Paris Saint-Germain defenders Thiago Silva and David Luiz both struck to see their side overcome Chelsea on away goals following a 2-2 draw in their UEFA Champions League in the second leg of their feisty Last 16 tie.
The Parisiens already difficult task was made more difficult by the questionable 30th minute dismissal of striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic for a supposedly reckless tackle on midfielder Oscar.
Mourinho says of Zlatan that if the red was wrong (it was): “I hope they (Uefa) can minimise the mistake and let him play the quarter-final”
— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) March 11, 2015
In spite of their man deficit, it was the French side who often appeared the more threatening, with Chelsea lacklustre for long periods. However, it was the Blues who took the lead with just 10 minutes of normal time when the ball fell kindly for central defender Gary Cahill in the area who made no mistake at hitting the back of the net.
Yet, there were more twists to come and Jose Mourinho was left rueing his side’s inability to maintain their lead when former-Blue David Luiz rose highest at the near post to power home a header via the crossbar.
It was enough to take the tie into extra-time and tensions were running high with seven yellow cards handed out by Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers on the night.
However, there were few complaints when Chelsea were awarded an obvious penalty just minutes later for a handball by PSG captain Thiago Silva. Eden Hazard stepped up and, as ever, converted coolly for his side.
Hazard was denied a penalty moments later when he appeared to dive under the challenge of goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu, but Chelsea appeared largely content to sit back and protect their lead.
That task, though, was to prove difficult and with five minutes remaining ‘keeper Thibaut Courtois was forced into a wonderful save to deny Thiago Silva as the Brazilian rose highest from a corner.
Yet, the Belgian’s efforts were to prove in vain, with Thiago once more rising highest from the resulting corner to loop a header back across goal and over Courtois into the back of the net. With just minutes left, it was a hammer blow and PSG’s passage to the final eight was secured.
Mourinho: “I lost a football match. I don’t feel humiliated. I just want to play Sunday. It’s a pity we don’t play tomorrow.” #UCL
— Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) March 11, 2015
Elsewhere, Bayern Munich took advantage of an early red card for Shakhtar Donetsk defender Olexandr Kucher to inflct a 7-0 thrashing upon their Ukrainian visitors.
Forward Thomas Muller converted the resulting penalty before Jerome Boateng added a second to give Bayern a comfortable lead at the break.
In the second half, though, the Bavarian giants were merciless in attack adding a further five goals through Franck Ribery, Holger Badstuber, Robert Lewandowski, Mario Gotze and Muller again.
Bayern Munich at home in the Champions League this season: 1-0 vs. Man City 2-0 vs. Roma 3-0 vs. CSKA Moscow 7-0 vs. Shakhtar Donetsk
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 11, 2015
Shakhtar, so resilient in earning a 0-0 draw at home just weeks ago, were left humiliated and Bayern made to look brilliant in victory. Pep Guardiola’s side will now take their place in the quarter-final stage of the Champions League as they seek to make amends for last year’s disappointment in the competition.
FC Barcelona participated in an international youth football tournament organised by MIC on Wednesday 11th March – Brazilian star striker Neymar Junior appeared in this tournament in 2008 and he relived his youth as he fielded questions his illustrious team-mates and Barca's chances of a dream treble.
Brazilian striker Neymar believes Barcelona can repeat the best season in the club's history when Pep Guardiola's side won the treble in 2008/09 in the coming months.
– #Quiz360: WIN dinner for two at Media Rotana
– Exclusive: Q&A with Thiago Silva ahead of PSG vs Chelsea
The Catalans lead Real Madrid by a point in La Liga, will face Athletic Bilbao in the final of the Copa del Rey and lead Manchester City 2-1 after the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie.
"I think we have the team to think about winning the treble," Neymar said on Wednesday.
"We will give everything to win it. I don't want to choose any title, I want to win all three."
Real have handed the initiative in the title race to their eternal rivals with a series of slip-ups in recent weeks.
And Barca can take a huge step towards winning the league for the fifth time in seven seasons when they host Madrid on March 22.
"The Clasico will be a final, we will prepare for it like that. Madrid are a very difficult team to play against, but we are only thinking about winning the game.
"The lead won't be definitive because the league is very long and there are still a lot of games to go. We need to play our game and concentrate on winning."
The Clasico will see the two most expensive frontlines in history go head-to-head once more as Barca's on-form trio of Neymar, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi take on Madrid's three-pronged attack of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema.
"I think so," Neymar replied when asked if he thought Barca's front three was better than Madrid's.
"But we focus on ourselves, we don't think about the opponents.
"We try to do damage to rival defences and every day we understand each other better. They are two brilliant players.
"Leo is the best in the world and Suarez is a great goalscorer. It is an honour for me to play with them."