Chelsea home favourites after holding PSG to draw
Paris St Germain should have wrapped match up, but Chelsea now best place to reach quarter-finals
Jose Mourinho declared himself "happy" after watching his Chelsea side hold PSG to a draw in the French capital.
The Last 16 clash failed to live up to its pre-match billing but Chelsea return to London to prepare for the return leg on March 11 knowing they are now favourites to progress to the quarter-finals.
"We could have lost, so I think the result is a positive one," reflected Mourinho. "I don't say very good because it depends on the result of the second leg but it is a positive result against a very good team…two legs is now one leg with everything to be decided at Stamford Bridge."
PSG will feel aggrieved they failed to beat Chelsea but Thibaut Courtois produced a string of fine saves when the game was still goalless.
Blaise Matuidi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani all were denied by the Blues' Belgian goalkeeper, who was chosen for the tie ahead of Petr Cech. It was another of Mourinho's canny team selections and he later praised Courtois' contribution while explaining his reasons for picking him over Cech.
"I try to read the situation," he said. "I try to predict the profile of the game, the reality is that it is easy, they are both phenomenal goalkeepers. If football was nine players plus two goalkeepers we would be on the moon."
Chelsea's goal came on 36 minutes when John Terry's cross was flicked by Gary Cahill on to the head of Branislav Ivanovic, and he steered the ball past Salvatore Sirigu in the PSG goal.
It was Ivanovic's first goal in Europe since his winner against Benfica in the 2013 Europa League but the Blues' lead lasted just 10 minutes into the second half. Slack defending by Terry and Cahill allowed Cavani the opportunity to meet Maxwell's cross and head the ball past Courtois for the equaliser.
Thereafter it was all PSG as they searched for the winning goal, but Courtois stood firm between the sticks, blocking a shot from Ibrahimovic and then tipping a header from former Chelsea defender David Luiz over the bar. And the Belgian maintained his focus until the very end as he prevented Ibrahimovic's powerful downward header snatching a stoppage time win for the Parisians.
Ivanovic said later that Chelsea "deserved the positive result" but he was in doubt who he and his teammates had to thank for it. "Thibaut Courtois made amazing saves… it is a great feeling to have someone behind you who is doing something special."
Courtois' heroics left PSG coach Laurent Blanc feeling "a bit frustrated" but he had this message for Chelsea: "We'll keep attacking in the return leg but we'll do it smartly. One goal will be enough if we defend well."