Jose Mourinho was sent running down the Stamford Bridge touchline after Chelsea secured a seismic victory against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League quarter-final back in 2014
Image: AFP via Getty Images)
It has been exactly eight years since Chelsea’s Demba Ba sent Jose Mourinho sprinting down a Champions League touchline – just as he did at Old Trafford in 2004 when he masterminded Porto’s stunning victory over Manchester United.
The Senegalese striker slid in and scooped an 88th-minute winner over the top of Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu to send Chelsea through to the Champions League semi-final. Ba’s dramatic intervention completed a stunning comeback at Stamford Bridge, which saw the Blues overturn a 3-1 defeat to progress via away goals over the French giants.
It triggered one of the most incredible atmospheres the west London club has witnessed, with pandemonium in the stands. And one of the most memorable moments of that electric few minutes was the sight of a tracksuit-laden Mourinho sprinting down the touchline towards his players – but not in celebration, as the ‘Special One’ claimed.
“Not to celebrate,” Mourinho abruptly said after the game. “To tell Fernando Torres and Demba [Ba] the changes we had to do, because there was still three minutes plus added time and with that amount of time left, playing like we were playing, it was too risky. I wanted to use my two freshest players for a different job in the last period.”
The game started dreadfully for the Blues, as their talisman and most potent goal threat Eden Hazard limped off in the early stages of the first half. However, his replacement Andre Schurrle ensured the Belgian was not missed, halving the deficit with an instinctive first-time finish inside the penalty area.
The German went on to rattle the woodwork in the second half as the Blues continued to push for a winner against Laurent Blanc’s side. But with PSG compacting their defence and looking to protect their aggregate lead, Mourinho threw caution to the wind by introducing Torres and Ba from the bench in place of midfielders Oscar and Frank Lampard.
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However, Ba’s late goal prompted another late reshuffle, this time from Blanc, who ended up with three centre-forwards and two wingers on the pitch. And the momentum quickly changed, with PSG trying to break down the Blues’ resistance.
And they came close to doing just that, as Javier Pastore danced his way into the penalty area and forced a brilliant save from Petr Cech in the dying seconds. But Chelsea managed to hold on and secure a momentous victory against the Parisians.
“We did enough in the beginning of the second half to score, but we couldn’t and after that there was a bit of a contradiction in terms of what PSG are and what they were saying yesterday,” Mourinho added.
“They played pure counter-attack, with no ball possession, just getting behind using counter-attack and closing everything. It was difficult for us to penetrate in that second part of the second half, so I played Demba and Fernando.
“We had looked at different systems yesterday and the players knew what to do. Then Demba made a crucial finish for us and I think it was very much deserved.
“The team that decided to defend was punished. The team that gave everything, sometimes with their hearts, deserved to go through to the semis.”