Blanc: Ibrahimovic red card inspired Paris
The striker was sent off on Wednesday for a lunge on Oscar but his team-mates rallied in his absence to book their place in the Champions League quarter-finals
Laurent Blanc said Paris Saint-Germain were inspired by Zlatan Ibrahimovic's first-half sending off in their Champions League clash with Chelsea on Wednesday.
The striker was given his marching orders for a lunge on Oscar but, despite playing with 10 men for the rest of the game, the Ligue 1 side came from behind twice to earn a 2-2 draw and book a place in the quarter-finals with a 3-3 aggregate scoreline.
Gary Cahill put Chelsea 1-0 in front on 81 minutes before David Luiz stunned his former club and took the game into extra-time five minutes later.
Eden Hazard then looked to have sent the Blues through after sliding home a penalty after Thiago Silva was penalised for handball but the Brazil defender responded immediately by going up the other end and scoring the equaliser to send PSG through on away goals.
Blanc was left to hail the performance of his players against the odds.
"It's a great joy," he told infosport. "The players were prepared and did a great job. They played an extraordinary game from the beginning to the end. We did take a hit in the back of the head when Zlatan was sent off, but I felt that the players were determined at half-time.
"The match was a little bit crazy and the performance was great. I've had a look at the stats and seen that we had the same numbers in terms of ball possession, more passes, more corners... Even at 10 against 11 we managed to be very efficient.
"It's a great night for my team tonight and for all French supporters. We did something great, but at the same time we are yet to achieve anything."
Chelsea 2-2 Paris Saint-Germain
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