Chelsea are left with a mountain to climb after conceding three poor goals against underdogs Paris Saint-Germain.
Lavezzi’s third-minute opener was a blow but Hazard’s penalty settled the nerves in the first-half. But a David Luiz own goal, and then an injury-time Pastore strike, may put pay to any Chelsea hopes of progressing to the semi-finals.
It means Chelsea, already with a huge fight on their hands for the Premier League crown, may end the season with no silverware, which would mean a second consecutive season without a major honour for Jose Mourinho, an unprecedented feat.
The Blues will have to call on a mighty, Napoli-esque effort to convert the tie around but with the news that Ibrahimovic will be out, the Blues may fancy their chances. After all, a 2-0 success will do, but this time there is no Didier Drogba.
And how Chelsea may rue their defensive lapses. Preparation for the match went out of the window as soon as PSG had the early advantage. Lavezzi’s strike was spectacular, facing away from goal and really reaching for the ball from behind, but how John Terry will rue not making more of his defensive clearance.
In truth, the Blues did retaliate strongly. Whilst the Parisians boast a formidable attack worthy of Chelsea envy, the home side’s defence is less threatening. Schurrle, chosen to be the false nine with Torres dropped, tried his best but failed to understand the striking duties fully.
Luiz, with Matic ineligible, made a marauding run from the holding role and had Chelsea’s first effort, but to no avail.
A few minutes later, there was to be success, in the form of a Hazard penalty. Silva’s tackle was late and took out Oscar fully, and the Belgian gave Sirigu the eyes before rolling the ball into the other corner.
That steadied the Chelsea ship but PSG were not done, roared on by their home faithful. Ivanovic had to rescue Chelsea just before the break, whilst after, the likes of Lavezzi continued to harrass Chelsea.
The defensively-impeccable Blues succumbed to a second goal — an own goal from David Luiz. The tricky inswinging free-kick by Lavezzi evaded all men and limbs but Luiz’s thigh, and the Brazilian was unfortunate to record an own goal to his name.
And so same the shuffle. Torres was brought on, as too Lampard. You got the feeling the Blues were content to settle with the one-goal deficit having recorded an away goal themselves, but worse was to come in injury-time.
Substitute Javier Pastore managed to squeeze in a third goal — Petr Cech really ought to have done better — which could turn out to be a killer blow. Stamford Bridge will need to be rocking on Tuesday.
(Chelsea) Man of the Match
EDEN HAZARD: The Belgian has attracted interest from PSG and showed why tonight. He was a bright spark in the Blues’ play, scoring a potentially vital away goal, and nearly having a second but for the far post denying his fantastic left-footed effort. It will have to be huge efforts from the likes of this young talent if Chelsea have any chance of progression next week. 7/10
Jose Mourinho was highly critical of his players’ sloppiness: “It’s difficult for us to score goals, especially when the games are tight. [So] when you make defensive mistakes you are in trouble, that’s simple. We made individual mistakes in areas where for the whole season the guys have performed.”
Laurent Blanc was elated but realistic the tie is not over: “The third goal changes many things but we don’t know how many things. It will be a difficult game back at Stamford Bridge and that’s what I told the guys tonight.”