Chelsea 2 PSG 0 match report: Demba Ba the hero as Jose Mourinho masterminds Blues comeback to reach Champions League quarter-finals

Blues progress to the Champions League semi-finals after thrilling late victory

Stamford Bridge

It was fortuitous that Jose Mourinho opted for a tracksuit rather than the smarter gear tonight, because when the second goal went in to propel his team into the Champions League semi-finals he was off down the touchline like it was 2004 at Old Trafford all over again.

Another stupendous night of European football at Stamford Bridge. Another thrilling conclusion. Another win pulled off by the manager who has never lost a quarter-final in the Champions League in his life and was not about to start the habit now. When substitute Demba Ba scored Chelsea’s second with three minutes of normal time remaining Mourinho headed down the touchline as he once did as Porto manager in that famous Champions League tie against Manchester United ten years ago.

This time he was going to tell his players how to defend the last few minutes of the game, pulling the substitute Fernando Torres off the pile first to shout instructions in his ear. Then he collared Andre Schurrle. At the critical point in the game, the Chelsea manager was once again at the centre of everything and yet again his team were turning the tables on one of the big guns in Europe.

Chelsea are in the semi-finals on away goals and as they celebrated at the end, you wondered why you had ever doubted them. This is the team that just tends to get its way in Europe. “Champions of Europe,” the home fans sang through the game, “we’ve done it before” and that warning certainly came true for Paris Saint Germain.

For all their Qatari investment, the men from Paris, defending a two goal lead, learned a little last night of what it requires to be successful at this level. They just do not give in at Stamford Bridge, through the early loss of Eden Hazard to injury and finishing the game with every one of the three strikers that Mourinho rates so little on the pitch together. In the end it was Ba, the last man on Mourinho’s mind most of the time, who was the difference.

Andre Schurrle watches his strike hit the back of the net Andre Schurrle watches his strike hit the back of the net The Senegal international was born in the south-west of Paris and is a PSG fan. When he was brought on tonight with 24 minutes left to play, however, he was playing for his own credibility. Mourinho said later that the decision to bring him on before Torres, who did eventually get on, gave Ba the boost of confidence necessary. “It made him feel that he doesn’t have the ‘No 3 striker’ [status] on his back,” Mourinho said. “His enthusiasm was fantastic.”

Read more: Ba: I'm not out for revenge
Five things we learnt at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea 2 PSG 0 - as it happened

There is something about their reaction to adversity that suits Chelsea so well in Europe. They went out the Champions League at the group stage last season but in all the last two years, which have yielded the Champions League and Europa League titles have been testament to their ability to tough it out. With Mourinho in charge, they are the street-fighters that no-one will relish playing in the semi-finals.

With Real Madrid through as well, there is a possibility that Mourinho will come up against his former club. Or Barcelona with whom his history would fill a few books. Or Manchester United, Bayern Munich or Atletico Madrid. It was why the Chelsea manager soon calmed down, later claiming that the victory had not registered especially high on his list of achievements and that the players had stopped celebrating in the dressing room within two minutes.

Oscar's free-kick beats Salvatore Sirigu - but not his crossbar Oscar's free-kick beats Salvatore Sirigu - but not his crossbar With 18 minutes played it did not look good for Chelsea, Mourinho dispatching Schurrle down the touchline to warm-up. The Chelsea manager had selected Samuel Eto’o in attack despite his pre-match acknowledgment that the striker was not fit, but this was not Eto’o who was struggling so early on in the game. Alarmingly for Mourinho, it was Hazard.

It was not just the loss of the man who has given Mourinho’s team their sharpest cutting edge this season, so early in the game; there was also PSG’s much stronger start to take into consideration too. They approached the game on the front foot, attacking in the early stages and dominating possession. With Ezequiel Lavezzi on the left  and the even pacier Lucas Moura on the right, they looked like the team more likely to win on the night by a two-goal margin.

But these high-end Champions League ties can switch-around so quickly. For Chelsea it was just around the half hour stage when they exerted a grip on the game and scored their first.

Until then, Thiago Motta in particular had been in control of the game in the middle for PSG with Frank Lampard and David Luiz struggling to get a hold of the ball. Then Lampard’s free-kick from the left was deflected off the PSG wall and Salvatore Sirigu was obliged to throw himself across to his near post for a very good save.

Demba Ba scoops the ball into the roof of the net Demba Ba scoops the ball into the roof of the net On 32 minutes Chelsea scored their first, a long throw from Branislav Ivanovic and a flick-on from Luiz that belonged to another era of football. As for PSG, they did not react at all and Schurrle had time to sweep the ball past Sirigu with his right foot, unmarked in the area. The German had looked composed from the moment he came on. A pity that a chance four minutes later from another Lampard free-kick did not fall to him, instead it dropped to Gary Cahill who swung wildly and sliced the ball well wide.

In the closing stages of the half Eto’o burst forward with the kind of power that Chelsea have often lacked in attack and it required a brilliant tackle from Thiago Silva, coming in from the side, to win the ball.

It did not take much for the second half to ignite too, not least when Chelsea struck the bar twice in the space of a minute in an absorbing phase of attacking play. Lampard and then Willian from the right combined to pick out Schurrle on that right foot of his on 52 minutes and his shot rattled Sirigu’s bar.

Recycled out on the left, Eto’o was fouled and from the free-kick Oscar beat Sirigu again. His shot located the same part of the bar that Schurrle had hit earlier. PSG survived with their lead in the tie intact and saw off that period of pressure. If nothing else, it had developed into a wonderful tie with the tension that one mistake capable of swinging it either way.

When the changes came it was Ba, whom Mourinho opted for first, and then Torres. A surprise given that even though the Chelsea manager rates Torres so little, he seems to rate Ba even less. This was the last roll of the dice from Mourinho, who had seen Eto’o do little of note after half-time. All he needed was one goal.

It came from Ba, who got ahead of Maxwell to score when Cesar Azpilicueta’s shot found its way into the area. There was a flurry of pressure at the end but Petr Cech in particular along with the excellent Cahill stood strong to hold for another remarkable win.

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Luiz, Lampard; Hazard, Oscar, Willian; Eto’o.

Subs: Hazard/Schurrle 18, Ba/Lampard 66, Torres/Oscar 81,

PSG (4-2-3-1): Sirigu; Jallet, Thiago Silva, Alex, Maxwell; Verratti, Thiago Motta; Moura, Matuidi, Lavezzi; Cavani.

Subs: Cabaye/Verratti 54, Lavezzi/Pastore 72, Marquinhos/Moura 84

Man of the match: Cahill

Rating: 8

Booked: Chelsea Willian, Lampard, Luiz PSG Verratti, Cavani, Moura, Matuidi, Maxwell

Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind-the-scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
Winchester College Football (universally known as Winkies) is designed to make athletic skill all but irrelevant
Life...arcane public school games explained
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
peopleAsked whether he was upset not to be invited, he responded by saying he was busy with the Emmy Awards
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
peopleBill Kerr appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and later worked alongside Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers
news It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
Life and Style
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone