by Ifreke Inyang
On Wednesday night, Chelsea got eliminated from the Champions League by Paris St German, on the away goal rule.
Here are 5 things we learnt from the encounter:
Mourinho’s mind games backfire spectacularly
If there’s anything Jose Mourinho excels in, it is in the art of mind games. All season, he has been crying about a campaign against his side in England. As he prepared his team for their continental tie against PSG, he warned referee Bjorn Kuipers to watch out for the Ligue 1 side’s aggressiveness. Little wonder Ibrahimovic was sent off in the 31st. After the first part of the plan worked, it seemed there was no follow up. Chelsea failed to swamp Laurent Blanc’s men and paid dearly.
PSG show resolve and bravery
After Ibrahimovic was show a straight red card, one would have thought the PSG players would crumble. They never did. They stood up resolutely and put in a brilliant performance. Even Mourinho could not help but praise their display. Thiago Silva – save for his moment of madness – was immense alongside David Luiz in defence. Cavani worked tirelessly and Pastore kept things moving nicely.
All English sides out?
With Arsenal needing to score three goals at Monaco next week and Manchester City travelling to the hallowed Nou Camp, it appears, with the exit of Chelsea, no English club will make the last eight. It’s a far cry from the 2008-2010 seasons, when all four Premier League clubs were present in the quarter-finals.
Let ex players celebrate, please!
As soon as David Luiz thumped his header past a static Thibaut Courtois, the former Chelsea defender could not contain his joy – even after he promised he would not celebrate against the Blues. Earlier in the week, we saw Danny Welbeck do same against Manchester United. I really don’t see a big deal in that. Football is a professional sport/career. When you have moved on, you need to leave your past behind and do your best for your new employers. It is not a lack of class or respect.
Verrati is a little powerhouse
I kept an eye on the Italian midfielder in the first leg and I was not too impressed. But last night at Stamford Bridge, he was excellent. Verrati took complete control of the midfield and ran the game like a true great. He was willing to receive the ball in tight areas and tackled expertly when he needed to. For an initial £8.6million fee he arrived for, PSG have truly landed a real gem.
‘Ifreke tweets via @Ifreke
Ifreke Inyang is a public commentator and social media critic who has worked with a number of high profile publications across the country.