Jose Mourinho was sent off to the sidelines of Stamford Bridge after Chelsea won a seismic win against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League quarter-final in 2014.
Image: AFP via Getty Images)
It’s been exactly eight years since Chelsea’s Demba Ba had Jose Mourinho sprint down a Champions League sideline – just as he did at Old Trafford in 2004 when he masterminded Porto’s stunning win over Manchester United.
The Senegalese striker slid in and scooped an 88th-minute winner over Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu to send Chelsea through to the Champions League semi-finals. Ba’s dramatic intervention completed a stunning comeback at Stamford Bridge, where the Blues reversed a 3-1 defeat and progressed via away goals against the French giants.
It set off one of the most incredible atmospheres the club has experienced in West London, with pandemonium in the stands. And one of the most memorable moments of those electric few minutes was the sight of a tracksuit-laden Mourinho sprinting down the sidelines to his players – but not to celebrate, as the ‘Special One’ claimed.
“Not to celebrate,” Mourinho said abruptly after the game. “To tell Fernando Torres and Demba… [Ba] the changes we had to do because there were still three minutes plus extra time and with that amount of time left, playing the way we played it was too risky. I wanted to use my two newest players for another job recently.”
The game started horribly for the Blues when their talisman and most powerful targeting threat Eden Hazard limped in the early stages of the first half. His replacement Andre Schurrle, however, made sure the Belgian wasn’t missed by cutting the deficit in half with an instinctive first finish in the penalty area.
The German rattled the woodwork in the second half as the Blues kept pushing for a winner against Laurent Blanc’s side. But with PSG compacting their defenses and protecting their overall lead, Mourinho threw caution to the wind by introducing Torres and Ba from the bench instead of midfielders Oscar and Frank Lampard.
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Ba’s late goal, however, led to another late reshuffle, this time from Blanc, who ended up with three centre-forwards and two wingers on the pitch. And the momentum quickly changed, with PSG trying to break through the resistance of the Blues.
And they almost succeeded, as Javier Pastore danced his way into the penalty area and Petr Cech forced a brilliant save in the closing seconds. But Chelsea managed to hold on and secure a memorable win over the Parisians.
“We did enough to score early in the second half but we couldn’t and after that there was a bit of a contradiction in terms of what PSG is and what they said yesterday,” added Mourinho.
“They played a pure counter-attack, with no possession, they just came behind with a counter-attack and closed everything. It was difficult for us to penetrate into that second part of the second half, so I played against Demba and Fernando.
“We had looked at different systems yesterday and the players knew what to do. Then Demba made a crucial finish for us and I think it was very deserved.
“The team that decided to defend was punished. The team that gave everything, sometimes with their heart, deserved to advance to the semi-finals.”