UCL: Man City Draw Away As Wolfsburg Shock Madrid

Real MadridKevin De Bruyne and Fernandinho both scored to hand Manchester City a 2-2 first-leg draw at Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday.

The two away goals give the English side the edge in their Champions League quarter-final tie.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic had his penalty saved by City goalkeeper Joe Hart as the Premier League side twice punished defensive mistakes by their hosts to get the two goals.

De Bruyne put City ahead on 38 minutes, only for Ibrahimovic to level after an embarrassing mix-up in the visitors’ defence soon after.

Adrien Rabiot then put PSG ahead just before the hour, but Fernandinho made it 2-2 on 72 minutes and ensured the French giants will be chasing the tie in next Tuesday’s second leg.

In Germany, Ricardo Rodriguez and Maximilian Arnold were the goal scorers as German side Wolfsburg dealt a 2-0 blow to Real Madrid’s hopes of taking the Champions League crown this season.

Playing in their first quarterfinal in the competition, Wolfsburg bullied the Spanish giant to earn a good chance of making the last four.

Ricardo Rodriguez had converted a penalty in the 18th minute after Casemiro was adjudged to have fouled Andre Schurrle inside the area.

Arnold then added the second in the 25th minute as the home side used counterattacks to devastating effect at the Volkswagen Arena.

Madrid created a number of chances to pull one back, with Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo all threatening, but they were unable to beat goalkeeper Diego Benaglio for an important away goal.

An injury to Karim Benzema added to a poor night for the visitors who came into the match following a 2-1 win over Barcelona in the Spanish league “clasico”.

Ironically, Wolfsburg have been struggling in the Bundesliga.

Both sides meet again at the Santiago Bernabeu on April 12 for the second leg of their Champions League quarterfinal.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic Confirms Offers From EPL

Zlatan-IbrahimovicSweden captain, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, has confirmed he has gotten offers from the English Premier League (EPL) ahead of the new season.

Ibrahimovic’s contract with French champions, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) runs out in the summer.

The Swede had been linked to a move to Major League Soccer earlier in the season but his brilliant form has opened up other possibilities.

He has scored 35 goals in 40 games for PSG so far this season.

Ibrahimovic helped the French side progress to the quarter finals of the UEFA Champions league after beating English side, Chelsea 2-1 both at the Parc des Princes stadium and Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea Manager Reacts To Champions League Exit

ChelseaChelsea’s interim manager, Guus Hiddink, says his side showed too much respect to Paris St-Germain (PSG) as the Blues exited this season’s UEFA Champions League.

Hiddink lamented that the hosts lost their cutting edge when Diego Costa went off injured in the second half of the game.

Chelsea, who are currently 10th in the English Premier League, now have the FA Cup as their only hope of a trophy this season.

It was a dream come true for the League One side PSG, as they beat Chelsea 2-1 in Wednesday night’s second leg round-of-16 tie at the Stamford Bridge.

Midfielder Adrien Rabiot opened the scoring for Paris st-Germain (PSG) before Costa fired a fantastic shot to level the score board in the first half.

The morale of the French side went high in the second half as Zlatan Ibrahimovic set PSG on the lead with an assist from Angel Di Maria.

Eden Hazard has been largely criticised for his role in the defeat and was booed by some Chelsea fans when he was substituted 13 minutes from time.

Hazard swapped shirts with PSG winger Angel Di Maria as the players left the field at half time and this did not impress the fans.

But defender, Branislav Ivanovic has jumped into the defence of the midfielder, arguing that the Belgian showed his commitment to the cause by playing.

“People have to think about the fact he started the game injured,” Ivanovic told Evening Standard.

“Did that show how committed he is? Yes. Of course when you lose a game the fans are not happy and they have to be like that.

“But in my opinion it was one of his best performances so far. He was very strong and quick. He wanted to score and had a couple of actions where he looked like last season.”

UCL: PSG Humble Chelsea At Stamford Bridge

PSGIt was a dream come true for the League One side, PSG, as they beat Chelsea 2-1 in Wednesday night’s second leg round-of-16 tie of the UEFA Champions League (UCL).

Midfielder Adrien Rabiot opened the scoring for Paris St-Germain (PSG) before Chelsea forward, Diego Costa fired a fantastic shot to level the score board.

