John Mikel Obi has come to Chelsea’s rescue once again with a much needed goal that keeps the club’s hopes of qualifying for the next round of UEFA Champions League alive. He scored, just moments after substitute, Oscar threw up a glorious chance for the visitors.
The Nigerian was a first a villian after he was penalized for bringing down the Brazilian star, Lucas Moura just 25 yards from goal, before turning his back on Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s strike which deflected off him and into the net, sending Thibaut Courtois the wrong way.
But Mikel made amends with a flourishing goal, just at the stroke of halftime, as Costa flicks on a corner at the near post, leaving the Chelsea midfielder with the time and space to both control and unleash a point blank strike that leveled the score as they went back into the dressing room. The game eventually ended in a 2-1 defeat for the away side (Chelsea), following a 78-minute strike by substitute striker, Edison Cavani. Chelsea still has plenty to play for as they return to London in preparation for the return leg in a forth-night.
Speaking to BT sport, Mikel explained his moves and his team’s disappointment at loosing the match against Paris ST-Germain, PSG.
“I had to fall in because Lucas was going deeper and deeper into our 18-yard box. I had to – if not get the ball – foul him, which I did.
“Then the free kick just skipped off my feet and went into the back of the net. But we came back strong as well, but we’re very disappointed to have lost the game.”
Mikel’s goal in this match was only his sixth for Chelsea in almost ten years with the club and this score is a good motivation for him to do more for the club.
Some have called this a make-or-break week for Chelsea, with this match followed by an FA Cup tie against Manchester City on Sunday.
With their Premier League title defense already over, Guus Hiddink’s men will know by the end of the weekend whether they can salvage anything from a disappointing domestic season.
But whatever happens against City, they will be hopeful of progressing in this competition after a promising performance in the French capital.
This is the third successive season Chelsea and PSG have been drawn against each other, and both previous ties were decided on away goals. Chelsea progressed in 2014 despite losing the first leg 3-1 in Parc des Princes – though admittedly they were a more formidable outfit than this vintage – but were beaten last season.