Chelsea striker Demba Ba proved he is one of Jose Mourinho's star strikers after he scored to help the Blues soar into the Champions League semifinal, defeating Paris Saint Germain 2-0 on Tuesday.
"I wasn't out for revenge," Ba was quoted as saying by the Guardian on Wednesday. "Maybe he [Mourinho] doesn't have the strikers to his liking, but I know that we have three great strikers and I think that a lot of clubs would like to have them. I'm happy to have liberated us. I haven't been given my chance much this season, but I've taken this one.
"It's the first time I've ever wished PSG to lose, and it's me who scores the goal, luckily for Chelsea. I'm happy for Chelsea but it's hard to see [PSG] lose, especially with one of my best friends, Yohan Cabaye, on the other side. But Eden [Hazard] kept telling me all day: 'It's your time tonight.' I was a bit scared for the Parisians because, after the third goal in Paris, everyone thought PSG were in the semi-final. Even my younger brothers kept telling me this, and then when Eden went off [with a calf strain] their fans already thought they were in the semi-finals. We heard them [singing]: 'We're in the semi-finals.'"
After losing 3-1 in the French capital last week, Andre Schuerrle began Chelsea's comeback in the second leg with a first-half strike. However, it took substitute Ba to grab the scruffy but crucial goal in the 87th minute to secure the 3-3 aggregate result.
"It was not to celebrate," Mourinho said. "It was to tell the players how we had to play the last few minutes. I knew at that moment they wanted to celebrate, to think the game is over. They forget that they had three plus three or four other minutes to play, and the way we were playing we couldn't carry on winning 2-0. I had to go there because it would be the only chance I'd have to tell Demba, Fernando and Schürrle what to do in the last seven minutes. But you could see I can still run."
The Senegalese international has fallen out of favour lately with the London club, with coach Jose Mourinho mainly relying on Samuel Eto'o and Fernando Torres upfront. The 28-year-old has started just two games out of his 14 appearances with the Blues this season.
"We are in the semi-finals. If the quarter-finals had eight fantastic teams, imagine the four that are going to reach the semi-finals. A big opponent is waiting for us in the semi-final but I think it doesn't matter who. They know we are a team with a special spirit, even if we are not in the maximum of our potential. Nemanja Matic and Mo Salah cannot play in the Champions League and we always have somebody suspended: Ramires here, and now Branislav Ivanovic in the next game."
For PSG it's another season of heartbreak in the quarterfinal — a victim of the away-goals rule just as they were against Barcelona last year.
Although PSG's wait to reach the Champions League semifinal again will go into a 20th year, the team is on the verge of wrapping up its French title defence, holding a 13-point lead.
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