Chelsea put in a gutsy performance at the Parc des Princes in Paris against French Champions Paris Saint-Germain, that would suggest the Blues do not deserve to be in 12th place in the English Premier League.
At the end of the day Chelsea lost the match 2-1 thanks to a deflected free kick from Swedish international Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and while Chelsea pulled level just on halftime when Nigerian John Mikel Obi got on the end of a corner it was not enough to see the Blues come away with a share of the points.
As the second half got under way you could see that PSG had upped their game following what must have been a stern talking to from trainer Laurent Blanc.
Now witnessing end to end exciting football, the Parisians got their break when substitute Edinson Cavani managed to beat the offside trap and latch onto a pass from former Real Madrid and Manchester United winger Angel Di Maria to give the home side the lead.
In Chelsea and Blues manager Guus Hiddink’s defence, it needs to be pointed out that the Dutchman was forced to reshuffle his back-four in Paris after captain John Terry was ruled out with a hamstring injury.
This meant he had to play a makeshift central defence of Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic while at the same time giving Ghanaian Baba Rahman made a rare start at left-back.
The defeat in Paris marks Hiddink’s first loss in 12 matches since taking over from Jose Mourinho in December and has the 69-year-old coach believing that Chelsea can still make it to the last eight if they can beat PSG in the return leg at Stamford Bridge on March 9th.
“Scoring away is always good,” said Hiddink. “I’m never happy with a loss but it’s not a dramatic loss.”
When asked about his opponents Hiddink added: “I envy a bit the bench of PSG.” “They have a very strong bench.
“If you see what this team can bring on in the second half – world-class players as substitutes. This is a very strong PSG.”
PSG trainer Laurent Blanc was of course delighted by the win, but after conceding a goal realizes his team will now probably need to score in London.
“When you play at home you need to be stronger in defence because, if you concede a goal, it effectively counts double,” he said. “Chelsea scored, so we go to Stamford Bridge eager to score ourselves.
“We’ll have chances, most likely, so it’ll be about defending well but we are an attacking team.
“I don’t think Chelsea will change their approach for the second leg. Neither will we. So the return game will probably be open and, hopefully, with some goals.”’
Here at Soccer Transfers we agree with the Frenchman’s assessment and if last night’s match is anything to go by we feel Chelsea are more than capable of getting a result at the Bridge and just as in 2014 move on to the next round.