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PSG's Ibrahimovic lives up to billing and gives Chelsea a master class

chelsea 1-2 Paris St Germain (PSG won 4-2 on aggregate)

By Mark Ogden

Published 10/03/2016

Paris Saint-Germain's Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match between Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) at Stamford Bridge in London on March 9, 2016. AFP/Getty Images
Paris Saint-Germain's Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match between Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) at Stamford Bridge in London on March 9, 2016. AFP/Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 09: John Mikel Obi of Chelsea is shown the yellow card by referee Felix Brych of Germanmy during the UEFA Champions League round of 16, second leg match between Chelsea and Paris Saint Germain at Stamford Bridge on March 9, 2016 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 09: The injured Diego Costa of Chelsea is consoled by Head Coach Laurent Blanc (L) of PSG and Guus Hiddink (R) interim manager of Chelsea as he leaves the pitch during the UEFA Champions League round of 16, second leg match between Chelsea and Paris Saint Germain at Stamford Bridge on March 9, 2016 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Paris Saint-Germain's Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic (R) celebrates scoring their second goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match between Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) at Stamford Bridge in London on March 9, 2016. / AFP / GLYN KIRKGLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
Chelsea's Brazilian midfielder Willian (R) takes on Paris Saint-Germain's Italian midfielder Thiago Motta (L) during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match between Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) at Stamford Bridge in London on March 9, 2016. / AFP / GLYN KIRKGLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian midfielder Lucas Moura eyes the ball during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match between Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) at Stamford Bridge in London on March 9, 2016. / AFP / BEN STANSALLBEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images
Paris Saint Germain's Thiago Silva celebrates after his side's second goal scored by Zlatan Ibrahimovic (not pictured) during the UEFA Champions League, Round of Sixteen, Second Leg match at Stamford Bridge, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 9, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Chelsea. Photo credit should read: John Walton/PA Wire.
Paris Saint-Germain's Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic (R) slots the ball past Chelsea's Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois (L) to score his team's second goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match between Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) at Stamford Bridge in London on March 9, 2016. / AFP / BEN STANSALLBEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 09: Diego Costa of Chelsea scores a goal o level the scores at 1-1 during the UEFA Champions League round of 16, second leg match between Chelsea and Paris Saint Germain at Stamford Bridge on March 9, 2016 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Chelsea interim manager Guus Hiddink dejected on the touchline during the UEFA Champions League, Round of Sixteen, Second Leg match at Stamford Bridge, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 9, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Chelsea. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire.
Chelsea's Spanish defender Cesar Azpilicueta (R) celebrates after Chelsea's Brazilian-born Spanish striker Diego Costa (L) scored their first goal to equalise 1-1 during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match between Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) at Stamford Bridge in London on March 9, 2016. / AFP / BEN STANSALLBEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images
Chelsea's Diego Costa during the UEFA Champions League, Round of Sixteen, Second Leg match at Stamford Bridge, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 9, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Chelsea. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire.
Adrien Rabiot (2nd L) of PSG is congratulated by teammates after scoring the opening goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16, second leg match between Chelsea and Paris Saint Germain at Stamford Bridge on March 9, 2016 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 09: Marquinhos of PSG and Eden Hazard of Chelsea compete for the ball during the UEFA Champions League round of 16, second leg match between Chelsea and Paris Saint Germain at Stamford Bridge on March 9, 2016 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 09: Angel Di Maria of PSG is tackled by John Mikel Obi of Chelsea during the UEFA Champions League round of 16, second leg match between Chelsea and Paris Saint Germain at Stamford Bridge on March 9, 2016 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 09: Angel Di Maria of PSG reacts after a missed chance on goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16, second leg match between Chelsea and Paris Saint Germain at Stamford Bridge on March 9, 2016 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Chelsea's Dutch interim manager Guus Hiddink (R) greets Paris Saint-Germain's French head coach Laurent Blanc (L) as they arrive for the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match between Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) at Stamford Bridge in London on March 9, 2016. / AFP / BEN STANSALLBEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images
Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian defender Marquinhos (L) vies with Chelsea's Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard (R) during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match between Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) at Stamford Bridge in London on March 9, 2016. / AFP / BEN STANSALLBEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images
Chelsea's Kenedy (right) and Paris Saint Germain's Adrien Rabiot (left) battle for the ball during the UEFA Champions League, Round of Sixteen, Second Leg match at Stamford Bridge, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 9, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Chelsea. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire.
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 09: Diego Costa of Chelsea is challenged by Angel Di Maria of PSG during the UEFA Champions League round of 16, second leg match between Chelsea and Paris Saint Germain at Stamford Bridge on March 9, 2016 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Paris Saint-Germain's French midfielder Adrien Rabiot (2L) scores the opening goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match between Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) at Stamford Bridge in London on March 9, 2016. / AFP / GLYN KIRKGLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 09: PSG fans enjoy the pre match atmosphere during the UEFA Champions League round of 16, second leg match between Chelsea and Paris Saint Germain at Stamford Bridge on March 9, 2016 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 09: PSG fans enjoy the pre match atmosphere during the UEFA Champions League round of 16, second leg match between Chelsea and Paris Saint Germain at Stamford Bridge on March 9, 2016 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
A Paris Saint Germain fan in the stands before the UEFA Champions League, Round of Sixteen, Second Leg match at Stamford Bridge, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 9, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Chelsea. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire.
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 09: PSG fans enjoy the pre match atmosphere during the UEFA Champions League round of 16, second leg match between Chelsea and Paris Saint Germain at Stamford Bridge on March 9, 2016 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 09: PSG fans enjoy the pre match atmosphere during the UEFA Champions League round of 16, second leg match between Chelsea and Paris Saint Germain at Stamford Bridge on March 9, 2016 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 09: PSG fans enjoy the pre match atmosphere during the UEFA Champions League round of 16, second leg match between Chelsea and Paris Saint Germain at Stamford Bridge on March 9, 2016 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Paris Saint-Germain fans sing in the crowd before the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match between Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) at Stamford Bridge in London on March 9, 2016. / AFP / BEN STANSALLBEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images
Paris Saint Germain fans cheer on their side before the UEFA Champions League, Round of Sixteen, Second Leg match at Stamford Bridge, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 9, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Chelsea. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire.
A general view of Stamford Bridge before the UEFA Champions League, Round of Sixteen, Second Leg match at Stamford Bridge, London. PA

