Samuel Eto'o hails 'brave' Chelsea duo for steering Blues into Champs Lge semis
Chelsea’s Cameroonian striker Samuel Eto’o has paid tribute to the two players he was chosen to start ahead of in their Champions League clash against PSG last night.
Chelsea’s manager and fans had hoped all week that Samuel Eto’o would be fit to return for their Champions League clash, and their prayers were answered.
But little did they know it would be a player regarded as third choice in Demba Ba who would prove to be the club’s saviour, scoring the goal to take the Blues through into the semi-finals.
Eto’o was ineffective and illustrative of a striker not 100 per cent fit, with substitutes Fernando Torres and Demba Ba looking lively even before the goal.
The Cameroon international paid tribute to his team-mates after the game to his fellow strikers, with a Twitter post saluting the ‘brave’ duo who came on and played their parts – in many ways answering the criticism of their manager after the first leg.
Mourinho had claimed after the first leg he was lacking ‘real strikers’, with Eto’o injured for that match. Demba Ba for his part illustrated why he would feel he deserves more opportunities, and even Torres looked like he was springing into life.
Chelsea’s flagging season has been given a welcome shot in the arm, and at this stage nothing can be ruled out – as they showed us two years ago.
Ba’s scrambled late goal sent Chelsea into the Champions League semi-finals at Paris St-Germain’s expense – and sparked a familiar touchline celebration from delighted Blues boss Jose Mourinho.
Chelsea needed to claw back PSG’s 3-1 advantage from the first leg and Andre Schurrle – on as an early substitute for the injured Eden Hazard – gave them hope with a first-half goal.
And with only three minutes left Ba, another substitute, bundled the ball home from six yards to make the decisive contribution and spark wild celebrations as the Premier League side went through on away goals.
Mourinho, in scenes reminiscent of his famous sprint down the Old Trafford touchline in 2004 when Porto knocked out Manchester United on the way to winning the Champions League, raced to join his players as they mobbed Ba.
He then pulled players from the celebrating pile to issue some final orders as the Blues held out to complete the turnaround.