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Chelsea vs PSG: 5 things we learnt from the Blues' European exit


/ by Imhons Erons

1.  Stockpiling world-class talent works out pretty well
It seems a long, long time ago when Chelsea was full of superstars from the goalkeeper to the attack even to the bench and probably to the ball boys. But the likes Bayern Munich and PSG have since overtaken the Blues in their clout and capacity to attract huge talents.

On Wednesday, Guus Hiddink’s side was outclassed in all aspects of the game in front of their fans by a team that had more matchwinners on and off the pitch. It can be argued that only Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich have more matchwinners than the French champions while Chelsea is some way behind.
And that’s why most of them, aside being on course to lifting their domestic leagues, are considered favourites to win the European Cup.

2.  Hazard isn’t PSG-quality
For 77 minutes, the Belgian huffed and puffed but ultimately flopped on a day the English champions needed his magic the most.
How Hazard has transformed from Chelsea’s go-to guy and the best player in the league to just another squad player is anybody’s guess but one thing is clear: Hazard won’t make the grade at PSG.
The rumour mills keep linking him with a move to join the Parisians but his performances this season, and especially in Wednesday’s game, have shown that Laurent Blanc’s side would do better targeting Diego Costa, rather than a Hazard that Chelsea could probably do without.

3.  Zlatan still has it in him
At 34, the Swede would be forgiven if he simply concedes his starting spot to a worthy counterpart like Edison Cavani and just pockets his weekly wages till his contract runs out.
But not Zlatan.

The Sweden legend continues to dumbfound critics who say he’s closer to ‘good night’ than twilight.
Against the Blues, he showed that there’s plenty of life left in him by assisting the opener and then scoring the winner that sapped the life out of the London giants.
This might be Ibrahimovic’s last season at PSG but it definitely doesn’t look like his last at he top level.

4.  Chelsea are out
Of the Champions League this year and next. Judging by the clutch of heavyweights jostling for Europe’s top prize and Chelsea’s horrible form this season it was unrealistic expecting the Blues to go all the way. But after seeing their chances of ending the Premier League in the top 4 disappear, winning the UEFA Champions League was the only route to come back next season.

Defeat to PSG however means we won’t be seeing the Blues in Europe’s most glamorous club competition next year for the first time since 2002/03.
Well, they are still in the FA Cup, which will earn them the right to feature in the Europa League, should they win it. But it’s not a hidden secret that Abrahamovic loves that particular tournament as much as a spoilt child loves cane.

5.  Summer of change awaits for Chelsea
The Chelsea owner won’t take this PSG loss, and indeed results all season long, lightly. His famed ruthlessness once again came to fore when he sacked fans’ favourite Jose Mourinho back in December after a disgusting run of form for the league champions.

Hiddink will expectedly leave but it’s left to be seen if any manager who takes his place, be it Conte or Simeone, will be happy to work with this same set of players.
If Chelsea’s defence still misses an ageing John Terry as much as it did on Wednesday, then it needs fresh, able legs.

Hiddink’s favoured midfield pairing of Mikel and Fabregas didn’t impress against PSG’s 20-year-old Rabiot and a half-fit Matuidi either. Even the agents of the likes of Pedro, Baba Rahman and Remy may do well to start looking for clubs right away as the sweeping change consume Stamford Bridge come season end.


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