Cathartic Victory at the Bridge for Ibrahimovic; Blues Crash out at Zlatan's Hands CHELSEA 1 PARIS ST GERMAIN 2 (PSG Win 4-2 on Aggregate)

The Journal (Newcastle, England), March 10, 2016 | Go to article overview

Cathartic Victory at the Bridge for Ibrahimovic; Blues Crash out at Zlatan's Hands CHELSEA 1 PARIS ST GERMAIN 2 (PSG Win 4-2 on Aggregate)


ZLATAN Ibrahimovic sent Chelsea tumbling out of the Champions League as Paris St Germain claimed a 2-1 last-16 second-leg win at Stamford Bridge.

Diego Costa had looked like being the night's hero after an all-action display and cancelling out Adrien Rabiot's opener.

But Costa was substituted after an hour due to injury and Ibrahimovic struck seven minutes later to secure a 4-2 aggregate success.

Ibrahimovic, on the eve of the tie, had denied seeking revenge after 12 months ago being sent off at Stamford Bridge, but had vowed he was better than ever as he continues to chase the triumph in this competition which has proved elusive in his illustrious career so far.

And as he impressed, duly PSG advanced to a fourth straight Champions League quarter-final and Chelsea were left to contemplate the probability of being absent from the competition next season.

Eden Hazard was again disappointing and he was booed by a handful of home supporters as he was replaced 13 minutes from time.

Away goals had separated the sides in the last two seasons - Chelsea won the quarter-final tie in 2014, but were defeated at the last-16 stage in 2015 - and John Obi Mikel's strike on February 16 at Parc des Princes gave Chelsea a fighting chance.

The performance of Costa did, too.

The striker was labelled a "fraud" on social media by PSG on the eve of the contest and shed his protective mask inside 10 minutes to reveal himself.

Costa forced a save from Kevin Trapp in the opening moments after Rabiot, in for the injured Marco Verratti, had given the ball away. Then Angel Di Maria and Lucas Moura set to work, targeting Chelsea's left where Kenedy was deployed at fullback.

Branislav Ivanovic scampered back to deny Di Maria, after Lucas fed the former Manchester United winger, before Ibrahimovic stole in down the right and his cross beat Chelsea's defence for Rabiot to tuck in at the far post. Kenedy was missing in action.

The television cameras panned to Chelsea's injured captain John Terry, who was surely contemplating the end of his Champions League career. …

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