Chelsea’s Champions League exit at the hands of PSG is still being dissected, with the game on Wednesday as well as the tie itself throwing up some interesting questions about Chelsea and the club’s players.
Things looked bleak when former Man City midfielder Adrien Rabiot scored early, earning his side an important away goal. But Diego Costa, competing against the sleek Zlatan Ibrahimovic, took the game to the Parisians and got his just rewards when he drew Chelsea level on the night.
But his injury on the hour mark spelled the end of Chelsea’s hopes, as Ibrahimovic would finish off a slick PSG move to make it 2-1 on the night and 4-2 on aggregate, putting qualification out of Chelsea’s reach.
Much has been said in the wake of their exit, with some calling it the end of an era so we spoke to Football Fanzone’s Jason Cundy about the game and what the future now holds:
I don’t think Chelsea played badly, they just lost to the better team. The early away goal killed us, leaving us chasing the tie so early on.
Costa’s goal gave us hope, but even then our best bet was another to take the game to extra time rather than scoring 3. We would have a couple half chances, but at the end of the day we can have no complaints.
Costa coming off killed us and that really highlighted the difference between the two sides. As he went off we had Bertrand Traore to bring on; this isn’t a slight on the youngster he is hugely talented and has a bright future ahead of him, but if you looked at PSG they had the likes of Cavani to come off the bench.
I don’t think we dealt with Ibrahimovic well over the two legs at all, some have questioned him at the highest level but he is clearly a player of immense quality as he showed against us.
Chelsea have now slipped behind the likes of PSG, they are where we were circa 20087,2008 and are on the verge of doing something in Europe even if it is beyond them this season. Their project is kicking on and it will be interesting to see where they go.
As for Chelsea we will have to lick our wounds, reflect and work on getting back to where we should be. Some have said this was the end of an era but I’d disagree. This so called ‘era’ ended a while ago as seen in the departures of key players; Cech being replaced by Courtois, Stones was seemingly the replacement for John Terry, Cesc coming in for Lampard even if they are different player we changed shape and even Costa assuming Didier Drogba’s role in the side.
Some of the players that have come in have not been good enough; Pedro has been disappointing, Rahman has a lot of work to do to get to the required standard and you can even look at players like Salah, Cuadrado and Felipe Luis who came, didn’t feature much then left after a season. Our transfer dealings have been bizarre to say the least.
Even the outgoings raise a few eyebrows, £50m for Luiz seems good business, £28m for Lukaku too but then you see their replacements and think maybe not?
There is definitely a rebuild to be done at Stamford Bridge and it will take a while, the hope is that we don’t take a scattergun approach like Man United. The planning should be carefully thought out and I hope includes some of the youth players who have shown they deserve a chance to be in and around the first team like Charly Musonda, Nathan Ake, Reuben Loftus-Cheek and Bertrand Traore, as well as signing some fresh faces.
Realistically we need:
2 full backs (Left & right back), 2 central midfielders (amidst rumours of departures of the likes of Mikel & Matic), a left wide forward and 2 strikers even if Diego Costa stays.