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Champions League Sport

Ibrahimovic relishes return to Chelsea with PSG winner

Zlatan Ibrahimovic's winner sent the French champions through to the Champions League quarter-finals

Zlatan Ibrahimovic struck the winner in Paris St Germain’s 2-1 victory over Chelsea on Wednesday that sent the French team into the Champions League quarter-finals.

PSG, who won the first leg of the last-16 tie 2-1 in Paris, reached the last eight for the fourth successive season 4-2 on aggregate after dominating a compelling match.

They went ahead in the 16th minute when Angel Di Maria found Ibrahimovic, sent off when the sides clashed at the same stage a year ago, wide on the right. The Swedish striker’s cross eluded the defence for Adrian Rabiot to tap in.

Chelsea hit back with a superbly constructed equaliser when Diego Costa checked past Thiago Silva to fire wide of Kevin Trapp after 27 minutes, but the hosts lost their cutting edge when Costa went off injured and Ibrahimovic turned in Di Maria’s cross from close range after 67 minutes.

PSG settled quickly and took an early grip on a game played at a frenetic pace with Ibrahimovic dropping back into midfield and linking superbly with Di Maria and Lucas to put the Chelsea defence under real pressure.

The French champions sounded a warning when Ibrahimovic put the ball in the net and although he was clearly offside, they did score a few minutes later through Rabiot.

Chelsea were not behind for long and with both sets of supporters creating a cracking atmosphere, the home side began to impose themselves on PSG with Willian central to most of their best moves and Costa a constant threat.

With the score still 1-1, however, Costa went off with a calf injury and the visitors wrapped up the match and the tie through Ibrahimovic’s goal to leave Chelsea with the FA Cup as their only hope of a trophy this season.

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