Jose Mourinho's side made a sluggish start to the evening, and found themselves a goal down on three minutes when captain John Terry's headed clearance went straight to Ezequiel Lavezzi, who controlled the loose ball before hammering a volley high into the net from 12 yards with Petr Cech well beaten.
Chelsea restored parity on 27 minutes when Oscar was bundled to the deck clumsily by Thiago Silva. Eden Hazard stepped up to slide the ball into the net as Salvatore Sirigu heading in the opposite direction.
Chelsea's lack of a recognised striker - Mourinho started with Andre Schuerrle rather then Fernando Torres up front - caught up with the 2012 winners in the second half as David Luiz felled Blaise Matuidi out wide. That led to a wicked Lavezzi free-kick that eluded Cech and ricocheted into the net off the shins of the helpless Luiz.
PSG lost Zlatan Ibrahimovic with a hamstring strain midway through the second period, but they were not finished for the night as £37 million signing from Palermo Pastore - on for Lavezzi with five minutes remaining - somehow ghosted into the visiting box from out wide, evading three players before sending a shot spinning under Cech, who was slow to go down at his near post.
It was an awful piece of defending, later described as "ridiculous" by Mourinho, and leaves Chelsea with a vast amount of work to be done in the second leg at Stamford Bridge next Tuesday.
3' - LAVEZZI OPENER: Lavezzi drives a volley high into the net. Terry's header out wasn't convincing. Super control by the former Napoli man. No chance for Cech from 12 yards. A 1-0 lead for PSG.
25' - PENALTY TO CHELSEA: Thiago Silva goes right through Oscar. Penalty all day long. Chelsea with the chance to equalise at 1-1.
26' - HAZARD EQUALISES: Hazard slides the ball to his left as Sirigiu headed to his left. Cool as you like. Chelsea level in this match at 1-1. And have their away goal for the evening.
36' - HAZARD HITS THE POST: Brilliant effort by Hazard from the Willian cross. So unfortunate to see that volley come back off a post. PSG really toiling here.
61' - LUIZ OWN GOAL: Lavezzi with a free-kick from out wide. Awful defending by Chelsea. They all miss the free-kick, and Luiz clips the ball into his own net.
81' - CAVANI SO CLOSE TO THE THIRD: Cavani with the chance to give PSG some breathing space, but the shot spins a few yards wide of goal. Brilliant effort.
90+2' - PASTORE LEAVES CHELSEA REELING: Pastore cuts inside before slamming a shot beyond Cech. £37 million man. Bad defending and bad goalkeeping really. A 3-1 lead for PSG.
Chelsea did not have a shot on target after Eden Hazard's first half penalty.
This is only the second time in 21 Champions League games that Chelsea have conceded 3+ goals.
Chelsea have conceded as many goals tonight as they had in their previous seven Champions League games.
Paris SG have conceded three penalties in their last four Champions League games.
Chelsea's equaliser is only Eden Hazard's second in 19 appearances in the Champions League.
Chelsea have now kept a clean sheet in only two of their 17 Champions League quarter-final matches.
Chelsea join Man Utd, Liverpool & Spurs in conceding 3+ goals in a Champions League QF first leg. The others were eliminated.
The last time there wasn't at least one English side in a European competition semi-final was 2002-03.
TALKING POINT: What went wrong for Chelsea? A lack of a recognised forward is really taking its toll on Chelsea's season. Andre Schuerrle started as a "false number nine" and endured a fairly hopeless time. Goodness knows where Fernando Torres and Demba Ba go from here. Mourinho clearly doesn't fancy either of them. Chelsea's hopes of recovering this tie could depend upon Samuel Eto'o recovering his fitness in time.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Ezequiel Lavezzi (Paris Saint-Germain): Brilliant goal, and should probably have been awarded the second for the quality of the free-kick. Never stopped working all night.
Paris Saint-Germain: Sirigu 6, Jallet 7, Alex 7, T.Silva 8, Maxwell 7, Verratti 7, Motta 7, Matuidi 7, Cavani 7, Ibrahimovic 6, Lavezzi 8...subs: Cabaye 6, Pastore 7, Lucas 7
Chelsea: Cech 5, Ivanovic 6, Cahill 6, Terry 5, Azpilicueta 6, Ramires 5, David Luiz 5, Willian 6, Oscar 6, Hazard 6, Schuerrle 5..subs: Lampard 5, Torres 5
MATCH IN A TWEET
- Sports & Recreation
- Ezequiel Lavezzi
- Javier Pastore
- Eden Hazard
- Jose Mourinho
- Petr Cech
- Thiago Silva
- Paris Saint-Germain
- David Luiz