Case of Ba humbug for PSG as Demba strikes
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho praises Senegal international as his goal seals Champions League semi-final place
Chelsea’s Demba Ba (hidden) celebrates with coach Jose Mourinho and team mates after scoring the second goal for the team during their Champions League quarter-final second leg soccer match against Paris St Germain at Stamford Bridge. Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters
Ba, whose appearances have been fleeting and mainly as a substitute this season, scored the decisive strike three minutes from time as Chelsea beat Paris St Germain 2-0 last night to draw 3-3 on aggregate and advance on the away goals rule.
Mourinho has bemoaned his forward options for much of the season, but all three - Ba, Samuel Eto’o, and Fernando Torres — were on the pitch for a frantic finale and played their part in a memorable occasion.
It led Mourinho to compare Ba, who has started three times this season, to Drogba, the scorer of the crucial penalty as Chelsea won the 2012 European Cup.
“His contribution was massive in the game,” Mourinho said. “After (the goal) he was fantastic, fantastic central defender. “He reminded me a bit of Didier in the old times when we needed him (in defence) in the last minutes.
“And Nando playing right back and chasing Maxwell all the way. Fantastic spirit.” Mourinho darted down the touchline in celebration of Ba’s goal and to issue instructions to his attacking players to defend.
“I ran to tell him (Ba) and Nando that in this moment at 2-0, everything changes,” Mourinho added. Ba played down a moment which may prove indelible for many Chelsea fans.
Ba, who last started against Steaua Bucharest in December, admitted: “(A) very great moment for the fans, for the club, for everybody, (but) it takes more than that to become a legend. We do what it takes to win it. When it’s meant to happen, it happens.”
On his defensive duties, Ba added: “It takes what it takes. If I have to play behind for the last few minutes, I’ll just do it. I had to work hard, had to help the team. I just did it without even thinking”