Chelsea manager, Guus Hiddink, believes their Champions League last 16 tie with Paris St-Germain is still in the balance despite the fact that they lost the first leg 2-1 in Paris.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic gave PSG a 39th minute lead via a deflected free-kick but, John Obi Mikel, riffled home a precious away goal after some poor defending from the hosts at the stroke of half time. It was only the second time the Nigerian international scored in a Champions League match, his previous strike coming against Sporting Lisbon in December 2014.
The Blues defended well on the night but were ripped open in the 78th minute when substitute Edinson Cavani converted a pass from Angel Di Maria, the match ending 2-1 in favor of Laurent Blanc’s side.
Despite the result, Hiddink expressed optimism about his side’s chances in the return leg which will take place at Stamford Bridge on 9 March.
“Scoring away is always good,” said Hiddink. “I’m never happy with a loss but it’s not a dramatic loss.”
Hiddink, who only had 20-year-olds Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Bertrand Traore, Kenedy and Matt Miazga among their substitutes said he envied PSG’s bench which had the likes of Cavani, Javier Pastore and Adrien Rabiot.
“I envy a bit the bench of PSG,” said Hiddink. “They have a very strong bench.
“If you see what this team can bring on in the second half – world-class players as substitutes. This is a very strong PSG.”
This is the third season in succession Chelsea have met the French champions in the Champions League. PSG won at this stage last season after the Londoners triumphed in the quarter-finals in 2014.
In another match, hosts Benfica beat a cautious Zenit St Petersburg 1-0 in the first leg, Jonas scoring with a stoppage-time header.
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