Chelsea went back home with a 1-1 draw against Paris Saint Germain in the first leg of the last 16 fixture held in Paris. The Blues now have the advantage of an away goal as they prepare for the second leg.
Branislav Ivanovic scored the opening goal of the game, and his third in five matches. He scored from a header off a John Terry cross. Chelsea couldn’t add another goal to their tally, and PSG dominated the rest of the match after scoring their equalizer via Edinson Cavani shortly after. The Blues would be thankful for Thibaut Courtois as the Belgian once again, made excellent saves and ensured the advantage stayed with the visitors.
Jose Mourinho praised his a phenomenal goalkeepersa at the end of the game.
a They are both phenomenal goalkeepers,a Chelsea manager Mourinho told Sky Sports.
“I try to read the situation and try to predict the profile of the game and the needs of the team, but the reality is it is easy.
a If football was nine players and two goalkeepers we would be on the moon.a
Asked if his side got away with it, Mourinho said: “When you see the performance of our goalkeeper you have to say yes.”
Branislav Ivanovic gave Chelsea the lead in Paris but the hosts replied through Edinson Cavani and looked the more likely to go on and win the match.
Mourinho said it was a positive result for his side and also acknowledged that Chelsea were on the back foot for large parts of the second half.
a Paris were stronger than us and we didna t create or control the game as we did in the first half,a he said. a In the first half we didna t create a lot but we had the ball and moved the ball well. In the second half we lost control against a fantastic team with fantastic players.
a I give them credit and refuse to say my players were not good. Paris pressed us a lot in the second half, they played very direct and they have a monster (Ibrahimovic) who has qualities.
“He is not just a monster, he was dominating in the air, winning the first ball, second ball, it was difficult for us. After such a difficult second half the result is positive.a
Asked whether Chelsea are now favourites to progress to the quarter-finals, Mourinho said: a I dona t think we are favourites. The Champions League, knock-out, last-16, with top teams and top players and at 1-1 never creates a clear favourite.
a It is a two-leg match but now it is a one-leg match. We have just a slight advantage, maybe a mental advantage that we play at home and we dona t have to play again in Paris.
“The advantage is minimal,” Mourinho added.
“Obviously a two-leg game is now one leg. Now everything is decided at Stamford Bridge, not in two matches where they have a fantastic record [at home].
“It’s not a victory, 3-0 or 4-0 that ends the story. They are a fantastic team, fantastic players. We did okay.”