Mixed results this week in Europe for English sides, but it is still everything to play for.
Two very good sides who almost cancelled each other out – there were long stretches where both stood off each other and strung square passes across the pitch.
Before striking like vipers.
Hazard, the Belgian with the dancing feet, was the danger man for Chelsea, but kept getting fouled Cavani posed the questions for PSG.
Chelsea’s experienced defenders – Terry, Cahill and Ivanovic – had terrific games, combining for the latter to net in the first half and shutting out the feared Ibrahimovic.
What a pity that Cavani somehow managed to slip his marker and slot a relatively easy header – perhaps the visitors’ one really poor moment.
Courtois made good saves but in an away leg goalkeepers invariably have to step up to the mark.
Back at Stamford Bridge you would expect Chelsea to secure the required result but they will need to watch the pacy PSG forwards on the counter-attack.
If the contest was short on excitement in Paris it is liable to be thrill a minute into the second half in London, something to savour when combined with the sort of quality corporate hospitality package that has made Eventmasters a winner in its sector.
Arsenal v Monaco on Wednesday February 25 is an intriguing clash between Arsene Wenger’s current side and his former team.
The Gunners have found the going difficult in recent years when it’s come to the knockout stages, but have been given their best opportunity to progress in the tournament for some time.
They certainly have the quality.
Liverpool secured a 1-0 victory against Besiktas in the Europa League thanks to a Mario Balotelli penalty giving them an advantage heading into the second leg.
Something of a fight over who should take it – Jordan Henderson was the manager’s nominee. But Balotelli is a big time performer and always looked as though he would bury it. At least it should be a doddle next time Liverpool end up in a penalty shoot-out!
The Anfield side is a work in progress, improved enormously since the beginning of the season, with many of the summer signings coming good after shaky starts.
Liverpool must now go to Turkey, scene of their great 2005 Champions League triumph, with the slenderest of leads, though denying Besiktas an away goal was a plus especially as Simon Mignolet had to make a big one-on-one save from Demba Ba.
Roberto Soldado volleyed an excellent sixth-minute opener but Argentina centre-back Jose Maria Basanta scrambled in an away goal that gives the Italians the edge ahead of next week’s second leg.
Soldado started instead of 23-goal top scorer Harry Kane as head coach Mauricio Pochettino – facing the first of six matches in 17 days – rotated his squad.
A mistake surely not to start Kane – the young striker, on for the last 25 minutes, is of an age where footballers want to play every minute of every game possible, especially big European clashes.
Should Kane start for England against Lithuania at Wembley on March 27th? Give us your view.