PSG punish sloppy Blues

Paris St Germain 3 Chelsea 1

PSG punish sloppy Blues

Chelsea keeper Petr Cech in particular had a night to forget in the French capital after he made two crucial mistakes to help PSG record a famous win in this Champions League quarter-final first leg.

After scoring an own goal against Crystal Palace last weekend, John Terry’s week went from bad to worse as he played a poor clearance straight into the path of Ezequiel Lavezzi, after just five minutes, Lavezzi controlling smartly and firing the home side into the lead.

Eden Hazard levelled things up from the penalty spot, a coveted away goal, but Chelsea’s defence was all over the place in the second half.

If Mourinho thought Terry’s mistake was a one-off, he was badly mistaken as both Cech and David Luiz failed to deal with a free-kick from Lavezzi on 62 minutes and Luiz diverted the ball into his own net.

Cech was at fault once again in injury time as he was beaten at his near post and should have done a lot more to keep out a low shot from substitute Javier Pastore.

“It is a very important goal. A two-goal cushion is very good,” said a delighted Pastore last night.

Blues defender Gary Cahill admitted the goal was “sloppy” but Jose Mourinho was more scathing in his assessment of the defending.

“He (Cahill) says sloppy. I say ridiculous,” he added.

“We played against a great team, full of good players especially attacking players. You would expect them to score fantastic goals. Not the goals they scored.”

Mourinho had already made his feelings known on the lack of firepower in his squad and that was reflected in his starting XI, as he started without a recognised forward.

Fernando Torres must be fearing for his future at the club after he was dropped,with Andre Schurrle asked to lead the line.

The Chelsea manager could only dream of having the forward options of opposite number Laurent Blanc, whose 4-3-3 formation used all his big hitters Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani and Lavezzi.

PSG took the lead after just five minutes and it was another moment for Terry to forget.

After scoring an own goal against Crystal Palace last weekend, the Chelsea captain Terry failed to deal with a cross from Blaise Matuidi and his poor header fell straight into the path of Lavezzi who made no mistake on the half-volley firing a powerful shot into the roof of the net.

Things could have got even worse for Chelsea on 11 minutes as Ramires was lucky to stay on the field following a reckless challenge on Lavezzi who looked through on goal. Ramires escaped with a yellow card but will now miss the return leg at Stamford Bridge next week.

PSG were made to pay for their missed opportunities as Chelsea grabbed an equaliser on 27 minutes.

Oscar was brought down inside the box by Thiago Silva and the referee had no hesitation pointing to the spot. Hazard kept his composure and fired to the corner of the net.

Mourinho could sense there was something to be taken from the game and brought on Torres for the ineffective Schurrle on the hour. But the move backfired as PSG restored their lead on 62 minutes, and it was yet more poor defending which led to Chelsea’s downfall.

The outstanding Lavezzi turned provider as his dipping free-kick into the box eluded everyone except Luiz, who could only manage to divert the ball into his net off his shin.

Ibrahimovic was forced off on 68 minutes with a suspected hamstring injury and could miss the return.

But Chelsea’s night got worse at the death as Cech failed to keep out a low shot from Pastore.

Mourinho says Chelsea’s lack of firepower makes hope of recovering the tie a tough prospect.

“It is a difficult job but not impossible,” he said. “We are not a team full of talent to score goals, especially at this level. But you never know.

“We have to try. We have to go with everything, Let’s try.”

Paris Saint-Germain: Sirigu 7; Jallet 7, Alex 8, Silva 8, Maxwell 8; Verratti 7, Motta 8, Matuidi 8; Cavani 8, Ibrahimovic 6 (Lucas 68mins), Lavezzi 9 (Pastore 85mins 8)

Chelsea: Cech 5; Ivanovic 6, Cahill 6, Terry 5, Azpilicueta 6; Ramires 6, Luiz 5; Willian 6, Oscar 6 (Lampard 72mins 6), Hazard 7; Schurrle 5 (Torres 59mins 5)

Referee: Milorad Mazic (Serbia).

Three talking points

Poor Chelsea defending becoming recurring issue

John Terry’s own goal at Selhurst Park coupled with the England international’s poor headed clearance leading up to PSG’s opener completed a miserable seven days for the Chelsea defender.

Add to that, David Luiz’s unnecessary foul and subsequent own goal plus the comical defending for PSG’s third and Chelsea’s defensive frailties are becoming a recurring issue at the most critical time of the season.

Worryingly for Jose Mourinho, Chelsea continue to make far too many defensive errors for the Portuguese’s liking. Failure to eradicate these uncharacteristic mistakes could yet upset Chelsea’s domestic and European ambitions.

Lack of quality striker detrimental to Chelsea’s ambitions

Jose Mourinho’s decision to start the away leg without a recognised striker appeared foolhardy once Chelsea conceded inside four minutes.

Oddly, the concession of that early strike forced the Premier League side to press forward; resulting in a much improved display until the concession of two sloppy goals.

Yet a nagging feeling persists that allowing Romelu Lukaku and Daniel Sturridge to walk out of Stamford Bridge has left the Blues chronically short up front especially with Torres, Ba and Eto’o struggling all season.

Just who can Chelsea look to for goals in the second leg?

PSG still outsiders

The most pertinent point from last night’s quarter-final is that the Qatari Investment Authority’s outlay of £300 million in transfer fees over the past three years has yet to turn the Parisian club into genuine Champions League contenders.

Yes, PSG possess enough quality and strength in depth to be considered amongst the continent’s elite clubs and their massive wealth looks set to dominate Ligue 1 in the coming seasons.

Despite last night’s impressive showing not even the rumoured €1 million bonus to each squad member for winning this season’s Champions League looks capable of overcoming Bayern Munich or Real Madrid.

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