Blanc: Chelsea's experience was key

José Mourinho Celebrates

The PSG boss identified Chelsea's experience as a big, decisive factor as the Blues progressed to the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Paris Saint Germain coach Laurent Blanc has said that Chelsea’s experience was the key as the Blues made it to the semi-final stage on the away goals rule last night.

PSG had a 3-1 lead from the first leg but Eden Hazard’s penalty in the Parc de Princes proved to be a big goal as Chelsea won 2-0 last night at Stamford Bridge to progress.

Andre Schurrle’s strike in the first half gave Chelsea the lead on the night as they started to exert their authority on the game, and an 87th minute strike from Demba Ba meant that Chelsea were through to the semi-finals, and kept manager Jose Mourinho’s perfect quarter-final record intact.

“In my opinion I believed over the two matches there was very little to choose between the two sides.

“Ultimately I think Chelsea’s greater experience at this level compared to us was key. I think they’re more used to playing these matches than us and ultimately that’s made the difference.”

Several members of this Chelsea side have, of course, won the Champions League in 2012 – which included a memorable comeback in the last 16 stage as they overturned a 3-1 deficit against Napoli.

Paris have never been past the quarter-final stage, and this is the second consecutive season they have bowed out in the last eight on away goals – having lost out to Barcelona last season.

But it may also be the experience of manager Jose Mourinho that helped Chelsea through – given his flawless quarter-final record in the competition, and his pedigree in Europe’s premier club competition.

Couple that with the fact that Laurent Blanc has never been beyond the quarter-finals with either PSG or Bordeaux prior to his appointment at this current club, the experience of the situation may have favoured that of the Blues – no matter how close Blanc’s side came to making the last four.

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