CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QUARTER-FINAL, FIRST LEG
PARIS ST-GERMAIN 3 (Ezequiel Lavezzi 4, David Luiz 62-og, Javier Pastore 90+3), CHELSEA 1 (Eden Hazard 27-pen)
PARIS - Chelsea's season is beginning to unravel.
A chastening 3-1 defeat by Paris St-Germain was not so dramatic as to feel like an epochal change, but it was enough to reinforce the view that the Blues have much work to do in the summer.
This is the view that has been repeatedly asserted by Jose Mourinho and it was a theme to which he returned yesterday morning (Singapore time).
Once again, it was the strikeforce that bore the brunt of his anger. Mourinho had so little confidence in his forwards that he started with Andre Schuerrle, shunted up from the midfield.
"I'm not happy with my strikers' performances," said Mourinho afterwards, "so I have to try things."
It didn't work. Schuerrle seemed unsure of his role, unclear of where he should be running off the ball.
Chelsea had little in the way of penetration in the final third.
It took just four minutes for PSG to take the lead, a ripsnorter of a first-time finish from Ezequiel Lavezzi after John Terry's weak defensive clearance.
PSG took the lead in farcical circumstances in the second half - Lavezzi's floated free-kick entering Chelsea airspace, baffling everyone and then bouncing in off David Luiz's shin.
But it was the third goal, scored deep into injury time, that really infuriated Mourinho. Javier Pastore was allowed to jink unmolested through the Chelsea backline before beating Petr Cech at his near-post with a low finish.
"It's not a goal," growled Mourinho afterwards. "It's a joke."
For PSG, the journey from novelty to powerhouse continues. They are not there yet.
There were enough negatives in this performance to dampen any idea that they are the favourites to win this competition, but there were also enough positives to give them confidence going forwards.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, for the most part, was shackled by Gary Cahill until a muscular injury caused his withdrawal in the second half.
Edinson Cavani, the Uruguayan goal machine, was a shadow of himself - his first touch had deserted him.
But there was nothing anyone could do about Lavezzi. It is the sign of a good team that when the leading lights flicker, there are others in place to shine.