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Ba-bye PSG

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Photo: Demba Ba celebrates his late winner for Chelsea against PSG (Getty Images)

 

Late drama defined the second leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie between Chelsea and Paris Saint Germain (PSG) at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday, similar to the first leg a week ago. Needing to avoid a defeat by two clear goals to advance ahead of their hosts, PSG seemed to have achieved that objective until second half substitute Demba Ba broke French hearts three minutes from time.

 

Andre Schurrle had been used in the striker’s role in the first game but had proven to be ineffective before being substituted by Fernando Torres. This time around Schurrle came off the bench to replace the injured Eden Hazard in the 18th minute and had the ball in the back of the net in the 32nd to increase hopes of advancing all around the Bridge and in the streets of London.

 

Gary Cahill could have given the Blues that vital second goal shortly before the interval but finished like a defender instead of a striker, leaving the score line 1-0 at the break.

 

Chelsea hit the frame of the goal twice in the second half as tensions mounted on the terraces. The big striker Ba was thrown into the fray in the 66th minute in place of club legend Frank Lampard as Chelsea went in hunt of that vital second goal.

 

Edison Cavani and Maxwell both came close for the French champions midway the second half before Cavani spurned a great chance to secure the much needed away goal for his team, after being played through by Yohan Cabaye.

 

Lauren Blanc must have believed his team had done enough to get through to the next round before the strength of Ba told. Ba held off a defender before he bundled home Chelsea’s second, three minutes from time to send Jose Mourinho on one of his now famous touchline sprints to celebrate with his players.

 

Meanwhile at the Signal Iduna Park Real Madrid were made to sweat by Borussia Dortmund who defeated them 2-0 courtesy of Marco Reus first half brace.

 

It was the first time that Madrid had failed to score in 34 matches but the 3-0 win at the Bernabeu a week ago proved to be enough to ensure safe passage to the semi-finals.