injury after 17 minutes when Schuerrle came on, finished strongly and were worthy winners on another memorable European night in west London.

Schuerrle scored just as Chelsea were establishing themselves following an opening half-an-hour in which PSG looked the more organised, composed and quicker side.

The visitors had taken an early grip on the midfield where Thiago Motta, Blaise Matuidi and the outstanding Marco Verratti controlled possession while forwards Lucas and Edinson Cavani kept pressure on the Chelsea backline.

But despite looking the better side, PSG did not trouble Chelsea keeper Petr Cech and the first real chance came at the other end where visiting keeper Salvatore Sirigu needed a late leaping dive to keep out a deflected Frank Lampard free-kick.

Four minutes after that Chelsea did score when Germany international Schuerrle, left unmarked in front of goal, executed a great delivery to put the hosts ahead.

Chelsea visibly gained in confidence after the goal and they started the second half stronger too, twice coming close to extending their lead on the night within 10 minutes of the break with two efforts that struck the bar.

The first came from Schuerrle whose powerful curler left Sirigu stranded but bounced back into play. Within a minute PSG conceded a freekick just outside the box with Oscar cracking the ball against the bar with his effort.

Cavani had two good chances to at least gain a draw for his side but Ba did get on the scoresheet which was enough to put Chelsea through and send manager Jose Mourinho racing down the touchline to where his players were celebrating in the corner.

FULL TIME

Chelsea 2 (Schurrle 32'' Ba") PSG 0

Goals by substitutes Andre Schurrle and Demba Ba helped Chelsea beat Paris Saint Germain 2-0 in the second leg of the Champions League quarter-finals at the Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night.

Schurrle netted in the first half and Ba towards the fag end to take the Blues into the semi-finals on away goals after the teams were tied 3-3 on aggregate.

Chelsea were deserving winners as PSG, without their star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, looked a pale shadow of the side that played in the first leg which they won 3-1.

Although the first half failed to light the Stamford Bridge, Mourinho, who is a master when it comes to the European competition, made a substitution. And, that paid dividends as Andre Schurrle, coming in for Eden Hazard, was bang on target with his first few touches of the ball.

Then Mourinho replaced the tired-looking Frank Lampard and that too proved a master-stroke as Ba scored the all-important goal which took the Blues to the semis.

 

93" Cech makes two good saves.

91" Four minutes have been added and Cech is tested by Alex but he comes good.

The tables have turned. The aggregate stands at 3-3. Now PSG have to score else Chelsea go through to the semis on away goals.

Chelsea 2 (Schurrle 32'' Ba") PSG 0

86" GOAL!  Ba scores from a defensive lapse by PSG

84" Goulmouth melee as Sirigu is obstructed according to referee Pedro Proenca from Portugal. Another chance is gone by the wayside for Chelsea.

81" YELLOW! David Luiz is shown the card.

80" Torres comes in for Oscar. Will he change Chelsea's fortunes?

80" Cech does well to block the angle and deny Lucas Moura whose shot at goal was perfect but lacked the sting.

78'' YELLOW! Maxwell is booked.

77'' Cavanni does well to trap a long ball from Maxwell and in good position to score but his left footer is well over the bar.

75'' Time running out for Chelsea and they need to find someone to get that all-important goal which could take them through to the semis.

71" Javier Pastore, who scored what could probably be the match-winner in the dying minutes of the first-leg, comes in for Matuidi.

71'' Cavani blsts a left-footer but it doesn't trouble Cech.

70'' PSG lack ideas when in the Chelsea goal. After some good work they end up with some mis-passing in the box.

68'' Ba's impact is instant as  he finds Schurrle in the box. but the German's shot is well blocked by Sirigu.

66'' Mourinho takes a gamble here brining in Demba Ba for the experienced Lampard.

64'' Chelsea get back-to-back corner kicks but Sirigu and the PSG defence stand firm.

62'' Chelsea need to bring in some fresh legs here as time is running out.

58'' Cavani goes for a header from a corner but nods it way above.

56'' Cech brings off a one-handed save from the free-kick. PSG make a substitution as Verratti is out and Cabaye is in.

55'' YELLOW! Branislav Ivanovic goes into the ref's book. He will miss the first leg of the semis if Chelsea make it.

52'' Luck seems to be running out on Chelsea as this time Oscar ses his free-kick hit the crosspiece.

51'' Schurrle is unlucky here as his shot hits the crosspiece after Chelsea mount a counter-aatck through Lampard, Eto'o, Oscar and Willian.

50'' Lampard has two free-kicks in a span of five minutes but Chelsea are unable to make it count.

47'' Chelsea start second half positively by pushing PSG on the defensive.

HALF TIME

Chelsea 1 (Schurrle 32'') PSG 0

45'' Cech intercepts a free-kick before Cavani can get to it. Chelsea can't afford to concede a goal here.

41" YELLOW! It's Lampard now who is shown the yellow.