Zlatan Ibrahimovic signalled the end of the road for Chelsea with a Champions League masterclass at Stamford Bridge on a night when injuries to Diego Costa and Eden Hazard threatened to have ramifications beyond this one-sided tie.

Ibrahimovic, the 34-year-old forward who may yet be tempted to the Premier League this summer, created the opener for Adrien Rabiot and scored the decisive second as PSG eliminated Chelsea at the last-16 stage for a second successive season.

But while the Swede was majestic, Chelsea's star players were scythed down by injury, with Costa and Hazard limping off in the second-half, now doubtful for the FA Cup quarter-final at Everton on Saturday.

Defeat at Goodison Park, following this ultimately comprehensive 4-2 aggregate loss, would bring the curtain down on Chelsea's season.

Since defeating the Blues at Parc des Princes three weeks ago, PSG have suffered a wobble, with Laurent Blanc's team going into this second leg having collected just one point from their last two league games.

Blanc, though, did not field his strongest XI in the defeat at Lyon or the home draw against Montpellier.

Guus Hiddink enjoyed no such luxury and was once again forced to do without injured captain John Terry.

The Premier League champions certainly began brightly, with Costa forcing the first save of the game from Kevin Trapp on three minutes when his drag-back preceded a left-foot shot from 20 yards.

It was an early example of Costa's desire to make a difference but while he looked sharp, PSG's front three of Ibrahimovic, Angel di Maria and Lucas Moura were like wasps buzzing around.

Moura, who rejected Manchester United in 2012 to sign for PSG, was allowed to run across the Chelsea 18-yard box before teeing up Di Maria early on, but the winger's right-foot shot was blocked.

Di Maria then saw a left-foot effort blocked by Gary Cahill before top quality play between the Argentinian and Ibrahimovic opened up the Chelsea rearguard to enable Rabiot to score the opener on 16 minutes.

It was a sublime pass by Di Maria to Ibrahimovic, but the Swede was given too much room by Cahill and was able to run into space before delivering a perfect ball for Rabiot to guide home.

It was a deserved opener for PSG, whose control of possession was impressive against Chelsea's more frantic approach, but the home side were able to draw level on 27 minutes when Costa scored following careless play by Di Maria.

The Argentinian, still the British record signing following his disastrous £59.7m move to United, was dispossessed by Pedro before the ball dropped to Willian. Spotting Costa's run, Willian released the forward, who turned Thiago Silva before scoring with a low strike.

Costa was a constant menace and the Spain forward almost created a second in first-half stoppage time when his shot was fumbled, only for Pedro to fail to convert.

Despite claiming a foothold, the threat of a PSG away goal hung over Chelsea at the start of the second-half.

Hiddink's men needed a second, but another PSG goal would leave Chelsea having to score three times and the French champions cleverly turned the screw by retaining possession and attempting to strike on the break.

Rabiot was at the heart of PSG's game-plan, with the languid midfielder effortlessly spraying the ball around with incredible economy and accuracy.

Chelsea struggled to land a blow, but Hiddink's team lacked the snap and crackle of PSG.

Chelsea's hopes of clawing themselves back were dealt a blow on the hour when Costa, appearing to have pulled a calf muscle, limped off to be replaced by Bertrand Traore.

PSG began toying with Chelsea and the killer blow was delivered on 66 minutes when Ibrahimovic scored his 50th European goal.

Thiago Motta's pass to Di Maria instigated the move, and the winger's cross left Ibrahimovic to guide home.

The old man of PSG switched off the lights for Chelsea, who appeared an old and ordinary team against the rising force from Paris.

Chelsea: Courtois, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Ivanovic, Kenedy, Mikel, Fabregas, Pedro, Willian, Hazard (Oscar 77), Costa (Traore). Goal: Costa 27. Not used: Begovic, Baba, Remy, Matic, Loftus-Cheek.

PSG: Trapp, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Maxwell, Rabiot, Motta, Matuidi (Van der Wiel 87), Di María (Cavani 82), Ibrahimovic, Lucas Moura (Pastore 77).

Goals: Rabiot 16, Ibrahimovic 67.

Not used: Stambouli, Kurzawa, Augustin, Sirigu.

Man of the match: Ibrahimovic (pictured)

Match rating: 7/10

Referee: Dr Felix Brych (Germany)

Belfast Telegraph

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