Chelsea are out of the Uefa Champions League on away goals rule after a 2-2 home draw with Paris St-Germain in the round of 16.
The French champions played an hour and a half of football at Stamford Bridge with ten men as talismanic striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic received a 31st-minute straight red for a lunge at Oscar.
Former Chelsea defender David Luiz forced extra-time, canceling out Garry Cahill’s opener with a brilliant header in the 86th minute.
Thiago Silva went from villain to hero in extra-time, first conceding a penalty for a handball to allow Eden Hazard restore Chelsea advantage before heading in PSG’s winner from 12 yards in the 114th minute.
Chelsea were the happier when both sides clashed in the quarter-finals of the same competition last season and they progressed on an away Hazard goal.
The Blues were best suited for a similar outcome on a dramatic Wednesday London night but were ruffled by their opponents’ sheer determination and resilience.
Laurent Blanc’s men ended regulation time with 59 per cent possession despite playing one-man down since losing Ibrahimovic for a reckless tackle on Oscar in the 31st minute.
Referee Bjorn Kuiper should not really warrant any blame for brandishing his red card on Chelsea players’ prodding having watched both markers slid into each other in a 50/50 challenge- though not two-footed- that had Oscar reach the ball first only for the Swedish to snatch the round leather on the way.
Despite the numerical advantage, Jose Mourinho’s men nastily cried wolf for a penalty after a jinking Diego Costa run ended at the mercy of Edinson Cavani in the 43rd minute and the referee waved play on.
PSG continued to stick their hands into the hosts’ pocket after the break and Cavani, clean through on goal, rounded Thibaut Courtois but crashed his shot against the inside of the front post.
Chelsea struggled to build any sort of attacking momentum whatsoever in the second half while Javier Pastore forced Courtois down to his left to avert another danger on the other end after another neat counter by the French champions.
Mourinho however appeared contented in the dugout, despite watching the Parisians brim more and more with confidence as the half wore on with Chelsea having nothing to show for being one-man up.
They, nonetheless, broke the deadlock against the run of play in the 80th minute as PSG could not clear a corner and Costa lifted it to his right for Cahill to arrow a perfect half-volley into the net from ten yards.
Ezequiel Lavezzi’s cracking header off an inswinging cross from the left was well kept out by Courtois as PSG, undeterred by circumstances, pressed on.
And out of the blues Luiz thumped home off the underside of the crossbar to take the game to extra time.
Silva’s outstretched hands attracted the referee’s whistle for penalty in the fifth of the final 30 minutes and Hazard, cool as you like, tucked it into the net like a toddler under the bed sheet.
Luiz tried to force a thunderous free-kick from 35-yards but it was nowhere trouble for Courtois.
Courtois again kept out Silva’s powerful header in the 113th minute. But the Belgian shot-stopper could only stare at the Brazilian defender’s second attempt from the resultant corner, a looping header which nested at the top corner- enough to seal payback.
And what more, with one man down PSG still ended the night with 50%b ball possession.