Chelsea look to history to rescue Champions League campaign

The Blues rescued their 2012 campaign with an amazing fightback - now they are seeking a similar feat against Paris Saint-Germain

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 April, 2014, 12:01am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 April, 2014, 12:01am


Chelsea will hope to draw inspiration from their 2012 Champions League triumph when they attempt to overturn a 3-1 deficit in their quarter-final against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday.

Javier Pastore's 90th-minute solo goal in last week's first leg at Parc des Princes gave PSG a two-goal advantage that puts them in control of the tie ahead of the second leg at Stamford Bridge.

Only 24 per cent of the teams to have lost 3-1 in the away leg of a Uefa tie since 1970 have gone on to reach the next round, but Chelsea can take heart from the fact that they pulled off just such a feat two years ago.

We know that we need a crazy result against Paris. We must be ready to go without fear, go at them
Jose Mourinho

A 3-1 defeat at Napoli in the last 16 precipitated the sacking of coach Andre Villas-Boas, but his successor, Roberto Di Matteo, oversaw a 4-1 win after extra time in the return leg, before leading the west London club to victory on penalties over Bayern Munich in the final.

Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho has never lost a European quarter-final, and defeat by PSG would be doubly difficult for the Portuguese to swallow in the light of Di Matteo's achievement in 2012 and last year's Europa League success under interim manager Rafael Benitez.

Furthermore, with Chelsea's Premier League title challenge wobbling, success in the Champions League has taken on even greater importance.

Chelsea breezed to a 3-0 win over Stoke City on Saturday, briefly taking them back to the top of the table, but Mourinho insists that their position is "fake" due to the fact that rivals Manchester City still have two games in hand.

Mourinho is nevertheless relishing the prospect of tonight's game beneath the lights in west London, declaring that his side can approach the match "without fear".

"I want to enjoy that game. I enjoy the difficulty," Mourinho said.

"Now we know that we need to win 2-0, 3-1, 4-1, 5-2. We know that we need a crazy result against Paris. We must be ready to go without fear, go at them, and see what happens.

"If we have to lose after a magnificent night of football, a magnificent night of emotion, we have to lose."

Chelsea have kept eight consecutive clean sheets at Stamford Bridge, but PSG are on a club-record run of 11 successive wins and have lost by two clear goals only once in their last 110 fixtures.

Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund insist they have not given up hope for their game against Real Madrid, even with the Spaniards holding a 3-0 lead.

Last season's finalists Dortmund stand on the verge of a Champions League exit as they need to overturn the huge deficit at their Westfalenstadion after last Wednesday's defeat at Madrid's Bernabeu.

World player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo is set to start after he was forced off with a slight knee problem towards the end of the first leg, having scored Real's third goal, and was rested for Saturday's 4-0 win away to Real Sociedad.

To progress, Dortmund must better their stunning 4-1 semi-final, first-leg win at home to Real nearly 12 months ago when Poland striker Robert Lewandowski, who joins Bayern Munich next season, scored all four goals.

Lewandowski, who was suspended for the first leg, scored Dortmund's opening goal against Wolfsburg on Saturday and will be an obvious concern to the Real back four.

Germany winger Marco Reus, who scored their 77th-minute winner against Wolves, said his side need to repeat Saturday's impressive second-half display after a poor opening 45 minutes.

"We have not given up [against Real]," said Reus. "If we play like we did [against Wolfsburg] in the first half, then it will be very difficult.

"If we play as well as we did in the second, we honestly have a chance. It will be damn hard, but we'll give it everything."

Dortmund will be without suspended defensive midfielder Sebastian Kehl, which leaves coach Jurgen Klopp without an obvious replacement with both Sven Bender and Ilkay Gundogan injured.

"We will not give anything away on Tuesday," insisted Klopp.

"We want to play two 45 minutes like we did in the second half against Wolfsburg and then we'll see how things stand."