LONDON, March 11 (Reuters) - Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho blamed a mystifying loss of focus and confidence among his players for their shock elimination from the Champions League quarter-finals by 10-man Paris St Germain on Wednesday.
“We deserved to be punished with this draw-defeat,” Mourinho told reporters after the 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge which produced a 3-3 aggregate score over the two legs and saw PSG go through on away goals.
Mourinho said the red card shown in the 31st minute to PSG’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic had hindered rather than helped his team.
“For me, the players felt too much the responsibility, especially when the opponent was with 10,” he said.
“When you concede two goals in two corners, it’s even ... more evidence about what I am saying. It’s about lack of concentration, it’s about lack of responsibility to cope with the marker and the space you have to control.”
Former Chelsea defender David Luiz saved PSG when he scored with a thunderous header from a corner in the 86th minute and forced the game into extra time after Gary Cahill had put the hosts ahead in the 81st minute.
Luiz’s central defensive partner and PSG skipper Thiago Silva scored the decisive goal, again with a header from a corner, in the 114th minute.
Mourinho said he wanted to reflect on the game before sitting down with his players and analysing the defeat.
“I want to know,” he said when asked to explain the uncharacteristically limp performance of his side.
The Portuguese said the Premier League leaders needed to quickly re-focus on Sunday’s home game against Southampton.
“We need to react,” he said. “We lost a competition where even if you win today, you would have other important steps in front of you and other big teams to beat.
“We lost that competition and at the moment we have the Premier League to win.”
PSG coach Laurent Blanc hailed the victory as a key moment in their attempt to break into the elite group of European clubs.
“PSG want to become one of Europe’s top clubs. In the future, this match will be seen as a turning point in the club’s history,” he told reporters.
He said his team had been better than Chelsea over both matches and had not let the dismissal of Ibrahimovic distract them on Wednesday.
“At half-time I was really surprised at how calm my players were,” he said. “I really had the feeling that the team had the desire to carry on and win the match.” (Additional reporting by Clare Lovell, editing by Nick Mulvenney)