PSG boss Laurent Blanc was gracious in defeat and said in his post-match press conference that Chelsea FC was the better side even if by the slimmest of margins. Blanc claimed that is was Chelsea’s experience that proved the difference and it was just enough to see them through. He believed that his side did nearly everything they could to advance to the next round but they could not seal the deal.
“Overall, in my opinion, the difference was not huge. We could have gone through but, unfortunately for us, it’s Chelsea who do. But the level of both teams, in my opinion, was very close. Over the two matches there was very little between the two sides – ultimately, though, I think Chelsea’s experience of playing at this level of the competition made the very small difference.”
Laurent Blanc is correct in that the sides were very close. The first leg was a much more even affair as both sides shared possession and both took their chances well. The difference in the first leg was the play of Ezequiel Lavezzi who was an absolute menace and scored PSG’s first goal and caused the own goal. He was a bit more subdued in the second leg and Edinson Cavani did not step up for his team when he was called upon.
Blanc rued his side’s missed chances:
“Ironically, we started better in the second leg than the first. In the first 25 minutes we were fine. We conceded a key goal from a throw-in and that put us in big trouble, giving confidence to Chelsea. Then, in the second period, they tried to pile pressure on to make us suffer. Unfortunately we did not take our chances.”
Would things have been different if Zlatan Ibrahimovic was fit and on the pitch? Would he have finished the chances that Cavani spurned in the final 30 minutes of the match? Possibly, but that is neither here nor there. Chelsea’s experience at the Champions League level saw them through to the next round and PSG will have to be content with winning their domestic league.
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