40" YELLOW! Cavani is booked for delaying Luiz from taking a free-kick which means he will miss the first leg of semis if PSG qualify.

36" Good chance gone abegging for Chelsea as Cahill is completely off target after a free-kick from Lampard falls at his feet.

''WE'VE DONE IT BEFORE'' is the cry at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea 1 (Schurrle 32'') PSG 0

32" GOAL! Stamford Bridge comes alive as it's their substitute Schurrle who scores from a throw-in and a mix-up in the PSG goal. Sirigu has no clue and is caught wrong-footed.

30" Chelsea have to pull a rabbit out from the hat. A goal at this stage could keep their hopes alive.

25" From the free-kick Lampard shoots and it deflects off a player and heads into goal when Sirigu dives full length to punch it out. That was close.

25" YELLOW! It's Verratti now who get cautioned for a tackle on Oscar.

23" YELLOW! Lucas Moura is brought down by Willian after a superb run where he beat two defenders.

20" The action is pretty mediocre with both teams content on playing the waiting game.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic watches his team PSG from the stands.

17" Chelsea make an early substitution as Hazard hobbles off injured making way for Schurrle.

15" No team has really threatened to score. Chelsea will need to score at least one before the breather.

14" Lavezzi and Cavani make a breakthrough but Cech makes an easy save after Lavezzi is a bit slow in reaching Cavani's cross.

11" Terry covers a lot of ground unchallenged but loses control and hands ball to Thiago Motta.

9" Good work by Oscar on the left and he toes it to Eto'o who shoot from inside the six-yard box but it deflects off a defender for a corner.

8" Lampard seems to control the midfield switching play from one end to the other with preicse passes.

5" Lampard takes a poor free-kick from 25 yards. It's neither intended towards goal nor was it good enough for his teammates to convert.

2" PSG are already on the offensive but Azpilicueta shows a cool head to tackle Cavani and Lavezzi.

Chelsea get the second-leg game started.

Both teams are back in the middle and ready to do battle. Chelsea are looking to claim their seventh semi-final appearance, while PSG seek their first semi-final berth since 1995.

Chelsea aren't going to have it all their own way tonight though, if PSG manager Laurent Blanc is to be believed. The French side's manager insists his team will not sit back on their two-goal cushion from last week.

"We've not come here to suffer, we've not come here to have Chelsea just dictate the game to us and to dominate us," said Blanc. "We know that the best approach to take is to have the ball and to create chances. It would be wonderful to be able to qualify by putting this philosophy into action."

With only 15 minutes to go the teams have gone back into the dugout.

PSG will be cheered on by Nicolas Sarkozy at Stamford Bridge tonight, with the former France president crossing the channel to follow his team in their big Champions League tie.

Striker Samuel Eto'o has been declared fit to play and Frank Lampard has been included in the starting lineup by Jose Mourinho in the hope the Blues will overturn their 3-1 deficit against Paris Saint Germain in tonight's second-leg quarter-final tie of the Champions League at the Stamford Bridge.

Lampard, who was on the bench for the first leg, has scored 250 club goals for West Ham United, Swansea City and Chelsea. He also has another 29 for England. Mourinho will be hoping he can produce some magic tonight in this do-or-die situation for his side.

PSG are without Zlatan Ibrahimovic but coach Laurent Blanc has gone in with Lucas Moura.

STARTING XI

Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Azpilicueta, Lampard, Cahill, Terry, Willian, David Luiz, Eto'o, Oscar, Hazard.

Subs: Cole, Torres, Mikel, Schurrle, Ba, Schwarzer, Kalas.

PSG: Sirigu, Jallet, Maxwell, Motta, Alex, Thiago Silva, Verratti, Matuidi, Cavani, Lucas Moura, Lavezzi.

Subs: Douchez, Cabaye, Marquinhos, Menez, Digne, Van der Wiel, Pastore.

TEAM NEWS

Striker Samuel Eto'o could be available for Chelsea when they face Paris-St Germain in tonight's Champions League quarter-final second leg.

The 33-year-old has missed the Blues' past three matches with a hamstring injury, but trained on Monday, albeit not with his team-mates.

Winger Andre Schurrle, who came off injured against Stoke on Saturday, should be fit for today's game.

Midfielder John Mikel Obi missed the Stoke game with an injury, but may replace the suspended Ramires or the ineligible Nemanja Matic.

 PSG will be without striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who came off with a thigh injury in the first match at the Parc de Princes.

PROBABLE FORMATIONS
 
Chelsea: 4-2-3-1
 
PSG: 4-3-3
 
STAT ATTACK

PSG are undefeated in 16 of their last 17 matches in the Champions League (including qualifiers).

PSG have scored at least 2 goals in their last 3 matches in the Champions League (including qualifiers).

PREVIEW

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is in no doubt his side have the scoring capabilities to overturn a two-goal deficit in their Champions League quarter-final second leg against Paris St Germain at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.

