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Champions League

UEFA Champions League: Benfica, Paris Saint-Germain Big Winners

Paris Saint-Germain's Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic (L) celebrates after scoring a goal during the Champions League round of 16 first leg football match between Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea at the Parc des Princes in Paris, France.

Match Day 1 of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 is in the books. We start off with action in the Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica in Lisbon, Portugal. In the first minute of second half stoppage time, Jonas scored to give Rui Vitoria‘s Benfica a 1-0 win over Andre Villas-Boas‘ Zenit St. Petersburg.

“It was an important game and a very important win. We secured an advantage for the second leg but everything is still open,” said Jonas of the victory. “Things are going well for me this season but I’m just one player in a high quality squad. I’m happy for the team’s moment as we are doing a good campaign this season.”

Meanwhile, at the Parc des Princes in Paris, goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic (39′) and Edinson Cavani (78′) gave Laurent Blanc‘s Paris St. Germain a 2-1 win over Guus Hiddink‘s Chelsea. John Obi Mikel scored in the first minute of first half injury time for the Blues.

“It was an excellent match,” said PSG Chairman and CEO Nasser Al Khelaifi. “We controlled the game from the first minute to the last. Unfortunately we failed to score more and we conceded that goal just before half-time. Now we will head to London to win and qualify for the quarter-finals. I am very proud of my players who worked really well and had a great game.”

“The big regret is to have conceded that goal just before the break,” said Blanc. “Chelsea had chances and could have scored at another time, but it’s still a shame to have conceded from a corner at that time. This match proves that our philosophy hasn’t changed.

“From a footballing point of view, I am very happy with my team’s performance, which wasn’t necessarily the case in recent matches. This was a clash of styles and it was a great game. We need to go the Stamford Bridge with the aim of scoring. We will almost certainly have chances. We have to take them. Our lead could have been bigger at the end of this first leg.”

“It’s a deserved win,” PSG goalkeeper Kevin Trapp said. “We created a lot of chances, without taking all of them, and that’s probably the one negative from tonight. The most important thing is to win at home. It will be a tough game in London.”

“I think we played well and I think if we play like that again in London, we will have a good chance of going through,” Ibrahimovic said. “Tonight we played our football. We showed our style of playing.”

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“We took the game to them, we didn’t let them play, but we just lacked a cutting edge in the final third,” added PSG midfielder Blaise Matuidi. “We won this first round, even if that Chelsea goal is a potential danger, but we know we are good enough to qualify.”

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