PARIS, Paris St Germain substitute Edinson Cavani, criticised by French media lacking composure in front of goal, responded in style to earn a 2-1 home win over Chelsea in their Champions League last-16 first leg on Tuesday.
The Swedish striker’s shot deflected off John Obi Mikel’s foot which wrong-footed Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois giving the Paris side the lead.
Away goals have separated these sides in the Champions League in each of the last two seasons and Hiddink is optimistic Chelsea’s position is favourable ahead of the March 9 second leg at Stamford Bridge. This is the third successive season Chelsea and PSG have been drawn against each other and both previous ties were decided on away goals.
I think it’s still 50-50.
“Of course a defeat is never a good or nice feeling, but scoring away is always good”, Hiddink said.
“I never speak out, I never get upset, I carry on doing my job, coming to training every day to train with the guys who are playing”.
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Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc was impressed by Chelsea’s display in their Champions League encounter and says they are returning to their normal level. That’s where our regrets lie, but we’re still in the running to qualify against a very strong team.
“I think we played well and I think if we play like that again in London, we will have a good chance of going through”. But we could have been a bit more lethal in the counters we made. “We didn’t moan a lot about the absence of players and the rest got the confidence and did what they were asked”.
It has been suggested that Chelsea have told the player’s representatives just how much they are willing to pay him and the length of contract that will be offer.
However, Chelsea interim manager Guus Hiddink has praised the defensive aspect of his team’s game and Eden Hazard’s encouraging performance while also suggesting his team are still very much in the race to qualify for the quarter-final. “Hopefully the goal that puts us through in the tie”.