Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Super Subs Fire Home to Give Blues Chance of Euro Glory

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Super Subs Fire Home to Give Blues Chance of Euro Glory

Article excerpt

CHELSEA 2 PARIS ST GERMAIN 0 (3-3 on agg, Chelsea go through on away goals) CHELSEA and Jose Mourinho dare to dream of European glory once more after overturning a two-goal deficit to advance to the Champions League semi-finals at the expense of Paris St Germain.

Mourinho raced down the touchline in celebration of substitute Demba Ba's 87th-minute goal, which secured the 2012 winners a 2-0 win and a place in the last four for a seventh time in 11 years courtesy of Eden Hazard's away goal in the first leg.

Chelsea trailed 3-1 after the first leg, but were unbeaten since September at home and had kept eight successive clean sheets prior to the match.

Mourinho believed in his side and, when Andre Schurrle swept in after 32 minutes, the Blues needed one more goal and to stretch that defensive mean-streak by one more game. Against a PSG strikeforce vaunted even without the injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic that was no easy task, but the defence held their side of the bargain as the attackers tried to fulfil theirs.

Mourinho had gambled on the fitness of big-game player Samuel Eto'o, but was not banking on losing Hazard to injury after 18 minutes.

Schurrle, the Belgian's replacement, was anonymous in a 'false nine' role in the first leg, but thrived in the second, hitting the bar seven minutes into the second half.

Oscar struck the frame of the goal with a free-kick moments later and PSG had chances as Chelsea surged forward looking for the decisive goal.

It looked like it would prove elusive until Cesar Azpilicueta's drive into the area fell for Ba to turn the ball into the net and spark delirious celebrations, led by Mourinho.

Few Chelsea players seemed to enjoy a pulsating and disjointed opening.

Oscar found some joy down the left, so, too, did Eto'o, who had a shot deflected over before the striker showed his sharpness after a threegame absence with a hamstring injury by pressing Salvatore Sirigu as the goalkeeper dealt with a back-pass, only to commit a foul.

The left wing is usually Hazard's domain, but much to the concern of the raucous home faithful, the Belgian was subdued and soon limped off. …

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