The English outfit failed to find their rhythm in a 3-1 defeat at the Parc des Princes last week and Mourinho labelled Javier Pastore's late goal "ridiculous" while bemoaning his lack of "real strikers".

But the Portuguese coach, who has never lost a quarter-final tie while in charge of Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid, is certain his side can outscore their French counterparts.

"I believe (that Chelsea will progress to the semi-finals) and my players believe, and that's the most important thing," Mourinho told reporters at Stamford Bridge on Monday.

"If you ask me if we are going to win tomorrow, I say yes. I think we are going to win. In the end of the two legs I think we are going to score more goals than them."

Despite Mourinho's assurances, Chelsea's strikers have failed to impress this season. Samuel Eto'o, who has scored all his 11 goals for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, is unlikely to play a full part on Tuesday as he has a hamstring injury.

A lack of faith in Fernando Torres and Demba Ba meant that Mourinho deployed German winger Andre Schuerrle as the lone front man in Paris.

PSG have their own problems up front, with talismanic striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic missing with a thigh injury, but Mourinho said a club with their riches should be able to cope.

"Eto'o didn't play the first game and I'm not sure he will play the second game," he continued. "Ramires is suspended, (Nemanja) Matic and (Mohamed) Salah cannot play in the Champions League and we are not crying.

"The fact that a multi-millionaire club that buys players and players doesn't play one important player like Ibrahimovic, I don't think it is a problem."

PSG coach Laurent Blanc has promised that his team will attack Chelsea from the first whistle, but Mourinho did not seem phased by his opposite number's aggressive tactics.

"They can say they come to attack, but maybe they don't cross the midfield line," he added. "Maybe they say they come to defend and they find spaces and they score goals, you don't know.

"The only thing that I know is that if we don't score a minimum of two goals we have no chance."

PSG, without injured spearhead Zlatan Ibrahimovic, do not actually need to score any goals at Stamford Bridge to knock Chelsea out following their 3-1 first leg win in Paris.

It probably will not be as simple as that though, as Chelsea know a 2-0 win will see them through on the away goals rule.

Even if his strikers again fail to impress Mourinho, Chelsea have an array of midfielders capable of swinging the tie in favour of the London club.

PSG do, though, start the match with a healthy advantage after Javier Pastore's goal with the last kick of the game at the Parc des Princes last week gave them a buffer.

However, Chelsea at Stamford Bridge are a different proposition to the team that have lost their last three away matches in all competitions.

On Saturday they brushed Stoke City aside 3-0 in the Premier League, with all three goals coming from midfielders: Mohamed Salah, Willian and Frank Lampard, who has now scored 250 club goals for West Ham United, Swansea City and Chelsea.

He also has another 29 for England.

Saturday's match was also their eighth successive home game with conceding a goal, and kept them two points behind Liverpool in the Premier League title race.

It was their 77th unbeaten home league match in Mourinho's two spells at the club, and they have also proved in the past in Europe, most recently against Napoli two seasons ago, that no task is to large for them to overcome at Stamford Bridge.

Mourinho was not in charge of Chelsea when they overturned a 3-1 first leg defeat by Napoli in the round of 16 in 2012, winning 4-1 at home in the return match before going on to win the trophy in Munich.

While he has never lost a quarter-final tie with Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan or Real Madrid, he has also never overturned a two-goal first leg deficit in European competition.

HAZARD BELIEF

"We know it won't be easy at home but we can turn the tie around," midfielder Eden Hazard, who scored from the penalty spot and hit the woodwork in the first leg, said.

"We have proved we can do this before, and we can do it again next week."

Winger Andre Schurrle, preferred to 50 million pounds ($82.95 million) striker Fernando Torres in Paris, agreed they were down after the defeat, but not out.

"It's the worst time of the season to get results like this (but) we are a different team at Stamford Bridge with our fans behind us. It will be difficult but it is not impossible."

There is some comfort in the absence of Ibrahimovic, who has scored 25 league goals this season in 30 appearances and played under Mourinho in Italy.

He is missing after hurting his hamstring in the first leg.

PSG, who beat Reims 3-0 on Saturday without Ibrahimovic, are 13 points clear of Monaco at the top of Ligue 1 and are confident they can overcome Chelsea without their talisman.

Ezequiel Lavezzi put on a man-of-the-match display at the Parc des Princes against Chelsea and Edinson Cavani scored the opener against Reims.

Both players were in the Napoli team that went out to Chelsea 5-4 on aggregate in 2012.

With Ibrahimovic sidelined, coach Laurent Blanc will field Cavani as number nine with Lavezzi and Lucas on the left and right flanks respectively.

Blanc insisted PSG will stay true to their style even without Ibrahimovic.

"Our philosophy and our tactics will not change," he said.

The only uncertainty is regarding who will start as right back, although Gregory van der Wiel appeared comfortable after returning from a knee injury against Reims, providing the cross for Cavani's opener.
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