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Hiddink buoyed by Chelsea away goal in PSG loss

Guus Hiddink was keen to focus on the positives of Chelsea’s performance, including a potentially vital away goal, despite a 2-1 loss at Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.

John Obi Mikel was the unlikely scoring hero for the Premier League side, cancelling out Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s deflected free-kick in first-half stoppage time.

Edinson Cavani slotted a cute finish past Thibaut Courtois at the near post to give the runaway Ligue 1 leaders victory on the night but veteran boss Hiddink feels the last-16 tie remains firmly in the balance.

“Yes, of course the result is negative but on the other hand it is always important to have an away goal,” he told BT Sport.

“It hurt a bit at the end but the team is still in the race.

“On four or five counters, with the last pass we were not lethal enough but we can be happy with the performance.

“At the end, if we can do it at Stamford Bridge then a defeat [in Paris] doesn’t count so much.”

Mikel has re-established himself as a first-team starter under Hiddink, having also enjoyed the Dutchman’s previous tenure at Stamford Bridge in 2009.

“He’s had a kind of little revival and it is good for him and the team,” Hiddink said.

“The rest of the team is working very hard, very disciplined.”

Hiddink insisted he was not concerned to be tackling one of Europe’s in-form sides without injured central-defensive duo John Terry and Kurt Zouma, something he felt was vindicated by fine showings from Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic at the heart of defence.

“We didn’t worry a lot about the absence of some payers in central defence,” he added.

“The rest have to do it, they had confidence and they did what has been asked.”

Tue 16 Feb, 2016
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