Sport Football Zlatan Ibrahimovic ends Chelsea’s run

Zlatan Ibrahimovic ends Chelsea’s run

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic headlined proceedings as PSG and Benfica progressed into the last eight of the UEFA Champions League.

PSG beat Chelsea 2-1 in London – while Benfica won by the same margin against Zenit St Petersburg.

Ibrahimovic netted from Angel di Maria’s cross in the 67th minute to put PSG 4-2 ahead on aggregate and, with the benefit of a second away goal, effectively secure passage through the round of 16 on Wednesday.

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Adrien Rabiot had opened the scoring for the guests – set up by Ibrahimovic – before Diego Costa equalised in the first half.

Watch Ibrahimovic’s assist and goal below

Costa was Chelsea’s biggest danger throughout until he went off with an apparent muscle injury just after the hour.

“In the 67th minute it all changed. We had a good chance to score, then Diego Costa was injured,” Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink said.

“We knew he was not totally fit but he desperately wanted to play and scored a beautiful goal.”

Chelsea hearts were broken when Ibrahimovic scored the winning goal from six yards out.

“We played with lots of patient possession and when we had a chance to strike we scored two goals,” Ibrahimovic said.

“We had enough to win the game. Overall we played the way we wanted to. It was not easy, you have to watch out. Chelsea’s front four are able to do anything.

“We are doing good things, where we end up we don’t know. We are not satisfied yet.”

Late goals from Nicolas Gaitan and Anderson Talisca earned Benfica a 2-1 win at Zenit for a 3-1 victory on aggregate.

Hulk had scored for Zenit in 69 minutes to square matters overall but Gaitan headed home in 85 and Talisca scored in injury-time to secure victory.

“Our team knew what was coming here and we were always organised defensively,” said Benfica coach Rui Vitoria.

With the tie heading for extra-time, Benfica’s Raul Jimenez tried a spectacular half-volley from distance and though keeper Yuri Lodigin tipped the ball onto the bar, Gaitan followed up to head in the rebound.

“I saw the ball bounce and felt it was time to shoot anyway,” Jimenez said. “I never stopped believing that we could win. I am very happy to have helped.”

Zenit coach Andre Villas-Boas was understandably downbeat but proud of his players.

“We made mistakes but we also had our moments – unfortunately Benfica’s goalkeeper played very well,” said Villas-Boas.

“There were two great teams out there, and the better one advanced to the quarter-finals.”

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