• Champions League

Chelsea's Costa thrives off provoking opposition - Blanc

ESPN staff
March 10, 2015
Diego Costa was involved in a confrontation with former Chelsea defender David Luiz during the first leg © Getty Images
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Paris Saint-Germain manager Laurent Blanc has warned his side to rise above any provocation from Chelsea striker Diego Costa.

The two sides meet at Stamford Bridge in Wednesday night's Champions League last-16 second leg, with the tie finely poised at 1-1 after the first encounter, in which Costa was involved in a confrontation with former Chelsea defender David Luiz.

"He likes contact, and provokes opposition players," Blanc said of Costa. "That's part of his game. He thrives off that. He really needs that to bring out the best in his performances.

"The most important thing is to not get caught up in the way he plays. He will try to provoke a reaction. We need to stay calm, not get caught up in his game. We need to be as effective as possible in stopping him.

"It's up to us to try to take some risks, but not lose our heads and take unnecessary risks.

"Paris Saint-Germain need to stand up and be counted. We also need to stay in the game. That's the difficulty. Yes, we need to attack, yes, we need to create chances, but we also need to stay solid."

PSG, eliminated on away goals at Stamford Bridge last season when they let a 3-1 first-leg advantage slip, must score to reach to the quarter-finals for a third straight campaign.

Blanc is also hoping Thibaut Courtois - who played a starring role in the first leg - does not replicate his heroics at Stamford Bridge.

"Their goalkeeper's performance was what allowed them to start as slight favourites going into the second leg," he added. "Over the 90 minutes PSG played better than Chelsea.

"If we create chances tomorrow night and he plays very well again that will prove that PSG have once again been better than Chelsea.

"He was very good in the first leg and I hope he's not as good tomorrow night."

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