FANS who longed for the Chelsea juggernaut to finally come crashing down, preferably sinking one of Roman Abramovich’s luxurious yachts with it, may have got their wish as the newest rich kid on the block, PSG, defeated the west-Londoners 2-1 at Stamford Bridge to see them exit the Champions League last-16 phase 4-2 on aggregate.
As is his style, Zlatan Ibrahimovic took centre stage, setting up one goal with an incisive pass and scoring another. Press focus on whether the veteran Swede will finally make a move to the lucrative English league will reach fever pitch this summer.
It was a fitting result to an edgy game which was expressive of a strange new normal in Europe’s most prestigious competition. Chelsea began the tie as definite underdogs, sitting 10th in the Premier League and having undergone a traumatic managerial season.
The odds were certainly a far cry from what the Russian oligarch, who has ploughed billions of his own money in his vanity project, must have envisaged a decade ago. Back then Paris Saint-Germain were a French powerhouse but middling European force but their reversal in fortune (both financially and professionally) has been dramatic, although not to the same extent as Manchester City’s.
The evening’s other result saw Benfica triumph over Zenit St Petersburg while all English eyes will be on Manchester City who remain the country’s best hope of representation in the later stages, barring an unlikely Arsenal reversal against Barcelona.