PSG draw a Blanc in Paris after holding Chelsea to a draw
In the romance capital of the world, two teams with a love for success offered each other too much respect as PSG held Chelsea, 13/2 fourth-favourites with Coral to win the Champions League, to a 1-1 draw.
It was the home side that started the brightest, when Blaise Matuidi connected sweetly from six yards out with an in-swinging Cavani centre, though saw his bullet header saved point blank by Thibaut Courtois. Moments later, it was Matuidi who whipped the ball back into the area, only for Zlatan Ibrahimovic to see his header pushed away by the Belgian.
Following a period where both teams held possession without making too many in-roads, Cavani connected with a corner to head the ball towards goal, only to see Courtois again, get a crucial palm to it. Not long after though, Chelsea were ahead.
John Terry dinked the ball back into the box, where Gary Cahill, side on with the goal from eight yards out, helped it on its way with an improvised, hall-volleyed, back heel flick to the edge of the six yard box for Branislav Ivanovic to leap and head back across goal into the top corner, with custodian Salvatore Sirigu in no-mans land.
Just before half time, Ibrahimovic was presented with a chance to put his side level, and his dangerous, driven free-kick from the edge of the area wasn’t too far over the bar.
In the second period, PSG applied the pressure and 10 minutes after the restart, Laurent Blanc’s men were level. By Jose Mourinho’s standards it was sloppy defending, though great centre forward play by Cavani, as he drifted in between Terry and Cahill to meet a Matuidi delivery from the left to head goalwards, with Courtois finally beaten.
Following this, it was almost one-way traffic, as the French outfit pressed ahead looking for that important goal which would give them a much-needed advantage for the second leg at Stamford Bridge. Cavani could, and perhaps, should have won the match for them after the Uruguayan did brilliantly to work a position and, from six yards out poke his effort agonisingly wide of goal.
With almost the last touch of the match, Ibrahimovic had his big chance. A towering header from the Swede was met again, by arguably, man-of-the-match Courtois, as the referee brought the match to a close moments later.
Valentine’s Day may have just gone, though Mourinho’s love affair with the Champions League will continue in two weeks’ time.