The Sports Bay


Champions League: Courtois Keeps PSG At Bay

Paris Saint-Germain had to come from behind to earn a 1-1 draw with Chelsea in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie on Tuesday.

PSG made a dominant start to the match and Blaise Matuidi forced Thibaut Courtois to beat away his header and moments later the keeper was alert to palm away a similar effort from Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The hosts came close to scoring again when Edinson Cavani met a corner at the front post and flicked a header goalwards, but Courtois stretched out a hand to tip the ball behind.

Chelsea had barely posed a threat, but they took the lead in the 36th minute when John Terry’s cross was flicked on by Gary Cahill into the path of Branislav Ivanovic, who directed a header into the far corner.

PSG went into the break trailing, but within nine minutes of the restart they levelled the scores as Cavani met Matuidi’s cross and guided a header beyond Courtois.

The hosts almost took the lead soon after when Ibrahimovic worked some space inside the box and saw his low strike saved by the keeper, before Ezequiel Lavezzi’s follow up was cleared off the line by Cesar Azpilicueta.

Laurent Blanc’s side continued to look the more likely to score a second goal and David Luiz almost found the net against his former club with a header that was tipped over the bar.

With 10 minutes of the match left, Cavani threatened once more when he waved his way past a couple of challenges before poking a strike just wide of the far post.

In the final minute of stoppage time, PSG almost stole the lead, but Ibrahimovic saw his header turned behind by Courtois to ensure that the Blues took a slim advantage into the second leg at Stamford Bridge.

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