Half-time: PSG 1 Chelsea 1 – rare Mikel goal means Blues are level in Paris


John Obi Mikel equalised for Chelsea on the stroke of half-time in Paris after Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s deflected free-kick had put Paris St-Germain ahead.

Chelsea weathered an early storm and then almost took the lead in the Champions League round-of-16 first leg when Diego Costa’s header from Baba Rahman’s cross was tipped on to the bar by keeper Kevin Trapp.

But they went behind when Ibrahimovic’s strike hit Mikel – who conceded the free-kick with a needless foul on Lucas Moura – and wrongfooted Thibaut Courtois.

However, Mikel redeemed himself by firing home after Costa had flicked on Willian’s corner – only the Nigerian’s sixth goal for Chelsea in almost 10 years at the club.

Chelsea were on the back foot in the opening 20 minutes as PSG dominated possession – Marco Verratti’s 25-yard effort was parried by Blues keeper Courtois and Lucas’ shot flashed wide of his post.

With Chelsea skipper John Terry and Kurt Zouma out injured, Branislav Ivanovic was moved into the centre of defence with Cesar Azpilicueta switching to right-back and Baba coming in at left-back.

Azpilicueta produced a fine challenge to deny Lucas inside the penalty area as the hosts continued to press. But for all their early possession, PSG struggled to create clear-cut chances before Trapp’s superb save to deny Costa.

At the other end, Ibrahimovic made a mess of a great chance just after the half-hour mark when Lucas’ right-wing cross found him unmarked and he could only head the ball into the ground and up into Courtois’ arms.

The Swedish striker enjoyed a slice of good fortune five minutes before the break, but his goal was cancelled out by Mikel in the final seconds of the half.

Chelsea: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Ivanovic, Baba Rahman; Fabregas, Mikel; Pedro, Willian, Hazard; Costa.
Subs: Begovic, Miazga, Loftus-Cheek, Oscar, Kenedy, Traore, Remy.