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Football Reporting
Football Reporting

Champions League

Chelsea face their own Philippe Coutinho moment ahead of Champions League clash vs Porto

Chelsea face a potentially embarrassing scenario in which one of their own players could help knock them out of the Champions League this season.

Blues defender Malang Sarr is currently on loan at the club’s quarter final opponents Porto with no rules preventing him playing in the two-legged tie against his parent club.

The situation casts back to the bizarre situation last season when Philippe Coutinho, on loan at Bayern Munich at the time, scored twice to eliminate Barcelona from the competition despite officially being a Barca player.

While loanees in the Premier League are forbidden from playing against their parent club, no such rule exists in the Champions League meaning Sarr can line up for Porto against Chelsea when they face off.

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The two sides go head-to-head at the Dragao next week before the return leg at Stamford Bridge on 13 April.

There are no rules preventing Sarr lining up against Chelsea
There are no rules preventing Sarr lining up against Chelsea

Chelsea have also previously suffered from this rule back in 2014 in their semi-final clash with Atletico Madrid.

Thibaut Courtois, who had been on loan at the Spanish club from the Blues, was allowed to play in both legs of the tie, as Chelsea were eliminated.

Courtois successfully kept a clean sheet in the home leg in Madrid, and made some crucial saves in Atleti’s 3-1 second leg victory back in London.

Chelsea will be hoping to avoid a similar scenario with Sarr, who joined the club on a free transfer last summer after his contract at Ligue Un side Nice came to an end.

The promising French defender was immediately sent out on loan to the Portuguese side as part of his continued development.

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Although the 22-year-old has only featured eight times in The Primeira Liga this season, manager Sergio Conceicao has been more willing to play the Frenchman in Europe so far.

Having played some role in all but one group game, Sarr also played in Porto’s last 16 second leg tie against Juventus as his side triumphed on away goals after a 4-4 aggregate draw.

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