PSG Cavani
Edinson Cavani celebrates with his PSG teammates after scoring the winner in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 match against ChelseaReuters

Edinson Cavani came off the bench to give Paris Saint-Germain a potentially crucial lead in the first leg of the Champions League last 16 match against Chelsea on Tuesday.

In a tie that was always going to be close, Cavani was the one who gave PSG a 2-1 victory at the Parc des Princes, ensuring the French champions would go to Stamford Bridge for the second leg holding an advantage.

It isn't that much of an advantage, though, considering Chelsea got that vital away goal, and that too from an unlikely source in John Obi Mikel, who was on hand to fire home from close range, after Diego Costa flicked a header off a corner towards his direction.

That goal cancelled out Zlatan Ibrahimovic's opener, which came via a heavy deflection off Mikel, who had conceded the freekick in a dangerous position in the first place.

But it looked like Mikel had made up for that mistake with his equaliser right on the stroke of halftime, only for PSG to take the first leg, thanks to Cavani.

The first half was a really entertaining affair, with both teams finding pockets of space to attack, when in possession. PSG were the more proactive side, unsurprising considering they were the home team, but Chelsea always looked dangerous when they roared forward.

And they should have taken the lead too, when Baba Rahman, playing at left-back, with Branislav Ivanovic slotting in at the centre of the defence in the absence of the injured John Terry, swung in a peach of a cross for Diego Costa to head home from six yards. However, Kevin Trapp somehow got his right hand to the ball while going in the opposite direction to keep the score at 0-0.

Ibrahimovic also had a headed opportunity and a freekick from a decent position at the other end, which he could not convert, but the superstar striker would not be denied in the 39th minute. After Mikel had brought down Lucas Moura just outside the penalty area, Ibrahimovic, who had fired an earlier freekick just wide, while going for the finesse option, went for power this time, with the ball taking a big deflection off Mikel to completely wrong foot Thibaut Courtois.

The lead did not last for too long, though, as Mikel equalised from a corner in the first minute of first half stoppage time.

PSG came out in the second half desperate to find the winner in this first leg, and after plenty of huffing and puffing they finally broke through, as Di Maria, given space outside the box, picked out a perfect dink through ball for Cavani to finish through the legs of Courtois from an acute angle.

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