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Gary Lim
Saturday, Apr 12, 2014

Sports

Champions League: Chelsea's grit shines through

The New Paper | Gary Lim | Saturday, Apr 12, 2014

QUARTER-FINAL, SECOND LEG

CHELSEA 2 (Andre Schuerrle 32, Demba Ba 87)

PARIS ST GERMAIN 0

3-3 on aggregate, Chelsea win on away goals

It didn't turn out to be so impossible after all, as Jose Mourinho earlier suggested.

With a late goal by Demba Ba to add on to Andre Schuerrle's first-half opener, Chelsea dumped Paris Saint-Germain out of the Champions League and progressed to the semi-finals.

The 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge yesterday morning (Singapore time) was enough to cancel out a 3-1 deficit from the first leg, as the Blues went through on the away-goals rule.

It's a reminder of Chelsea's immense mental strength.

It must also serve as a warning to their Premiership title rivals, Liverpool and Manchester City, that they cannot be discounted from the race this early.

This was a victory that required guts and finesse.

The concepts of keeping it tight at the back and going all out at the other end, when combined, are in conflict.

It's an extremely fine balance that Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho needed to strike.

That, they did with aplomb.

Experience told, said PSG coach Laurent Blanc, as he rued the thin margin of winning and losing.

Mourinho had the help of some of the most battle-hardened warriors in the game.

Frank Lampard, John Terry and Petr Cech formed the core of Chelsea's success during the Portuguese's first stint in London, and they were again at the centre of Chelsea's comeback against PSG.

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