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Paris licking their wounds after Caen comeback

Laurent Blanc admits that Paris Saint-Germain will need convincing they can still beat Chelsea FC after enduring a spate of injuries and a draw few foresaw on Saturday.

Zlatan Ibrahimović reacts against Caen
Zlatan Ibrahimović reacts against Caen ©AFP/Getty Images

"I can hardly believe what happened."

Thiago Silva summed up the thoughts of many as he assessed Paris Saint-Germain's implosion against SM Caen – hardly ideal preparation for Tuesday's home game against Chelsea FC.

With two minutes to go on Saturday Laurent Blanc's side were leading 2-0 and looked to be heading back to the Ligue 1 summit, albeit walking wounded after a spate of injuries left them with only nine players on the pitch. Then they imploded.

Emiliano Sala pulled one back to set the stage for substitute Hervé Basile, who dispatched a superb free-kick into the top corner. Zlatan Ibrahimović would have been proud of it himself had he not had his head in his hands.

So Olympique Lyonnais remain top of Ligue 1, and they can extend their advantage to four points on Sunday. Yet perhaps most damaging of all for Paris is the glut of injuries that precipitated their Caen downfall. Only Javier Pastore was doubtful for the UEFA Champions League meeting with Chelsea on Saturday morning; 24 hours later the list is becoming weighty.

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Yohan Cabaye suffered a relapsed of a groin injury early on, and Marquinhos (hamstring) and Blaise Matuidi (knee) were also withdrawn. It meant that when Serge Aurier, only just back from Ivory Coast's Africa Cup of Nations triumph, suffered a thigh strain Blanc had nowhere left to turn. Lucas quickly followed in tears after damaging his hamstring.

Down to nine, Paris could not hold on. "It was a strange day," said skipper Thiago Silva. "We produced lots of positive things, then came all of the injuries: for us and the opposition. We must stay positive and turn to Tuesday. We have a very important game at home and we'll need our fans."

Indeed, Blanc's initial prognosis was as grave as the looks on the home fans at Parc des Princes at full time, suggesting only Matuidi will line up on Tuesday. "We're a little bit in trouble at the moment, but from Sunday morning we'll have to focus on Chelsea and convince ourselves that we can challenge them," he admitted.

Compare that to the Blues, who had the weekend off having been knocked out of the FA Cup in the last round.