Posted by News Express | 22 September 2013 | 5,341 times
It is not often that Nigerian international midfield star John Obi Mikel finds the net – especially for his English Premiership club Chelsea. Last night was one of those exceptions, with Mikel’s 85th minute goal sealing a 2-0 win over Fulham in a gritty West London derby at Stamford Bridge to halt Chelsea’s losing streak and return the Blues to the top of the Premiership with 10 points from five games, pending the outcome of today’s Manchester derby and Arsenal’s game against Stoke City.
As the British tabloid, Sunday Star, put it, Chelsea’s embattled manager “Jose Mourinho needed a miracle last night. And he got one when John Obi Mikel scored his first league goal in 261 league appearances for Chelsea.”
Mikel’s goal came after Brazilian star Oscar had taken the heat off Mourinho in the 51st minute and stretched the misery of Fulham, who now occupy the bottom of the rung and who arrived for the game having not beaten Chelsea in their previous 15 meetings.
Mikel’s stunner delivered in an acrobatic manner when he slotted a right-footed shot past goalie David Stockdale has helped to ease the pressure on Chelsea after the midweek home defeat to less fancied Basel of Switzerland in the UEFA Champions League.
The 26-year-old Mikel had led the lamentation chorus over that shock defeat, describing it as “disappointing” and “really, really bad.” He challenged his teammates to rise to the challenge of the times, and last night he showed the way.
•Photo: Mikel (left) celebrates with Chelsea teammates after finding the mark . . . last night at Stamford Bridge.
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