Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink says defeat in the first leg in the Champions League last 16 against Paris Saint Germain will pale into insignificance if his side can turn around the tie in the second leg at Stamford Bridge. Edinson Cavani's goal with 12 minutes left gives the French champions a narrow advantage after the first game but the Blues remain in contention to reach the quarter-final.
PSG began the better side and led through Zlatan Ibrahimovic's free-kick which deflected off John Obi Mikel and wrong-footed Thibaut Courtois. But the Nigeria midfielder became the unlikely hero on the stroke of half-time as he collected Diego Costa's flick on and fired home for his sixth goal in 10 years for the west Londoners.
Kevin Trapp, who had earlier turned a Costa header onto the bar, again denied the Spain international but soon the runaway Ligue 1 leaders regained the initiative after the break with Courtois making a string of saves from Ibrahimovic and Lucas Moura. But it would be substitute Cavani who made the decisive intervention, sliding the ball through Courtois to overshadow Chelsea's performance.
Despite suffering the first defeat of his second spell in charge of Chelsea, Hiddink is optimistic that the away goal via Mikel puts his team in the ascendancy going into the second leg on 9 March. The Dutch coach praised his side's disciplined display against Laurent Blanc's side.
"The result is negative on one side, but on the other hand it is always important to have the away goal," the interim Chelsea coach admitted to BT Sport. "But I think it hurt a little bit at the end because the team was playing very decently against a team which has a lot of capacity to play. So in the end it hurt a little bit but still we are in the race. We played against a team which is very strong, they can play well but that is why I think we were disciplined.
"We were not level enough but we can be satisfied with the performance. We didn't moan about the absence of some players in central defence which is important. The rest has to do it and they got the confidence and they did what has been asked. Over two legs it is important to have the away goal and in the end if we can do it at Stamford Bridge then a defeat doesn't count so much."