Mikel Obi has shouldered the blame for Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s opener in Paris and was relieved to make amends by grabbing what could prove a crucial away goal for Chelsea.
Forced in from close range after a corner, it was his first for more than a year and only his sixth in a decade at the Stamford Bridge.
It gave the Londoners a sliver of hope to cling to after the 2-1 defeat at Paris St Germain in the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie – and confirmed his new lease of life under new boss Guus Hiddink.
In an interview, mikel said: ‘I had to get one for the team. 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.
Mikel believes Chelsea are at an advantage with the away goal. Super Eagles and Chelsea midfielder John Mikel Obi is basking in the euphoria of his Champions League goal at Paris Saint Germaine (PSG), but disappointed this team eventually lost the crucial first leg.
The Nigerian drew Chelsea level on the stroke of half-time when he pounced on a loose ball from a corner kick, and slotted the ball home from close range to cancel Ibrahimovic’s goal six minutes earlier through a free kick off his leg.
Mikel said: “I had to fall in because he (Lucas) was going deeper and deeper into our 18-yard box,” “I had to, if not get the ball, foul him, which I did. And then the free kick as well 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.
‘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.’
“We know they’re a very good team. Our aim was to come out here and get a goal and we’ve done that tonight. We still have the second leg to play back home, so we have to take that back home and capitalise on that and make sure we build on that.”
Substitute Edinson Cavani later sealed the winner for the home side, but Mikel believes ‘The Blues’ achieved their aim of getting an away goal against the Ligue 1 champions which is vital for the second-leg. PSG is to travel to Stamford Bridge on March 9 for the return leg