Subsequently, both sides held their grounds to defend their goals which lasted till the end of the first half.

It seemed the morale of the French side increased in the second half as Zlatan Ibrahimovic set PSG on the lead with an assist from Angel Di Maria in the 67th minute.

PSG have led Chelsea out of the champions league and have also progressed to the quarter finals after thrashing Chelsea 2-1 both at the Parc des Princes stadium and Stamford Bridge consecutively.

Ibrahimovic Not After Revenge At Chelsea

IbrahimovicZlatan Ibrahimovic says he is not looking for revenge against Chelsea in Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League.

The last appearance of the Paris St Germain (PSG) striker at the English side’s home lasted 31 minutes before he was sent off last season.

Ibrahimovic is confident PSG would win the champions league soon with him or without him, as long as their owners keep hold of the club.

However, Chelsea interim manager, Guus Hiddink, says he hopes his players can delay PSG’s aim to win the league title when they meet in the second leg round-of-16 tie.

Hiddink is confident his side would actually repeat the 2012 feat when they beat the runaway League One leaders.

PSG have led the tie with a 2-1 win from the first leg, expressing determination to win the champions league for the first time.

Chelsea Have Quality To Overcome PSG – Hiddink

ChelseaGuus Hiddink says his team are improving with every game and believes they have the quality to overcome Paris Saint-Germain and progress in the Champions League.

The absence of the skipper, John Terry, who has a minor problem with his hamstring and ligament, is a big blow, but Hiddink feels they are well equipped to cope.

“Well, it was not a decision made by me,” said the Chelsea manager.

“He was having too much trouble to travel. We made a test this morning and it didn’t work out well, so the decision was made to leave him at home. He was, himself, also convinced he could not be of worth to the team at the moment.

“He has a bit of a problem on his hamstring and on the tendon in that area. That’s why we had the test this morning and we decided he would not participate. It will be difficult to say whether he can play this weekend. That’s why we’d prefer him to keep undergoing treatment back at Cobham.

“We’ve practised with other people in at central defence, so it was not a surprise for the players that we had to make some changes. Of course, not having John is a bit of a setback. He’s a leader. But I’m not the type of coach to moan and moan. We have to go on. The players who will replace him I have complete faith in them.”

The current form of the team notwithstanding, Hiddink considers the Champions League a winnable trophy for Chelsea.

“It’s about winning the Champions League, not looking just to get back into it next year,” said Hiddink. “You have so many good teams, though, it’s very difficult. It’s beautiful to win a big, big cup.

“We are growing. Everyone knows the situation of Chelsea in recent months and weeks. We have, step by step, tried to establish more security in the team. To play with the quality of players we have.

“We are not quite where we’d like to be. We’d like to have an array of games where you’ve imposed the way you like to play. We’ve tried to do that step by step. But to give even more security, you need a number of games won where you’ve controlled and been dominant.”

Paris Saint-Germain have been impressive domestically this season, but Hiddink feels the teams are evenly matched.

“It’s 50-50,” he said. “If you see where we are now and where PSG are now, they are building a very strong team and dominating the French league completely. They are 24 points ahead, and are focusing to get this Champions League. A big club has to win the Champions League.

“The league didn’t start well for us this year, and we’ve had some recovery from December up to now, but we’re desperate to get into the next round of the Champions League.

“It’s a big test for us to get into the next round and I hope we can do something to swing it to our advantage.”

UCL: Blanc Says PSG Comeback Will Be Difficult Against Barcelona

PSGParis Saint-Germain Coach, Laurent Blanc has admitted that beating Barçelona will be “very difficult” when both teams meet in the 2nd leg of their quarter final pairing on Wednesday night.

Blanc spoke during the pre-game press conference ahead of the game in Camp Nou.

“I am a realist and we know that it will be very difficult, given that we have had little time to prepare for the game. We don’t have anything to lose and we will simply play our usual game,” he said.

Whilst highlighting the fact that his team has nothing to lose, he also spoke about their chances to make it through and what the team needs to do.

“We will have the chance to score goals. The only problem is that to get through we cannot concede more. That is impossible given that the majority of teams have conceded.”

