Demba Ba makes point to Jose Mourinho: 'We have three great strikers'
Demba Ba stepped off the bench to rescue Chelsea’s Champions League dream and then took a swipe at manager Jose Mourinho.
With his team needing a goal to complete a quarter-final second-leg comeback against Paris Saint-Germain, Mourinho threw on Ba and the striker netted with just three minutes remaining.
Ba’s goal secured a 2-0 win on the night, after André Schürrle had opened the scoring in the first half, and sent Chelsea through to the semi-finals on the away goal rule, just a week after Mourinho had lamented the absence of a “real striker” in his squad.
“I’m not out for revenge,” said Ba. “Maybe he (Mourinho) doesn’t have strikers to his liking, but I know that we have three great strikers and I think that a lot of clubs would like to have them.”
Ba, who was the only Parisian on the pitch following his introduction, added: “I’m happy, I’m happy to have liberated us. I haven’t been given my chance much this season and I’ve taken it. It’s the first time I’ve wished PSG to lose and it’s me who scores the goal, luckily for Chelsea. I’m happy for Chelsea but it’s hard to see them lose, especially with one of my best friends, Yohan Cabaye, on the other side.
“Eden Hazard kept telling me all day, ‘It’s your time tonight, it’s your time tonight.’ I was a bit scared for the Parisians because after the third goal in Paris everyone thought PSG were in the semi-final.
“Even my younger brothers kept telling me this, and then when Eden went off the PSG fans already thought they were in the semi-finals. When Eden came off we heard them singing ‘We’re in the semi-finals’.”
Mourinho sent on Ba ahead of Fernando Torres and the Portuguese said: “I’m happy for him. A good guy, a good professional, a good group man. I’m very happy, very happy for him. The fact I played him before Nando (Torres) made him feel that he doesn’t have the No 3 striker on his back. His enthusiasm was fantastic and he started giving Paris problems that, normally, they don’t have in their league where it’s a completely different style. I’m so happy he scored the goal because it means a lot for him and a lot for us.
“The players followed our plan, our ambition. All we win, all we lose, but without any energy to go home. We have to be, at the end of the game, either so happy with the result or so happy with ourselves. And we were lucky because we have the result we fought for. But, if for some reason we hadn’t scored the second, or if they had scored from the last corner in the last moment to send us out, everybody in this club would still have been proud of the boys.”