Preview: Mourinho bemoans PSG's 'aggression' ahead of game at Chelsea

AP , Wednesday 11 Mar 2015

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho (Photo: reuters)

Laurent Blanc wants Paris Saint-Germain to reach Chelsea's level in the Champions League. Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho wants his team to be nothing like PSG.

Going into their second leg Wednesday, Mourinho is still irritated by PSG's tactics in their 1-1 draw in the French capital last month. In fact Mourinho believes PSG played even more aggressively than the third and fourth tier English teams faced this season by Chelsea in the domestic cups.

"With players of such quality I was expecting more football and less aggression," Mourinho said Tuesday. "I thought an English team would never be surprised by aggression. In that game (in Paris) I was surprised, because a team with fantastic players was a team with the record of fouls, was the team that was making foul after foul, was the team that stopped (Eden) Hazard with fouls all the time."

There is parity heading into the round of 16 meeting at Stamford Bridge, although Chelsea's away goal could prove valuable. Chelsea left the French capital better placed to advance than in the previous year's quarterfinals. The Blues overcame a 3-1 deficit then to advance on away goals by winning 2-0 at Stamford Bridge.

While Chelsea currently holds a five-point lead in the Premier League — with a game in hand — PSG trails Lyon by a point in the French league. And Blanc's PSG is aspiring to reach the level of Chelsea, particularly by winning the Champions League for the first time — a feat the London club achieved in 2012.

"In order to progress as a club you need experience and Paris Saint-Germain has certainly got a bit more experience ... but we are still a long way off from really having the same level of experience as Chelsea," Blanc said through an interpreter.

"Chelsea took a while to become one of the best sides in Europe. They also invested a lot of money to get there, so I think we really need to be patient in football."

Here are some are some things to know going into the second leg:


With a League Cup trophy already secured and their Premier League title prospects enhanced, Chelsea's players have enjoyed a strong start to March. And an earlier embarrassing exit from the FA Cup has at least provided Chelsea with a week to prepare for the visit of PSG.

Midfielder Cesc Fabregas hopes that collecting the trophy — Mourinho's first since returning to Chelsea in 2013 — will strengthen the team's mindset.

But Fabregas cautioned: "We have to be more determined when we go forward ... and have the killer instinct."


PSG traditionally relies heavily on Zlatan Ibrahimovic for its goals, but his form has not been great since he came back from a nagging heel injury. Although the Sweden forward's 16 goals in 26 games this season is a credible haul, it is a significantly lower ratio than he managed in the two previous campaigns and includes five penalties.

Edinson Cavani has 18 goals this season, and his form is improving, but if those two are off form then PSG will need goals from the midfield. However, Thiago Motta has not scored so far this season, Blaise Matuidi has managed one goal — against Lens on Saturday — and Marco Verratti just two.


The most significant addition to the Chelsea squad since hosting PSG a year ago was Diego Costa.

The Spain striker has netted 16 Premier League goals this season, but his finishing has evaded him in the last six games in all competitions. And the former Atletico Madrid player is still searching for his first European goal in a Chelsea shirt.

"He will try and provoke a reaction," Blanc said. "So we need to stay calm and not get caught up in his game."


PSG players will wear black armbands as a tribute to the 10 people who died after two helicopters filming a French reality show crashed in a remote part of Argentina on Monday. Among the dead were Olympic gold medalist swimmer Camille Muffat, boxer Alexis Vastine and sailor Florence Arthaud.

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