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Ba caps brilliant Chelsea fightback

08 Apr 2014 20:47:49

Ba caps brilliant Chelsea fightback

Chelsea and Jose Mourinho dare to dream of European glory once more after overturning a two-goal deficit to advance to the Champions League semi-finals at the expense of Paris St Germain.

Mourinho raced down the touchline in celebration of substitute Demba Ba's 87th-minute goal, which secured the 2012 winners a 2-0 win and a place in the last four for a seventh time in 11 years courtesy of Eden Hazard's away goal in the first leg.

It was a scene reminiscent of Mourinho's sprint at Old Trafford en route to his first European Cup success with Porto in 2004.

The trophy eluded the Portuguese during his first spell at Stamford Bridge, but he won it again in 2010 with Inter Milan and has another shot at glory four years on.

Chelsea trailed 3-1 after the first leg, but were unbeaten since September at home and had kept eight successive clean sheets prior to the match.

Mourinho believed in his side and, when Andre Schurrle swept in after 32 minutes, the Blues needed one more goal and to stretch that defensive mean-streak by one more game.

Against a PSG strikeforce vaunted even without the injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic that was no easy task, but the defence held their side of the bargain as the attackers tried to fulfil theirs.

Mourinho had gambled on the fitness of big-game player Samuel Eto'o, but was not banking on losing Hazard to injury after 18 minutes.

Schurrle, the Belgian's replacement, was anonymous in a 'false nine' role in the first leg, but thrived in the second, hitting the bar seven minutes into the second half.

Oscar struck the frame of the goal with a free-kick moments later and PSG had chances as Chelsea surged forward looking for the decisive goal.

It looked like it would prove elusive until Cesar Azpilicueta's drive into the area fell for Ba to turn the ball into the net and spark delirious celebrations, led by Mourinho.


PA

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