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PSG Overcome Controversial Red Card, Boot Chelsea From Champions League

Schalke's nearly-heroic comeback yesterday put everyone on upset alert, and on cue, Paris Saint-Germain went and made good on its own upset bid with today's 2-2 draw against Chelsea, knocking the English club out of the Champions league. Despite a questionable red card on Zlatan Ibrahimović early on, PSG fought back to win on their own terms.


A couple referee decisions threatened to overshadow what should've been (and ultimately did wind up being, luckily) the best return leg of the Round of 16. Chief among them was the red card shown to Ibrahimović for this sliding tackle in the 30th minute:

It wasn't the smoothest of challenges, sure, but Ibra didn't make much actual contact with Chelsea's Oscar, and you could argue that Oscar's end of the tackle was just as reckless. A yellow card would have been understandable; the red was confounding.

Even with the man disadvantage, PSG more than held their own. The visitors had nearly as many dangerous opportunities as the home team, as Chelsea seemed pretty content with the 0-0 scoreline since that would've been enough to see them through to the next round.


Chelsea eventually got around to taking the opening goal, Gary Cahill in the 81st minute, but PSG came right back five minutes later to equalize both today's score and the aggregate tie with a header from David Luiz, who must've had to fight every impulse in his body not to run over to Mourinho and yell "HOW YA LIKE ME NOW!?" That goal sent the match into extra time.

In the 96th minute, Chelsea were awarded a penalty after Thiago Silva, thinking God-knows-what, leapt in the air to challenge for a header in his own box with his arm all up in the air near the ball. It wasn't clear if the ball actually touched his arm or not, but by his muted reaction, it was obvious that he knew he put himself in position to give up a penalty by doing a very convincing impression of deliberately launching his arm directly at the ball. Eden Hazard converted and it looked like Chelsea would make it through alright.


That was, of course, until Thiago Silva more than made up for the play that gave up the penalty by heading in a cross from a corner:


That put the score at 2-2 on the day, 3-3 on aggregate, and meant PSG would progress on the away goals rule. PSG did hold on, doing a favor to lovers of attacking soccer the world over.

Now see, was that so hard, Parisiens? This is exactly the kind of win you should want if you don't want to be considered bullshit.


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