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Ba seals magnificent Chelsea comeback


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Chelsea are into the Champions League semi-finals after a courageous comeback win over Paris St-Germain.

Andre Schurrle gave his side the perfect start when he slammed home David Luiz's flick to give the Blues the half-time advantage, before Demba Ba slid in a second goal just three minutes from time to send his side into the last four of the Champions League, and the Blues' supporters into raptures.

After their shock loss at Crystal Palace and then the second half capitulation in Paris last week, José Mourinho said his team needed to show more "balls" in the second leg - and the Special One most certainly got the reaction he desired from his players.

Despite losing the talismanic Eden Hazard to what looked like a tight hamstring with just over a quarter-of-an-hour played, the Blues were able to rally and provide a night equally as memorable as the last time the Blues were 1-3 down on aggregate in a European tie.

That time around Roberto di Matteo oversaw a terrific revival as his side battled to a magnificent 4-1 win thanks to Branislav Ivanovic's winner deep in extra time.

That season, immediately after losing in Naples, the Blues hosted Stoke City in a weekend Premier League game and were victorious.

History repeats itself, or so they say - and a repeat of that incredible run of results here has propelled Chelsea into the semi-finals of Europe's premier club competition, at the same time as potentially breathing new life into their league title challenge.

This result is indebted as much to the vociferous backing provided by the Chelsea supporters as it is to the players themselves, but this performance represents a coming of age of Mourinho's side.

Whilst this may prove one last hoorah for the veteran quartet of Petr Cech, Samuel Eto'o, Frank Lampard and John Terry, Mourinho's young squad proved themselves against one of Europe's very best sides, with each of the fourteen men who took to the pitch putting in flawless individual performances.

The game endured something of a staid opening as both teams cautiously probed away at one another, but the atmosphere exploded inside the stadium when Schurrle - a substitute for the crocked Hazard - volleyed in David Luiz's glancing touch from a Branislav Ivanovic throw.

That goal shook Stamford Bridge to the very foundations, and whilst PSG looked threatening on the counter-attack with Edinson Cavani and Ezequiel Lavezzi particularly terrific, it was Chelsea who continued to force the issue and they twice came within millimetres of the second goal they so desired as both Schurrle and Oscar rattled the crossbar.

First Schurrle thumped a stunning effort from fully 30 yards off the bar with Salvatore Sirigu clawing at nothing but air, before Oscar hit almost the exact same part of the goalframe with a sumptuous free-kick after Eto'o was upended.

At the opposite end, Cech had to be alert to paw away a devilish delivery from Lavezzi that was reminiscent of Luiz's calamitous own goal in Paris last week.

But Chelsea were not to be denied, and as Mourinho threw on Demba Ba and Fernando Torres in search of a dramatic late winner, it was the Senegalese who sealed a miraculous comeback as he slid in at the first post to turn Cesar Azpilicueta's deflected cross beyond Sirigu.

It is the best moment in the troubled Chelsea career of the Senegalese striker, and even if he moves on in the summer, this goal will not quickly be forgotten.

That goal sparked incredible celebrations amongst the Blues supporters and Mourinho alike, with the Portuguese sprinting down the touchline to join his team in mobbing the goalscorer.

But there was still time for PSG to muster one final chance, and that came when substitute Marquinhos fired from the edge of the area, only for Cech to expertly tip the ball around his near post. Beaten by Javier Pastore in the 93rd minute in that exact spot, Cech ensured that it would be his side that ended the tie with the last laugh.

To whoever faces Chelsea in the semi-finals, be it Bayern Munich, Real Madrid or Barcelona - we don't give up.

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