Some feared it might be a boring evening of football, but two matches went wire to wire with excitment and suspense, and eventually it was Chelsea with a 2-0 win over PSG and Real Madrid despite losing 2-0 to Borussia Dortmund that make it into the Champions League semifinals.
Chelsea needed two goals in order to cancel out the 3-1 loss from the first match in Paris. PSG looked quite calm and relaxed despite not playing with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, doing very well in the middle of the pitch thanks to their fantastic trio – Verratti, Matuidi and Thiago Motta. Things took a turn for the worse for the home side after Eden Hazard left early with an injury but it was his replacement, Andre Schurrle, who gave Chelsea the 1-0 lead.
PSG did get a chance here and there, but mostly seemed quite content with everything happening on the pitch. Jose Mourinho sent in striker after striker, in between seeing his players hit the woodwork twice early in the second half.
With Fernando Torres and Demba Ba joining and making it a three-striker desperation formation, PSG reacted badly and went to three centre backs. Maybe it decided the match, maybe it didn’t. The end result? A goal from the Senegalese striker from close range, Jose Mourinho sprinting down the sidelines and Chelsea in the semifinals for a 7th time in the last 11 years.
Over to Germany, where Real Madrid started without Cristiano Ronaldo but with a 3-0 lead against the patched up Borussia Dortmund, it should have been enough for a match that was far less exciting.
Angel Di Maria missed a penalty kick early on, and Real Madrid had referee Damir Skomina on their side with most of the small decisions, as players like Xabi Alonso, Pepe and later on Casemiro could have been sent off with a harsher and maybe fairer official.
But from that moment it was the Marco Reus show. The best of Germany’s attacking midfielders (maybe except for Thomas Muller) scored twice and if it wasn’t for two Iker Casillas saves in the second half, Real Madrid would have been watching the rest of the competition from home.
Carlo Ancelotti sent every defensive force he had to the pitch and managed to slow down the rampant Dortmund, who might have left the competition with something of a bitter smile on their faces, but didn’t get the job done despite having the opportunity to do so. He has Henrikh Mkhitaryan, with a couple of awful misses, probably cost Dortmund at least taking the match into extra time.