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Chelsea persistence pays off for Mourinho

While José Mourinho said Chelsea FC finally got their reward, Demba Ba's late goal left Laurent Blanc ruing how close Paris Saint-Germain had come to the semi-finals.

Chelsea persistence pays off for Mourinho
Chelsea persistence pays off for Mourinho ©UEFA.com

José Mourinho, Chelsea manager
The players follow our plan, our ambition. I was so happy with the result – we were lucky because we got the result we fought for. If for some reason we hadn't scored that second goal, or in the last minute they had scored a goal, we would still have been proud of the boys.

It's a good one, a good victory, but so many semi-finals for me and for Chelsea – nothing extraordinary. It's good because it was 3-1 [in the first leg] and to change that result is always difficult. But we are OK, the players are not jumping in the dressing room. Just two minutes, then it's done.

We did enough to score earlier but it didn't happen. The way Paris said they play and how they did were totally different. They went for the counterattack and made it difficult for us. We tried different formations in training so the players knew what to do in each situation. Demba [Ba] got a crucial finish for us. We deserved to go through as the team who was defensive got punished. We deserved to make the semis.

You always believe. It's part of our nature and you know how football is. At the end, we risked everything tonight. In France, Paris are dominating and the style of French football has nothing to do with the direct approach we showed tonight. The players knew what we needed to do and we had that little moment of luck that you need.

Everyone gave absolutely everything. My four defenders, as always, were brilliant, my midfield worked like animals, David Luiz was a monster. My players in attack tried to create with their quality and some others tried with their physical power, and Nando [Torres] and Demba Ba helped when they came on.

I am very happy for [Ba]. He is a good striker and a good group man. I played him before Fernando [Torres] so he would not think he has the No3 striker on his back. He caused Paris problems and I am so happy that he scored the goal.

We are in the semi-finals and, if the quarter-finals had eight fantastic teams, imagine the four that are going to reach the semi-finals. Anything can happen: big opponents are waiting for us. But it doesn't matter who, we have a good spirit. For sure we are going to enjoy it, the same way I told the players we had to enjoy this second leg in the quarter-finals – we have to enjoy playing against the great opponents who are waiting for us. It doesn't matter. Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atlético, Bayern, Manchester United? It doesn't matter.

Laurent Blanc, Paris coach
There's disappointment. You must acknowledge that we fought a very good Chelsea team. 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 us, make us suffer. Unfortunately we did not take our chances.

There are a number of things that didn't work tonight and a number that did. The [first] goal came against the run of play and that gave Chelsea belief. I thought we might have scored on the counterattack but we were not able to. Chelsea kept believing and in the end they were rewarded.

Overall, in my opinion, the difference was not huge. Paris 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.

We played with three forwards and a midfielder who tried to keep the ball and I don't think we did particularly badly. We just weren't able to break through. In the second half Chelsea were able to put us under a bit more pressure.

We knew that, whatever the outcome of the game, we had to finish the competitions that we are still involved in [Ligue 1, French League Cup] really well and we hope to do that. But allow me, on behalf of the squad and all the technical staff, to be really disappointed tonight. We were so close to the semi-finals.

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