Demba Ba played the role of super-sub for Chelsea on Tuesday night in London, poaching a goal on 87 minutes to send the Blues through to the semifinals of the Champions League as a result of their 2-0 home triumph against Paris Saint-Germain.
Chelsea appeared dead in the water following their limp display last week in Paris, succumbing 3-1 to a PSG side that looked poised to equal their highest ever finish in Europe by advancing to the semifinals of Europe’s premier cup competition. However, the Parisians were dealt a massive blow before Tuesday’s second leg at Stamford Bridge as they would be without the services of world-class striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic due to the Swede’s hamstring injury. Even without Zlatan, PSG presented Chelsea with a vaunted starting 11 that included Edinson Cavani and Thiago Motta. Chelsea, needing at least a 2 goal win to advance, opted for firepower in their starting lineup with Oscar, Edin Hazard, Willian, and Frank Lampard all getting the nod from Jose Mourinho.
And despite Hazard being forced off due to injury in the early goings, Chelsea hit pay dirt on 32 minutes when his replacement Andre Schürrle placed past PSG ‘keeper Salvatore Sirigu. The goal put Chelsea in a great position to advance, an unlikely thought prior to the match, as they needed to score 1 more goal and keep a clean sheet in order to book their place in the final four.
The clean sheet part of the equation proved to be the easy part as Petr Cech had a rather uneventful evening in goal, while the 1 more goal part looked to be Chelsea’s downfall on the night, as they still needed another goal to advance with 24 minutes remaining in regulation. Cue Mr. Mourinho and his tactical switch of Lampard for Ba, and 3 minutes from time, the move reaped its rewards with Ba poking past Sirigu to send Stamford Bridge into a frenzy and Chelsea into the semifinals. Here is the goal below in all its glory….