Without wishing to sound too smug, we told you so. Demba Ba’s late strike completed a dramatic turnaround for Chelsea and secured the Londoner’s passage to this year’s Champions League semi-finals at the expense of a battle-weary Paris Saint-Germain side.
And having been 20/1 shots to lift this year’s trophy before their second-leg tie kicked-off the Blues are now just 5/1 to emerge triumphant in Lisbon.
Manager Jose Mourinho threw the proverbial kitchen sink at Laurent Blanc’s outfit in a bid to eventually overcome his side’s 3-1 deficit from the first-leg and the commitment displayed by his charges could well see Chelsea over the line.
The Portuguese hailed his team’s ‘special spirit’ following their 2-0 victory. And while much of the focus has been on Mourinho’s touchline sprint in the aftermath of Ba’s goal, it’s a different nod to history that’s worthy of further examination.
No strangers to a thrilling comeback, this latest Chelsea victory contained echoes of their famous quarter-final win over Napoli on the road to claiming their maiden Champions League title two years ago.
PSG may not have posed the same kind of test but with some onlookers and even their own manager downplaying their trophy hopes, Chelsea’s players gave the perfect response to those questioning whether they’re ready to seriously challenge for silverware.
Even Mourinho, the first manager to reach eight Champions League semi-finals, is starting to believe.
He told reporters: “Anything can happen. A big opponent is waiting for us in the semi-final, but I think it doesn’t matter who. They know we are a team with a special spirit, even if we are not in the maximum of our potential.”
Bayern Munich remain the 7/4 favourites to successfully defend their Champions League crown ahead of their second-leg at home to Manchester United.
Level at 1-1, the Bavarians will bid to avoid a third defeat in four games when hosting English sides.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid are priced at 11/5 to win a first European Cup since 2002 after narrowly winning through to the semi-finals 3-2 on aggregate against Borussia Dortmund.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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