Tuesday February 16 2016
CL: Ibra and Cavani sink Chelsea

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani gave Paris Saint-Germain a deserved win over Chelsea, but the English side snatched a potentially crucial away goal.

Tonight saw the first games of the Last 16 phase of the Champions League, with Benfica welcoming Zenit St Petersburg in the other game.

Paris saw a meeting of the English and French champions, as the two sides met for the third year in a row.

Diego Costa could have given the visitors the lead, but Kevin Trapp did well to tip the Spanish international striker’s header onto the bar.

At the other end, PSG captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic had a headed chance of his own, but could only guide the ball into the ground under pressure from Gary Cahill.

The Swede was not to be denied however, and broke the deadlock on 39 minutes. The former Milan striker’s free-kick took a deflection off John Obi Mikel, who had also conceded the set piece.

The Chelsea man made up for it on the stroke of half-time though, drawing his side level after being played in by Costa.

The Parisian side upped the pressure in the second half, with Thibaut Courtois having to be sharp to deny Lucas Moura after a lovely lay-off from Ibrahimovic.

With 63 minutes played, a heroic Cahill block prevented Blaise Matuidi from making it 2-1 to Laurent Blanc’s men.

Italian international Marco Verratti was pulling the strings for the French champions, and Pedro picked up a booking for a foul on the playmaker.

Ex-Napoli man Edinson Cavani replaced Moura with 15 minutes to go, as Paris Saint-Germain desperately pushed for a winner.

Chelsea almost caught them on the break, but Trapp came out smartly to deny Oscar.

Cavani made them pay just two minutes later, latching onto Angel Di Maria’s pass and putting the ball between the legs of Courtois from an acute angle.

In Portugal, Benfica enjoyed the majority of possession and had numerous shots at goal, and were eventually rewarded with late winner against Zenit.

Former Inter goalkeeper Julio Cesar produced a great save to deny Axel Witsel on 52 minutes, while Juri Lodigin was equally impressive in denying Nicolas Gaitan at the other end.

Zenit’s Italian defender Domenico Criscito was already set to miss the second leg after picking up a booking, but was sent off as the game entered injury time.

Jonas got on the end of the resulting free-kick to head the ball into the net, and was then booked for his celebration.

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