In order for Chelsea to continue in the Champions League this season, Jose Mourinho will have to alter his usual philosophy for the return leg against Paris Saint-Germain at Stamford Bridge. PSG won the first game in Paris 3-1, leaving Chelsea with a lot to do, and chief amongst those tasks is to score goals, which is something they have struggled to do all season.
The way Mourinho sets his teams up is very defensively sound and compact with quick breaking counter-attacks. He obsesses on every detail of the opposition such as their tendencies, their style of play, what they like to do and, more importantly, what they don’t like to do. Mourinho has had a lot of success in his career picking apart the opposition and then adapting to their weaknesses, but against PSG on Tuesday, that will all have to go out of the window.
Chelsea cannot afford to sit back and play on what they perceive as the French team’s weaknesses. They had the chance to do that in the first leg, and they lost 3-1. Now they need to attack, they need to take risks and they need to throw caution to the wind; they need to do what they usually don’t. It all goes against Mourinho’s philosophy, but after the first leg, they really have no choice.
Playing defensively usually means a Mourinho team relies on a goalscorer upfront or some magic from other areas, but this season, that has been exactly their problem. Eden Hazard has produced magic at times, but he would have to be the second coming of Harry Houdini to make up for the lack of goals the Chesea strikers have offered up.
It wont quite take a Houdini-esque escape for Chelsea to get through against PSG, but it will take a a change in approach and it will take at least two goals. That’s something they have struggled with all season, which suggests this game will probably be a struggle too.