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Champions League Classics: Chelsea 2-2 Paris (aet)

Watch a backs-to-the-wall masterclass as-live on UEFA.tv from 17:00 CET – and get the background here.

Thiago Silva got the final goal of the night
Thiago Silva got the final goal of the night

Following a 1-1 draw in the first leg, Paris looked to have pressed the self-destruct button in the return leg of their 2014/15 UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie against Chelsea.

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Context

First leg highlights: Paris 1-1 Chelsea
First leg highlights: Paris 1-1 Chelsea

Ahead of the decider against Paris, Chelsea’s Cesc Fàbregas gave the visitors all due respect: “We know PSG are a great team. That doesn't mean they scare us.” José Mourinho’s Blues had proved that in the first leg as they came away from the French capital with a 1-1 draw, toughing it out to hang on after Branislav Ivanović’s effort was cancelled out by Edinson Cavani. In front of their own crowd at Stamford Bridge, surely things would be easier.

Key players

Zlatan Ibrahimović: Ligue 1’s top scorer and Player of the Season in both of his campaigns since arriving from AC Milan, Ibrahimović was Paris’s undoubted star man in 2014/15, though the Sweden striker could still be a wild card.

David Luiz: After helping Chelsea win the UEFA Champions Leageu and UEFA Europa League, the Brazilian left for Paris in summer 2014, for a reported world-record fee for a defender. He did not anticipate returning to Stamford Bridge quite so quickly,

Eden Hazard: “Eden Hazard is probably the best young player in the world,” said Blues boss Mourinho in February 2014; the Belgian playmaker was busy proving his coach right when he came up against Paris.

What happened

Watch all Zlatan's Champions League goals for Paris
Watch all Zlatan's Champions League goals for Paris

Paris’s plans were thrown into disarray on 31 minutes when Ibrahimović was show a straight red card for a foul on Oscar, but the ten men battled hard to maintain their shape. They were in real trouble when Gary Cahill put Chelsea in front on 81 minutes, but ex-Blue David Luiz responded with a bullet header five minutes later to take the game to extra time.

When Hazard fired in from the spot after Thiago Silva had handled a high ball, Paris finally seemed to be beaten. There was to be more drama, though; Silva had one shot saved superbly by Thibaut Courtois before delivering the 114th-minute header that won the tie for Paris on away goals.

Reaction

David Luiz, Paris defender: "Every single player gave everything on the pitch and it is a great result for Paris the city and Paris the club. We deserved it and even in the last minute we tried to play football."

José Mourinho, Chelsea manager: "The moment they had ten men we felt too much pressure. Paris St-Germain deserved it. When a team ... concedes two goals to corners they don't deserve to win."

Six great Paris Champions League nights
Six great Paris Champions League nights

Gary Cahill, Chelsea defender: "When you are not at your best it is very difficult to win, whether the team against you has ten or 11 men."

Laurent Blanc, Paris coach: "The players produced an extraordinary match, from start to finish. I was surprised how calm my side was despite playing ten against 11."

Elsewhere that evening

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Shakhtar were reduced to ten men just three minutes into their decider against Bayern München, but did not handle the setback as well as Paris, losing 7-0 in Munich (and by the same aggregate scoreline), with Thomas Müller scoring twice. “Of course we are satisfied,” said Bayern boss Josep Guardiola. “It was a clear result.”

Aftermath

2015 final highlights: Barcelona 3-1 Juventus
2015 final highlights: Barcelona 3-1 Juventus

With Ibrahimović suspended, Paris bowed out to Barcelona without much of a fight in the quarter-finals. Neymar set the Spanish side on their way to a 3-1 win in the first leg at the Parc des Princes and then scored both goals in a 2-0 win in the return leg. The Brazilian would move to Paris on a permanent basis in 2017.

David Luiz, meanwhile, apologised for his celebrations in front of the Stamford Bridge crowd: "I was so happy to win but I was also so happy at Chelsea." He was evidently forgiven; after two seasons in Paris, he returned to London in August 2016, and won a second UEFA Europa League title with the Blues in 2018/19.

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