By Jamie Trecker
PARIS—The Metro pulled out of Porte St. Cloud with a roar: “Allez Paris! Allez, Allez, Allez Paris!” The chrome cars were draped in red flags and men raced through the compartments, clutching cans of Leffe, singing, hoarse and sweaty: “Trois-un! TROIS! UN!” Their giddiness was understandable for PSG had done the unthinkable: they had knocked off mighty Chelsea, and put one foot into the semifinals of the Champions League.
Wednesday’s win was a high point for this young French club – PSG has only been in existence since 1972 – and signaled that Qatar’s ambitious program is paying immediate dividends. This match was no fluke: the Parisians lacked some skill and technique, with Edinson Cavani spectacularly wasteful, but they more than made up for it in possession and drive. By the end of the game, Chelsea were penned back, swept into their own area by a sea of dark blue shirts.
Jose Mourinho was his usual provocative self after the match: he called Javier Pastore’s brilliant individual goal at the death “a joke;” he said he had played Andre Schurrle because he had “no real strikers,” and when he was was asked if the tie was over, he smiled wanly and said no. His face read: “yes.”