London: Eleven months on from their last visit to Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge, Paris Saint-Germain return today looking for confirmation of their place among the Champions League elite.
PSG forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Pic/AFP
In last season’s quarter-finals, PSG came to London with a 3-1 lead from the first leg and with a huge 13-point advantage at the Ligue 1 summit, only to crash out after Demba Ba’s 87th-minute strike took Chelsea through on away goals.
This season, a round earlier, the tie is even more evenly-balanced at 1-1, and it is Chelsea who are dominating domestically, five points clear in the Premier League with a game in hand, while in France, PSG trail Lyon by a point.
But in contrast to last season’s London trip, PSG have Zlatan Ibrahimovic fit and in form, with the giant Swede having scored his third goal in four games and provided a delightful assist for Javier Pastore in Saturday’s 4-1 defeat of Lens.
Laurent Blanc’s side have now gone 14 games without defeat in all competitions and despite their failure to recapture last season’s heights, they remain in contention for an unprecedented four-trophy haul.
“Of course we have belief against Chelsea,” said Blanc. “We’re in an unfavourable situation because they scored that famous goal (Ba’s goal) that meant Paris didn’t reach the semi-finals for the second year in a row.
“But we have to do the same thing as them. If we’re as clinical as Chelsea were, I’ll take it.”
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