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Chelsea 1 – 2 Paris Saint – Germain (agg 2-4): Zlatan Strikes To End Blues Dream

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The Sweden international set up his side’s first
goal of the game and later swooped to kill the
tie off in the second half, after Diego Costa gave
the hosts hope with his goal Zlatan Ibrahimovic
was in imperious form to end Chelsea’s
Champions League campaign, as the striker
helped Paris Saint-Germain seal a 2-1 victory at
Stamford Bridge which made it 4-2 on
aggregate to the Ligue 1 side.

The Sweden superstar created the opening
goal for Adrien Rabiot and, after half-time, he
scored for a fourth consecutive Champions
League match to secure a repeat of the first-leg
scoreline in Paris.

As in the French capital, Chelsea gave the
runaway Ligue 1 leaders plenty to think about
and Diego Costa’s all-action performance was
deserving of his 27th-minute equaliser.

But the Spain international limped off with an
apparent calf injury and, sensing a loss of
impetus from Chelsea, Laurent Blanc’s men
struck.

Ibrahimovic was sent off before his team-
mates secured a memorable extra-time
triumph over Chelsea in the same round last
season.

But he made no mistake on the end of Angel Di
Maria’s 67th-minute cross, granting him the
centre-stage he so often craves and occupies
as PSG progressed.

Costa was the focus of plenty of pre-match
attention from the PSG camp and he forced a
third-minute save from Kevin Trapp after the
visitors’ defence failed to pass their way out of
trouble.

At the other end, Branislav Ivanovic slid to
clear Di Maria’s attempt from the goalmouth as
a slaloming run from Lucas Moura cut through
Chelsea.

Ibrahimovic converted from an offside position
from the resulting corner before his incisive
piece of play crafted PSG’s 16th-minute opener.

The 34-year-old peeled away to the right to
collect Di Maria’s pass and his low cross was
scrambled home by the on-rushing Rabiot.

It initially appeared Chelsea would struggle to
respond, but they were level 11 minutes later
when Pedro dispossessed Thiago Motta and
Willian found Costa, who checked inside past
Thiago Silva and steered left-footed into the
bottom corner.

Guus Hiddink’s decision to select the attack-
minded Kenedy at full-back continued to afford
PSG opportunities down the Chelsea left, with
Ibrahimovic powering a header from Lucas’
cross into Thibaut Courtois’ arms.

Trapp was relieved not to be punished for
spilling a Costa shot, while the already booked
Motta was a touch fortunate not to see red
before half-time for a high challenge on Cesc
Fabregas.

Willian got the better of Marquinhos down the
left early in the second half, but a third
Brazilian, David Luiz, was on hand to block
Costa’s shot.
Unfortunately for the hosts, as a compelling
contest approached the hour, Costa’s excellent
individual display was cut short, with in-form
youngster Bertrand Traore on in his place.
Raboit broke up play in the Chelsea half to play
in Ibrahimovic, although the latter’s normally
impeccable touch was not up to standard and
Courtois narrowed the angle well.

Trapp got down sharply to deny the lively
Willian in the 65th minute and the German
goalkeeper was alert to keep out Eden Hazard’s
follow-up.

Those saves soon appeared even more
valuable when Motta made up for his part in
the equaliser with a sumptuous return ball to
Di Maria.

Granted space in the inside right channel, the
Argentina international ruthlessly picked his
cross for Ibrahimovic to thump in PSG’s 100th
goal of the season with a close-range volley.

Ibrahimovic was unable to bundle home a
second with 10 minute to play, but, as Chelsea
were forced to confront their probable absence
from next season’s Champions League, the
match-winner left the possibility of a dream
farewell from PSG on the table.

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