English Premier League Champions, Chelsea were knocked out of the Uefa Champions League on Wednesday night by Paris Saint-Germain, after losing 2-1 to the Ligue 1 side and aggregate score of 4-2.
Swedish striker, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, scored one and created another as PSG eliminated Chelsea at the last 16 stage for a second successive season, and progressed to the quarter-finals at the expense of the Blues.
Coming into the game with a 2-1 advantage from the first leg tie, the visitors stretched their lead when Ibrahimovic crossed for Adrien Rabiot to tap in from close range.
Diego Costa, who caused the French side plenty of problems in the first leg equalised for the host in the 27th minute with a slick finish to give Guus Hiddink’s side some hope, however the Spanish international could not complete the game as he limped off with a suspected calf injury in the second half.
With Chelsea missing their key striker, Laurent Blanc’s men capitalised on the opportunity and struck again. Ibrahimovic volleyed home in the 67th minute, as he met an Angel Di Maria’s cross and condemned Chelsea to a second defeat under Hiddink, both coming in the hands of PSG.
The victory took the French side into the quarter-finals for the fourth year in a row
“I thought we controlled the game very well from start to finish,” said Blanc. “Even when we conceded, we weren’t worried. We carried on working. That control made the evening easier for us.”
However, Chelsea were left to contemplate a first season without Champions League football since 2002-03.
“They are a good side, but once we stepped up we had some chances. In the 67th minute it all changed,” said Chelsea interim manager Guus Hiddink.
“It is a difficult season. We were almost panicking about relegation when I came in, but it is difficult to get into fourth place.”
Chelsea will travel to Goodison Park on Saturday for the FA Cup quarter-final at Everton, and a defeat would ultimately bring the curtain down on the London club’s season.
Elsewhere, Benfica defeated Zenit St Petersburg 3-1 to progress to the last eight of the Uefa Champions League, and brought an end to Andre Villas-Boas’ European ambitions with the Russian club.