By RYAN TOLMICH
Down a man and down a goal on two separate occasions, Paris Saint-Germain have emerged from Stamford Bridge and into the Champions League quarterfinals.
Despite a red card to Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the 31st minute, PSG benefitted from a late winner off of Thiago Silva’s head to earn a 2-2 draw with Chelsea and advance to the quarterfinals on away goals.
In what turned out to be a fiery contest with tempers boiling over on multiple occasions, Ibrahimovic was controversially sent off in the first half for a tackle on Chelsea’s Oscar. Up an away goal, Chelsea were content to control the game, leading the way for Gary Cahill’s opener in the 81st minute.
David Luiz, who clashed numerous times with Diego Costa throughout the match, provided the equalizer just five minutes later on a leaping header, paving the way for extra time.
Just six minutes into the added periods, Eden Hazard gave Chelsea the go ahead goal from the penalty spot with Silva providing the infraction via a blatant handball.
The Brazilian redeemed himself in the 114th minute, looping a header inside the far left post to seal advancement for the Parisians.
Wednesday’s other matchup was much more clear-cut, as the fastest red card in Champions League history handed Bayern Munich the advantage it needed to secure passage into the quarterfinals.
The German club’s 7-0 drubbing of Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday slowly morphed into a clinic of passing and attacking moves by the home side. Shakhtar was always going to struggle when, with just 2:39 into the match, Oleksandr Kucher was sent off for bringing down Mario Gotze in a goal scoring situation.
The German midfielder darted behind the Shakhtar defense before Kucher caught up with him, only to bring him down. After some thinking, the referee determined it was enough for a red, and Thomas Mueller dispatched the penalty kick to begin the visitors’ nightmarish evening.
Mueller scored twice in the rout, his second coming as Bayern put the game away shortly after halftime. Franck Ribery dribbled inside from the left before combining with Alaba in a give-and-go and putting the ball in at the near post.
The Frenchman then chased down a through ball, putting the cross into the middle where Andriy Pyatov was only able to palm it away. Mueller picked up the rebound to finish in an open net for two goals in three minutes.
Holger Badstuber’s header, Robert Lewandowski’s near post finish from a long ball, and another from Gotze completed Bayern’s big night.