Even Jose Mourinho had to admit his Chelsea side did not deserve to qualify for the last eight of the Champions League after losing to Paris Saint Germain.
Unlike 2009 however, they cannot point to the officials. They may have been denied a penalty on Diego Costa – so what else is new – but PSG saw Zlatan Ibrahimovic dismissed when a yellow card would have more than sufficed and played most of normal time and all of extra time with ten men.
They also came from behind three times over the two legs and managed to go through on away goals after Chelsea let in yet another header, this time from Thiago Silva. Yes, the away goals rule killed them in the end, leaving them no chance to hit back as PSG kept the ball – or as Mourinho put it, cynically time wasted, but that is their prerogative and Mourinho’s men did exactly the same a year prior.
Chelsea were simply not at the races during the entire tie. They were poor, lacked creativity and did not have that defensive solidity they rely on so much.
Diego Costa has not scored a single Champions League goal this term and while he may work admirably hard for the team, when that is the case with your main forward and the second in command is a now 37 year old, there are going to be problems.
Quite what Loic Remy must think about his summer move now remains to be seen but that debate is for another day, as is the question of exactly what Oscar brings to the Chelsea side.
Chelsea are not as poor as their display against PSG suggested and are far the best side in England this term – and while there must be questions about English sides and their performances in Europe, it has to be noted both Chelsea and Manchester City had incredibly hard draws and Liverpool were in a group most sides would have struggled to navigate their way out of.
That is not an excuse and Mourinho will be fuming in the cold light of day, wondering how his side can be so much better than last season but lose to a weaker version of the team they dumped out back then. That is football. Sometimes wanting it more will see the underdogs through – and PSG wanted it more.
Luiz wanted it more. The players from last season remembered the Demba Ba heartbreak and wanted it more. They ran their socks off and Chelsea sat back. All well and good when you can defend and keep those goals out – but when you cannot, you are going to be dumped out of the competition – and Chelsea were.
Upon arriving back at Stamford Bridge, Mourinho claimed his side would make the Champions League final in 2016 when it is held at the San Siro. To do that, his side will have to be far, far better than they were last night.
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