Ten-man Paris Saint-Germain sensationally came from behind twice to dump Chelsea out of the Champions League on away goals after extra time as Bayern Munich also qualified for the quarter-finals with a 7-0 rout of ten-man Shakhtar Donetsk.
Held 1-1 in their last 16, first leg tie at Parc des Princes, the Parisians needed an exploit on Wednesday to get past Chelsea, and they achieved just that in the English capital drawing 2-2 on the night for a 3-3 aggregate scoreline to join holders Real Madrid, Bayern and Porto in the last eight.
Despite playing the last hour of normal time and 30 minutes extra time without talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who was sent off for a foul on Oscar, PSG dug deep to take revenge for last season’s quarter-final exit to Chelsea.
“PSG really wants to join the big leagues and I think we did that tonight,” estimated coach Laurent Blanc.
“I think this match will be a references for the club for some years.
“(Jose) Mourinho came up to congratulate me afterwards and told me that we had had two great matches. I felt a lot of respect.”
Chelsea manager Mourinho lamented his side’s inability to finish off the game at Stamford Bridge.
“We didn’t deserve to go through,” said Mourinho.
“The individual performances were not good enough and when you concede two goals from two corners it’s about lack of concentration, lack of responsibility to cope with the markers and the space you have to control.
“When a team cannot cope with the pressure of being one player more and playing at home… we couldn’t cope with that pressure.”
Ibrahimovic was sent off in the first half and PSG fell behind to a Gary Cahill goal with nine minutes remaining, only for Chelsea old boy David Luiz to take the tie to extra time with an 86th-minute header.
Thiago Silva appeared to have gifted Chelsea a place in the last eight after conceding a penalty for a handball that Eden Hazard converted, but the PSG captain scored with six minutes of the game remaining to send Blanc’s side through on away goals.
PSG president Nasser Al Khelaifi hailed a “magnificent, historic” victory for the club in their quest for European glory.
“It’s proof we’re on the right track. We believe in the project and we want to go as far as possible,” the Qatari businessman said.
– Bayern rout –
German champions Bayern also advanced in style in Munich, to keep their bid for a sixth elite European title on track.
Despite playing out a drab goalless draw in the first leg in Ukraine, Bayern made no such mistake against a Shakhtar side reduced to 10 men in just the third minute after Olexander Kucher brought down Mario Goetze.
Kucher’s dismissal beat the previous fastest Champions League red card of 5min 52sec for Werder Bremen’s Valerien Ismael against Inter Milan in September 2004.
“I think the red card was unfair,” lamented Shakhtar coach Mircea Lucescu.
“From then on we couldn’t play our game as planned. We lost out in all areas. They were stronger all round.
“The match was over for us after 3-0.”
Thomas Mueller scored from the resulting penalty, Jerome Boateng also getting on the scoresheet before half-time.
The floodgates opened in the second-half, Franck Ribery, Mueller, Holger Badstuber, Robert Lewandowski and Goetze all scoring.
On Tuesday, Real Madrid and Porto both booked their last eight berths as Cristiano Ronaldo became the all-time leading goalscorer in European competition after two goals in Real’s upset 4-3 defeat against Schalke.
It took his total to 78, surpassing the previous record held by another former Real stalwart, Raul.
Real’s 2-0 win in the first leg in Gelsenkichen saw the Spaniards squeeze into the last eight 5-4 on aggregate.
FC Porto advanced past Swiss club Basel, 5-1 on aggregate and 4-0 on the night.
Photo Credits : AFP