Jose Mourinho, known for his tactically meticulous management, 12-page dossiers and his propensity to not leave a scone unturned. Without doubt, he is the most suited to guide Chelsea into the Champions League semi-finals.
As Chelsea languished in Paris, and Javier Pastore skipped past the half-hearted efforts of Azpilicueta and Frank Lampard to score, the PSG dug-out celebrated. The substitutes and those who had been withdrawn sprinted onto the touchline. Makelele punched the air. Laurent Blanc’s delight was restricted – he knows his side are liable to elimination at Stamford Bridge.
Eden Hazard’s crucial away goal, netted from the penalty spot, provides hope. Mourinho provides belief – no-one is more suited to guiding Chelsea into the Champions League semi-finals.
The “Special One” has the ability to galvanise uniquely. When his Real Madrid side attempted desperately to over-turn Robert Lewandowski’s four goals, they came close, eliminated narrowly. Now Mourinho’s task of progression is slightly easier – He has three goals to over-turn, not four.
Before the 50 year-old’s return to Stamford Bridge, the Blues were conceding fluently, but Mourinho has managed to eradicate the flaw – Chelsea boast the tightest defence in England.
The solidity of Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry and Azpilicueta will be of added significance tomorrow evening. One Parisian away goal and the Blues are in serious adversity.
Mourinho adorns the big games. For him, it is an opportunity to showcase his tactically mastery. The task of keeping Cavani and Lavezzi quiet (Ibrahimovic injured) is arduous, but the former Real Madrid boss has proven his ability to stifle feared attacking departments in the past, most notably at the Etihad Stadium against Manchester City earlier in the season.
Mourinho’s experience and sagacious know-how will inevitably prove handy. His opposite number, Blanc, is unfamiliar with Champions League quarter-finals, while Mourinho has never failed to progress into the last four of Europe’s prestigious competition.
He has a laborious task on his hands, mind. But he is suited to the challenge more than most, and that inevitably helps.