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Paris battle back for Chelsea draw

Paris Saint-Germain 1-1 Chelsea FC
Branislav Ivanović headed the visitors in front at Parc des Princes but Paris's second-half improvement was rewarded by an Edinson Cavani strike.

Verratti: Draw gives Paris 'great opportunity"
Verratti: Draw gives Paris 'great opportunity"

Paris recover from a goal down to earn draw at home to Chelsea
Branislav Ivanović nods visitors in front with first European goal since 2013
Edinson Cavani heads in second-half equaliser
Paris preserve eight-year unbeaten European home record
Second leg on 11 March at Stamford Bridge; Chelsea beat Paris 2-0 last year

Paris Saint-Germain staged a second-half revival to earn a home draw against Chelsea FC and leave their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie in the balance.

Chelsea were away-goals victors against Paris in last season's quarter-finals despite losing in France and, as was the case ten months ago, José Mourinho's side struck first, this time through Branislav Ivanović. The French champions responded positively after half-time, however, Edinson Cavani heading them level to keep home hopes alive ahead of the London return.

Paris won all three games at the Parc des Princes in the group stage, and are unbeaten in 32 European home matches, and despite injury problems they were first to threaten, Blaise Matuidi and Zlatan Ibrahimović forcing Thibaut Courtois to parry headers in quick succession.

Chelsea then showed their teeth for the first time as Eden Hazard – a scorer in Paris's 3-1 first-leg success last term – found space down the right; Salvatore Sirigu clung onto the cross-shot. Courtois then beat away Cavani's near-post header, but it was Chelsea who broke through.

Three of the visiting back four combined to unlock the Paris defence. John Terry retrieved possession on the left and his low cross was flicked on by Gary Cahill; Ivanović reacted smartly to nod past Sirigu, his first European goal since deciding the 2013 UEFA Europa League final.

Ibrahimović drove a free-kick over as Paris sought a reply before the interval yet they did not have long to wait as the second period began. Maxwell delivered a pinpoint cross from the left and Cavani was left in space to head past Courtois.

The goalkeeper came to Chelsea's rescue moments later, saving with his feet after Ibrahimović had sliced through the away defence. With Courtois prone, César Azpilicueta blocked Ezequiel Lavezzi's follow-up.

The force was with Paris and, though Chelsea regrouped swiftly, Laurent Blanc's men looked the likelier scorers. Cavani came close to providing a second goal nine minutes from time as he skipped away from Nemanja Matić; the shot was prodded wide of both Courtois and the far post.

There was to be one last notable chance, Ibrahimović powering through at the far post to apply a fierce downward header to a cross. Courtois clawed the ball over to ensure the teams will meet again all square.

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