Paris Saint-Germain vs Chelsea: John Obi Mikel shoulders responsibility for Zlatan Ibrahimovic opener

The 28-year-old has enjoyed a revival in fortunes under interim Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink

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The Independent Football

John Obi Mikel has accepted responsibility for Paris Saint-Germain’s opener in the Champions League round-of-16 first-leg defeat at the Parc des Princes last night.

The 28-year-old has enjoyed a revival in fortunes under interim Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink but his evening in the French capital got off to a bad start when he gave away a free-kick before deflecting Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s effort into his own net.

Mikel made amends, however, by scoring a precious away goal which gives the Blues hope in the second leg of the tie to be played at Stamford Bridge on March 9.

“I had to get one for the team,” Mikel told the Daily Mail. “It was good to score. The first goal was a big deflection from me and my foul that I committed.

“I had to make the foul because he was going deeper and deeper into the box. And I know I had to make a challenge, either to get the ball or foul him, but then the deflection was a big one.

“So, it was my foul, I got booked and then the deflection. So it was three things. But we came back strong and I got the equaliser back, which was great.

“Hopefully this goal keeps us alive in the tie and we believe we can do it. We were disappointed losing the second goal. I thought we deserved more. But we can get a very good result at home which can see us through. We're still alive.”

Chelsea suffered their first defeat of Hiddink’s second spell in temporary charge in Paris but Mikel is optimistic they can end the season on a high following the dismissal of Jose Mourinho in December.

“We've been through a difficult period, no doubt about it,” said the Nigerian international. “But Guus has come in and settled the ship and now we're picking up results, doing really well back home in the league.

“This was the first game under Guus in the Champions League and we're still very much in the tie. The second leg is going to be massive and hopefully this away goal is going to be decisive. If we get a 1-0 win, we're through. We have to believe we can do it and believe in what we're doing with Guus.”