Guus Hiddink suffered his first loss in his second spell in charge of Chelsea as the Blues were beaten 2-1 at Paris Saint-Germain.
Strikes from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani either side of a rare goal from John Obi Mikel was enough to give PSG a first leg victory, ending a run of 12 matches unbeaten for Hiddink since he took over from Jose Mourinho in December.
Laurent Blanc’s men dominated early proceedings, with Marco Verratti and Lucas Moura both going close within the first five minutes.
It took 23 minutes for Chelsea to carve out a chance themselves, and they nearly took the lead when Baba Rahman’s cross was met by the head of Diego Costa, but his effort was tipped onto the bar by Kevin Trapp.
The French outfit were soon back on top, with Lucas Moura again proving to be a thorn in the side of the English champions. His mazy run was abruptly and illegally ended by Mikel, and from the resulting free-kick, the Nigerian midfielder inadvertently deflected Ibrahimovic’s shot past the helpless Thibaut Courtois in the visitors’ goal.
Against the run of play, Chelsea equalised in first half stoppage-time. Willian’s corner was flicked on by Costa, and Mikel made amends for his earlier error by volleying home from close range to give his side a valuable away goal.
The second half was much like the first, with the Ligue 1 leaders dominating from the off, but Courtois was on hand to save his side on several occasions.
The Premier League champions had previously never lost a game in which Mikel had scored in, but this record was broken after Angel Di Maria lobbed a through ball to substitute Edinson Cavani, who finished from a tight angle just four minutes after coming on.
Pedro came close for the Blues in stoppage-time at the end of the game, but could only find the side netting as the hosts held on for the win.
The two meet again at Stamford Bridge on March 9.
Former Chelsea boss Andre Vilas-Boas’ return to Portugal turned out to be a bitter one, as his Zenit side were beaten 1-0 at Benfica thank to a last minute goal from Jonas.
The former Chelsea and Tottenham boss had achieved the double over the Eagles during his time at FC Porto, but was less fortunate with his Russian outfit.
Benfica were the first to threaten their opponents’ goal, with on-loan Fulham striker Kostas Mitroglou teeing up Jonas, but he was unable to add to his 23 goals so far this season.
Like his manager, Hulk had caused Benfica heartache during his spell at Porto, and was nearly the source of it again, but his thunderous free-kick sailed wide of Julio Cesar’s goal.
Shortly after the interval, ex-Benfica man Axel Witsel powered his way into the area, but his shot was kept out by Cesar.
From there on in, it was the home side who dominated the tie. Centre-back Jardel stabbed a shot from close range just wide, while Eliseu’s low drive was pushed away by Yuri Lodygin.
In stoppage-time, Zenit full-back Domenico Criscito received a second yellow card for a foul just inside his own half. From the resulting free-kick, Jonas headed home his 24th of the season to snatch the win for the hosts.