"My respect, my love for Chelsea, will always be the same," Paris's David Luiz told UEFA.com as he bids to oust his old side from the round of 16 for a second season in a row.
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With Paris 2-1 up from the home leg of their UEFA Champions League tie against Chelsea, defender David Luiz is facing another emotional return to his old club – having scored a late equaliser at Stamford Bridge to guide the French champions toward an unexpected success in the same stage of the competition last season. The 28-year-old tells UEFA.com about the decider in prospect and why Laurent Blanc's side have what it takes to win the competition.
UEFA.com: It was a hugely important victory in the first leg against Chelsea; how do you reflect on the team's performance in Paris?
David Luiz: True, it was an important victory. And it was crucial, especially at home in such a difficult match. It's good to come out of the first match victorious, but nothing has been decided yet. It will be another great game at Stamford Bridge, and I hope we can also come out as winners there. London was a city and a club where I was very happy. I had some great moments there, but I am focused on my work, which is to play for PSG.
UEFA.com: Chelsea have an away goal, which could be significant – will that change Paris's tactics for the second leg?
David Luiz: It's always difficult to play against a highly-rated attack like Chelsea's. It's hard not to concede. I hope this time around we can score too, but the most important thing is for us to go through. Our game philosophy is to play – to keep possession, create opportunities to score goals. We have to stick to our philosophy, and we know that for now the result is in our favour.
UEFA.com: Your goal in last season's round of 16 decider took the tie against Chelsea to extra time, and Paris went on to win on away goals. How did that feel?
David Luiz: I had said that I wouldn't celebrate if I scored, but I couldn't control my emotions because of the drama of the match. To score a goal in the last few minutes to help your team, when we had been a man down since early in the game … It was very important, and it kept us in that match. But my respect, my love for Chelsea, will always be the same.
UEFA.com: You have given some of your best Paris performances in the UEFA Champions League knockout phase. Do you enjoy playing in these huge games?
David Luiz: Definitely. Not many players have the privilege to play in these big matches, so I try to enjoy the opportunities I have in my life as much as I can.
UEFA.com: Can this Paris team win the UEFA Champions League this season?
David Luiz: I hope so, because we're working towards that, but we're taking it day by day, match by match, competition by competition. We've come on a lot. We learn every year, and from every defeat. We couldn't win it last year, but I hope we can this year. A lot of the players have been together for three or four years, so the team spirit keeps getting better.