Football News’ pitch-side reporter brings you our player ratings for PSG from a magical night for French football from Stamford Bridge.
Salvatore Sirigu 6.5
The Italian goalkeeper had a quieter night than many might have expected but made an important late save. He struggled to deal with Chelsea set-pieces at times, with several punches being unconvincing at best. One might also be able to blame him for a lack of research into the way in which Eden Hazard takes his penalties, with Sirigu diving far too early to have a chance. Distribution was poor when PSG did not pass it out of the back.
Was PSG’s weakest defender last night, even if he had a very accomplished game. Carried the ball well, was rarely beaten and dealt well with the potential threat of Ivanovic’s overlapping runs.
Thiago Silva 8.5
The Brazilian central defender is officially back to his best after a difficult start to 2014/15. He was more athletic, more intelligent on and off the ball than Diego Costa and subsequently Didier Drogba, not to mention an inspirational lobbed headed winner deep into extra time. The penalty awarded against him might have been harsh in the sense that there appeared to have been minimal contact, but the position of his arm was questionable and naive in the first place. Was also a crucial link from goal-kicks between Sirigu and Verratti/Motta, a launch piece for PSG moves.
David Luiz 8.5
When David Luiz joined PSG for €50m last summer, Chelsea fans were laughing, but the Brazilian international made sure that he had the last laugh. Charged with dealing personally with Diego Costa, in what was a fiery battle involving elbows aplenty, he fundamentally succeeded in quelling the threat that the Spaniard posed. An inspirational header to keep PSG in the time in normal time, David Luiz continued to prove that he is the definition of a big game player.
He won’t get the praise he deserves in other media outlets’ reports, but Marquinhos was arguably the most important player on the pitch for PSG last night. I cannot remember a game where Eden Hazard had such little space and freedom down his left wing, with the Belgian beating Marquinhos just once throughout 120 minutes down the wing. There were times when Marquinhos’ crossing broke down PSG moves, but his presence and willingness to get forward shows he is adapting to the right-back role.
Marco Verratti 9
The diminutive Italian showed once again just how valuable he is to PSG and how valuable he will become for Italy. A show-stopping performance as he patrolled the midfield looking to play teammates into space, constantly working back without the ball, rarely being at all disposed. His partnership with Thiago Motta was fantastic and their understanding was crucial as PSG tried to build chances patiently, being one man down for the majority of the game.
Thiago Motta 8
A level headed performance for one of PSG’s most experienced players. Sat deepest during PSG’s attacks so not to get caught out by Chelsea’s tricky attacking midfield players on the counter and completed his role with aplomb. Tired towards the end, but it didn’t matter.
Blaise Matuidi 7
Worked very hard covering the left midfield and left wing positions defensively, didn’t see much of the ball but put in the shift required. Also made crucial runs into the Chelsea box to draw away the home side’s defenders to allow Javier Pastore to have more space to thread balls through.
Javier Pastore 7.5
Was the engine that linked the PSG defensive midfield with Edinson Cavani. Glided past Chelsea’s players with consummate ease, even if he tried to overcomplicate things at times, notably in his dribbles from the left-hand side once Ibrahimovic was sent off. PSG would not have had the amount of opportunities that they did without him on the pitch.
Edinson Cavani 6
PSG could have sown the game up in normal time had it not been for the Uruguayan’s lack of confidence in front of goal. Was unfortunate to hit the inside of the post in a one on one situation with Thibaut Courtois and defensively was impressive from set pieces, but when PSG did resort to the long ball tactic from goal kicks, he was ineffectual.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic 5
The big Swede might have been sent off incorrectly by the Dutch referee, but he was virtually invisible for the 30 minutes or so that he spent on the pitch.
Ezequiel Lavezzi 7
Tried very hard when he came on, his two corner deliveries were excellent for both of PSG’s goals. Had a few shaky moments at the back when trying to clear possession, but made a positive, if not crucial impact on the game.
Adrien Rabiot 6.5
For a 19 year old to come into the thick of it in the way that he did, it has to be seen as a successful performance for Adrien Rabiot. The passing in the midfield did decline with the substitution of Marco Verratti, but Rabiot did enough.