Having lost the first leg 3-1 at home, Paris Saint-Germain will have to come from behind if they are to make it to the semi-finals of this season’s Champions League.

“Barca dominated but we also will have the ball, but we have to show that we can make them work hard. We will try to pressure them high up the field,” he said.

Captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic would be returning from suspension and Blanc expects this to be major boost for his team.

“The return of Ibrahimovic will have a great impact and he is a player who has great self-confidence. He loves this kind of game.”

Argentine midfielder, Javier Pastore, also corroborated his manager, “It will be a tough game and I think the only positive is that we have nothing to lose,” he said.

He added, “We have to play well and we will try to score early on to get some confidence. We can win or lose but we go out with the aim of playing well and making our fans happy.”

FC Barcelona Striker, Luis Suarez, is however not taking anything for granted despite their huge 3-1 advantage.

“We know the result is in our favour but PSG have a lot of good players and we have to face the game at Camp Nou with the same intensity as last week,” Suárez said, adding that “the most dangerous thing is to think that our work is done.”

Champions League: Terry Reacts To Ibrahimovic’s Insult

John-Terry-on-IbrahimovicChelsea captain, John Terry, has reacted to Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s description of his team mates as “babies”, saying Paris St Germain (PSG)’s players were similarly guilty on a night of ill-discipline at Stamford Bridge.

Ibrahimovic, 33, was shown a straight red card after 31 minutes of the UEFA Champions League last 16 second leg draw on Wednesday, subsequent to a tackle on Chelsea’s midfielder, Oscar which prompted his team mates to surround the referee and demand punishment.

Meanwhile, television replays had suggested PSG forward, Ibrahimovic was no more at fault than Oscar.

“You have to stick up for your team mates. Every side is as bad as each other. It is part of the game,” Terry said, responding to reproach of Chelsea’s conduct.

Despite referee, Bjorn Kuipers, being surrounded by almost the entire Chelsea team, Terry said he was only responding to provocation from the PSG players.

“Once they’re charging the ref, the only thing we can do is respond.

“You can’t as a group of players let them surround the ref, trying to get our players booked.

“For me if I have to run 20, 30 yards, it doesn’t look great but when you’re standing back and seeing five or six of their players surrounding the ref, I think I support my team mates.

“And once I go, four or five go with me, it doesn’t look good at all but that’s part of the game. We will match it if people want to mix it,” the 34-year-old said, adding that it is also part of the game.

However, in an interview with reporters at Stamford Bridge after the game, Ibrahimovic said: “I don’t know if I have to get angry or start to laugh.

“For me, when I saw the red card I was like, ‘the guy doesn’t know what he’s doing’.

“That is not the worst. The worst is when I got the red card, all the Chelsea players come around. It felt like I had a lot of babies around me.”

UEFA’s disciplinary panel will review Ibrahimovic’s red card at its meeting next week.

PSG Coach, Laurent Blanc, said that the club would appeal against Ibrahimovic’s red card and hoped he would be available for the quarter-final.

The French side went through on away goals after drawing 2-2 on the night, thanks to Thiago Silva’s header in extra time.

Nigeria’s Goalkeeper Wins French Player Of The Month

Vincent Enyeama.Super Eagles of Nigeria’s stand-in captain and first choice goal keeper, Vincent Enyeama, has won the best player award in French Ligue 1 for the month of November.

Enyeama received 59 per cent of the votes to beat Paris Saint Germain’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic who got 32 per cent of the votes to finish runner-up. Olympique Marseille’s midfielder, Florian Thauvin, was third in the overall standings winning just nine per cent of the votes.

This is the second successive month the 31-year old is winning the award after coming close to breaking Gaetan Huard’s record of clean sheets in Ligue 1.

During the 1992/1993 season with Bordeaux, Huard set a goalkeeping record of playing 1,176 minutes without conceding a goal.

Enyeama, who has been on superb form, kept 12 straight clean sheets recording 1,062 minutes before conceding a goal in Lille’s  0-1 defeat to Girondins Bordeaux at the Stade Jacques Chaban-Delmas on match day 17.

That is the closest anyone has come to in equaling Huard’s goalkeeping record.

The former Enyimba of Aba goalkeeper has conceded six goals in just four of the club’s 18 league games this season.