Chelsea take on PSG in the second leg of the last-16 fixture of the Champions League. An exciting 1-1 draw in the first leg at Paris has put the Blues in the front seat as they have the away goal advantage. However, a draw also meant that the decision of who would progress to the quarter-finals will only be made after the second leg.
Laurent Blanc said in his pre-match conference that Diego Costa is a player that provokes the opponents through his physicality and aggressive nature.
He said, “We know that Diego Costa is a very good player and he’s someone who’s changed clubs. He’s changed mentalities. He’s very suited to the English game because he’s someone who likes going in for the challenge and he’s someone who likes contact. He’s someone who provokes opposition players – that’s a part of his game. I think he needs that and I think he thrives off that.”
We know that Mourinho doesn’t let anything pass by him easily and sure enough, when quizzed on the comments, the Portuguese manager spoke about PSG’s aggressive nature and that his team hadn’t met an opponent as aggressive as PSG were in the first leg.
The Portuguese manager said, “I was surprised. In that game, I was surprised. The team with fantastic players was the team with fouls, making foul after foul, stopping Hazard with fouls all the time.
“They were attacking the man in possession of the ball with two or three players and having some very aggressive actions. A team where even a player like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, a typical attacking player, was coming back and tackling Hazard from behind to stop counter-attacks.
“I have to be fair that I thought that an English team would never be surprised by aggression. Of course, aggression we have in our country.
“During our time this season we played a few times with teams from the Championship and League One in the cups. We played against Shrewsbury from League Two also in the cup. But the most aggressive team was Paris St Germain.
“With players of such quality I was expecting more football and less aggression.”