Chelsea completed a brilliant comeback to beat Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 on the night to advance to the semi-finals of the Champions League on the away-goals rule.
Demba Ba bundled home with two minutes left on the clock to secure a 3-3 aggregate. For long spells, it appeared that Javier Pastore’s late goal in the first leg would be enough for PSG, but they were undone by a sucker punch from Ba that booked Chelsea’s seventh Champions League semi-final appearance in the last 10 years.
The Blues may not be the best team in the competition, but that was the case in 2012 when they stunned Bayern Munich in the final.
Mental strength is a vital ingredient and Mourinho's men have a steel about them that will make them tough nuts to crack in the last four.
Chelsea’s first positive piece of play arrived on nine minutes, as Oscar darted to the byline and cut the ball back to Samuel Eto’o. The Cameroonian has carved out a career fashioning chances from nothing, but he was surrounded by PSG defenders and his shot was charged down.
Eden Hazard has been an inspirational figure for Chelsea this season, but he looked subdued early on and exited the match in the 17th minute with an injury.
For half an hour, Chelsea made few inroads into their deficit as PSG defended with an assured confidence.
However, the momentum shifted on 32 minutes thanks to an old-fashioned long throw. David Luiz got to Branislav Ivanovic’s throw and flicked it on to Andre Schurrle, who swept the ball beyond Salvatore Sirigu.
Chelsea were handed a massive chance to get the second goal they needed on 37 minutes. A set piece again caused alarm in the PSG box, as the loose ball fell to Gary Cahill, but he took a wild swipe at the ball and sliced his shot wide.
PSG’s air of authority disappeared following the goal and Schurrle went within a coat of paint of grabbing his second on 52 minutes. Full of confidence, Schurrle let fly from 20 yards and his shot crashed against the bar with Sirigu beaten.
Seconds later, the woodwork came to PSG’s aid again. A brilliant free-kick from Oscar beat Sirigu but thudded against the crossbar and away from danger.
With 25 minutes left on the clock, Jose Mourinho rolled the dice by throwing on Ba. It was a snub to Fernando Torres, but it almost reaped dividends immediately as the forward flicked a header into the path of Schurrle. The ball would not sit down for the forward and his shot was saved by Sirigu.
PSG lured Yohan Cabaye to the club from Newcastle in January, and he showed exactly why they made that move with a delicious pass that set Edinson Cavani free.
The forward’s first touch was exquisite, which handed him the chance to put the tie to bed. However, his second was awful as he fired over the bar.
It was a chance PSG were made to rue. With 88 minutes on the clock, Ba was on hand to turn home a loose ball to send Mourinho running down the touchline in delight.
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Mourinho spoke to ITV Sport after the game and felt his side were rewarded for the effort they put in.
We did enough in the beginning of the second half to score before, but we couldn’t.
After that, they played pure counter attack, no ball possession, closing everything, and it was difficult or us to penetrate in that second half of the second half.
So I played Demba and Fernando; we did that yesterday in training.
The players knew what to do. Demba made a crucial finish for us and it was very much deserved.
The team that decided to defend was punished and the team that gave everything deserved to go into the semis.