PSG takes 3-1 Champions League edge over Chelsea; Ibrahimovic hurt
PARIS (AP) - Paris Saint-Germain took advantage of sloppy defending to beat Chelsea 3-1 in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal on Wednesday, with substitute Javier Pastore capping the win with a brilliant goal in stoppage time.
Chelsea did well to contain Zlatan Ibrahimovic, PSG's top scorer with more than 40 goals this season. But Jose Mourinho's team was undone by lapses from captain John Terry and midfielder David Luiz, who gave the ball away leading up to the opening goal.
That came after only four minutes when Ezequiel Lavezzi twisted to sweep the ball home after Terry's poor headed clearance. Eden Hazard equalized from the penalty spot midway through the first half, only for PSG to take the lead again in the 61st as Luiz shinned the ball into his own net.
Pastore's injury-time goal was superb. But Chelsea should have stopped him as the Argentina playmaker gathered the ball on the right wing, cut inside and then jinked his way through the penalty area before planting a low shot inside goalkeeper Petr Cech's near post.
There was some bad news on the night for PSG, however, with Ibrahimovic limping off midway through the second half with what appeared to be a hamstring injury.
PSG started aggressively and scored when Terry failed to deal properly with Blaise Matuidi's cross and his header fell to Lavezzi some 15 meters out. The Argentina winger swiveled brilliantly before planting the ball into the top left corner for his 10th goal of the season.
Chelsea enjoyed a brief spell of possession afterward, earning two corners. But it struggled to deal with PSG's speed on the break, and midfielder Ramires was shown a yellow card after hacking down Lavezzi as he turned away from him near the halfway line. Ramires misses the return leg next week.
PSG continued to look for Lavezzi on the break, and he caused center half Gary Cahill constant problems with his pace. Midway through the half, Lavezzi got away from him down the left but his shot hit the side of the net.
Chelsea equalized against the run of play in the 27th minute when Brazil center half Thiago Silva lunged in a fraction too late and clipped midfielder Oscar's leg. It was surprisingly rash judgment from Silva, the Brazil captain, who is considered one of the best defenders in the world.
With the jeers from the Parc des Princes crowd ringing in his ears, Hazard showed no nerves as he caressed the ball into the bottom left corner with Salvatore Sirigu guessing the wrong way.
Lavezzi had another effort saved by Cech, but the home side nearly fell behind in the 40th minute when Hazard's brilliantly controlled volley from wide left hit the right post with Sirigu beaten.
PSG's fans were livid when Edinson Cavani's claims for a penalty moments before the interval were turned down - with the Uruguay forward falling to the floor after tangling with Cahill.
Lavezzi outshone Ibrahimovic as PSG's liveliest player and headed a curling cross from Matuidi just over in the 52nd. His looping free kick soon afterward caused panic in the Chelsea defense and Luiz clumsily knocked the ball over the line.
Shortly after Luiz's own goal, Silva atoned for his earlier error by making a brilliant interception as Hazard tried to slip the ball through to substitute Fernando Torres.
Off the pitch, there was trouble before the game with PSG and Chelsea supporters fighting in a city center street about two hours before kickoff.
The fighting involved around 100 people from each side, indicating that it was most likely prearranged, PSG's security director Jean-Philippe d'Halliville told The Associated Press by telephone.
Trouble also marred PSG's previous home match against Bayer Leverkusen last month.
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