Champion’s League Knockouts – First Leg Day One

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar February 18, 2016 18:42



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Champion’s League Knockouts – First Leg Day One

By Satish Sekar © Satish Sekar (February 16th 2016)


For the third season in a row Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain meet in the last 16. The Chelsea supporters who disgraced the club last year are serving bans. Tonight it was about football. Diego Costa must have thought he had scored when offered just the keeper to beat, but was denied by an excellent save by Kevin Trapp. John Mikel Obi’s cynical foulon Lucas Moura proved very costly as the Nigerian also deflected Zlatan Ibrahimović’s 20 yard free-kick past Thibaut Courtois after 39 minutes.

With virtually the last kick of the half, Costa’s header found Obi to score a rare goal for him and the first conceded at home by PSG in the Champion’s League this season. It was from close range, but so what. Costa was again denied by Trapp early in the second half. Courtois denied Ángel di María twice and Lucas Moura. The latter was replaced by Edinson Cavani – it proved to be an inspired substitution. An excellent move was capped off by di María’s pass to Cavani on the right of the area. The Uruguayan slotted it through Courtois’ legs from a tight angle to hand Guus Hiddink his first defeat as Chelsea boss in his second spell at Chelsea and give PSG a narrow advantage to take to Stamford Bridge on March 9th.


Meanwhile André Villas-Boas took his Zenit St Peterburg team to Lisbon for the Russians’ first competitive match in several weeks. Jonas went close for Benfica before a double effort by Nicolás Gaitán failed to score.

However, Domenico Criscito picked up a ‘fussy’ yellow card from referee Gianluca Rocchi that would cost him dear for a foul on André Almeida. There was little doubt about the second on Almeida, also. Gaitán’s free-kick was headed in by Jonas, who was booked for his celebrations in the first minute of added time.

He won’t care as Benfica have a lead to defend in Russia.




Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar February 18, 2016 18:42