Mixed feelings for coach Hiddink as Chelsea lose at PSG
By Julien Pretot
PARIS (Reuters) - Chelsea interim coach Guus Hiddink had mixed feelings after they lost 2-1 at Paris St Germain in their Champions League last-16 first leg on Tuesday, their first defeat since the Dutchman replaced Jose Mourinho.
Chelsea defended fiercely throughout the match but PSG’s firepower was eventually too much to handle, PSG substitute Edinson Cavani netting the winner with 12 minutes left after John Obi Mikel cancelled out Zlatan Ibrahimovic's opener. “The defeat is never a nice feeling but it’s a two-leg game and scoring away is always good. We can emphasise good defensive organisation,” Hiddink told a news conference.
“Bear in mind you play a very strong team when you see what they can bring in in the second half, they’re world class players," he said of the French champions.
“The performance of our players was tactically very good we could have been a little more lethal on our counter attacks.”
Hiddink had led Chelsea on a 12-match unbeaten run since taking over from the sacked Mourinho in mid-December but was forced to reshuffle his back four for the PSG clash after captain John Terry was ruled out with a hamstring injury. “The players did well (defensively), not just the four in defence. We also had a disciplined midfield, we had to reshuffle,” said Hiddink.
“We used to play with (Kurt) Zouma and John Terry (in central defence), the fullbacks had different positions, too,” he added of his rejigged back four with Zouma also out injured.
However, Branislav Ivanovic, who took the skipper's armband and switched from full back to central defence, was outpaced by Cavani when the Uruguay striker scored the winning goal.
“We lost concentration," the Serbian told BT Sport. "We were a little bit open. With top strikers like PSG have, they take every single chance. We have to be more compact and more careful, these small details can decide a game."
(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ken Ferris)