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Apr 8, 2014

Laurent Blanc rues missed chances

The ESPN FC crew discuss how PSG's billion dollar team failed to finish off Chelsea.

Paris Saint-Germain manager Laurent Blanc lamented his side's missed opportunities in a 2-0 defeat to Chelsea on Tuesday that eliminated them from the Champions League in the quarterfinals.

PSG's Champions League hopes die in London.
PSG failed to find an away goal that could have sealed their tie with Chelsea on Tuesday.

Delaney: Mou outwits Blanc
Brewin: Three Things
Johnson: Experience pays off

In a lively start, Maxwell sent a menacing cross to the feet of Edinson Cavani, but Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech saved at the striker's feet.

With PSG clinging to a one-goal lead in the 78th minute, Cavani could have sealed PSG's progress, but he missed the target with only Cech to beat.

"There's disappointment," Blanc said. "You must acknowledge that we fought a very good Chelsea team.

"Ironically, we started better in the second leg than the first. In the first 25 minutes we were fine. We conceded a key goal from a throw-in and that put us in big trouble, giving confidence to Chelsea. Then, in the second period, they tried to pile pressure on us, make us suffer. Unfortunately we did not take our chances."

PSG's attack suffered without striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who injured his thigh last week and will spend four weeks on the sideline.

"We played with three forwards and a midfielder who tried to keep the ball and I don't think we did particularly badly," Blanc said. "We just weren't able to break through.

"I thought we might have scored on the counterattack but we were not able to. Chelsea kept believing and in the end they were rewarded."

With PSG's elimination coming on away goals, Blanc said he thought there was little to separate the sides.

"Overall, in my opinion, the difference was not huge. Paris could have gone through but, unfortunately for us, it's Chelsea who do," Blanc said. "But the level of both teams, in my opinion, was very close.

"Over the two matches there was very little between the two sides -- ultimately, though, I think Chelsea's experience of playing at this level of the competition made the very small difference."

With the Champions League beyond their reach, PSG must now concentrate on Ligue 1, where they enjoy a 13-point lead, and the Coupe de la Ligue, where they will meet Lyon in the April 19 final.

"We knew that, whatever the outcome of the game, we had to finish the competitions that we are still involved in really well and we hope to do that," Blanc said.

"But allow me, on behalf of the squad and all the technical staff, to be really disappointed tonight. We were so close to the semifinals."

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