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Chelsea and Bayern Munich Held As Champions League Resumes

FILE - Jose Mourinho to leave Real Madrid At End of SeasonIT was backs against the wall for most of the second half but a Branislav Ivanovic header earned Chelsea a 1-1 draw in their Champions League first leg with Paris Saint-Germain at Parc des Princes.

Ivanovic valuable away goal means that Chelsea are well placed to advance to the quarter-finals after Ivanovic netted a vital away goal, but Jose Mourinho will have to be concerned with how the PSG midfield dominated the match.

Chelsea advanced to the semi-finals at PSG’s expense last term on away goals after losing 3-1 in Paris and Demba Ba’s last-gasp strike in the return in London. The Blues had won just once in six prior attempts on French soil, at PSG in Mourinho’s first European match as boss in September 2004.

Thibaut Courtois made three terrific saves from headers in the first half, the pick of them from Cavani, before Ivanovic’s header against the run of play. Cavani equalised after losing Cahill to meet Blaise Matuidi’s cross and both the Uruguay striker and Ibrahimovic had chances to double PSG’s lead but could not find a way past the young Belgium goalkeeper.

Shakhtar hold Bayern
Xabi Alonso saw his 100th Champions League appearance ended with a red card, as Bayern Munich and Shakhtar Donetsk battled to a 0-0 draw.

The first leg of this last-16 tie was a physical affair and one which Pep Guardiola’s side managed to get nowhere near the level of performance managed in their 8-0 Bundesliga drubbing of Hamburg at the weekend. Shakhtar looked rusty, no surprise given they have not played a competitive game since match day six, and failed to capitalise on Alonso’s second-half sending off.

The former Liverpool and Real Madrid midfielder was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence with 25 minutes remaining, but it did little to change the match played out in sub-zero temperatures at the Arena Lviv. The Shakhtar goalkeeper could only watch on helplessly shortly after when Bastian Schweinsteiger met a lovely, clipped ball from Arjen Robben, although the strike flew just wide.

Robben was squeezed out after being the beneficiary of a free-kick routine, before the Dutchman playing in Thomas Muller to hit a cross-shot that Olexandr Kucher cleared from danger. Shakhtar were struggling to get a grip of their visitors and tempers soon began to fray, with Darijo Srna fortunate not to be sent off for moving his head towards Jerome Boateng’s after Alonso was booked for a poor challenge.

From that, Manuel Neuer only managed to gather Yaroslav Rakitskiy’s driven strike at the second attempt – a rare moment of respite for the hosts, who were soon back on the defence as Muller turned over a Franck Ribery cut-back. Schweinsteiger was unhappy with the close attention of Kucher as half-time approached, but referee Alberto Undiano Mallenco ignored the penalty appeals as the opening period ended sloppily.

The Spanish official was having a lot to deal with in what was becoming an increasingly tetchy match, with Douglas Costa perhaps fortunate just to receive a yellow card after catching Ribery with his elbow. There was a break in play after a challenge between Luiz Adriano and Alonso – a collision both recovered from, albeit the latter was soon exiting the field.

The midfielder was adjudged to have brought down Alex Teixeira and received a second yellow card, reducing Munich to ten men for the final 25 minutes. It was one of 35 fouls on the night, with the sides sharing eight bookings and Alonso’s red in a forgettable first leg to a last-16 tie which resumes at the Allianz Arena on 11 March.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Samtos February 18, 2015, 11:26 am

    Chelsea are just lucky yesterday. Thanks to God for dat draw, second leg we be Chelsea winning amen!

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