Feb 17, 2015 22:34:00
Chelsea took a valuable away goal from the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Paris Saint-Germain, though they were pegged back to a 1-1 draw at Parc des Princes.
Branislav Ivanovic headed Jose Mourinho’s side into the lead on Tuesday, finishing off a move which saw his fellow defenders, John Terry and Gary Cahill, combine in advanced positions to set him up in the 36th minute.
PSG fought back in the second half, however, with Edinson Cavani pouncing on slack marking to deposit a free header past Thibaut Courtois, and the Uruguayan nearly had a second when he slipped through the back line in the 80th minute only to prod just wide.
VIEW FROM PARC DES PRINCES
By Liam Twomey
The final 20 minutes may have resembled something of a siege but, as the dust settles, Jose Mourinho will reflect on a result that leaves Chelsea in pole position to end Paris Saint-Germain’s Champions League dreams for the second year running.
Branislav Ivanovic was once again the man to stand up on the big stage, heading in the Blues’ only scoring chance of the night, and, despite a second half in which the Ligue 1 giants brought the full weight of their quality to bear on the creaking Chelsea defence, Thibaut Courtois justified his manager’s bold decision to drop Petr Cech with a series of wonderful saves.
Everything will still be on the table when these two sides do battle again in March but Chelsea have ensured that the fight will take place on their terms as well as their turf.
PSG looked the more likely to fashion a winner but were routinely denied by off-target finishing and returning Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, whose goal they will certainly have to breach again in the second leg at Stamford Bridge in March.