Champions League

Mikel played mind games with Robben

John Obi Mikel in action during Chelsea's Champions League win against Bayern Munich.
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John Obi Mikel has admitted resorting to mind games to make Arjen Robben fluff his penalty kick in Chelsea's Champions League triumph over Bayern Munich.

Mikel employed some old-fashioned sledging in Saturday night's final before Petr Cech saved Robben's extra-time spot-kick, one which may have condemned the Blues to more European heartache if it went in.

As it was, Chelsea held on for a 1-1 draw before winning 4-3 in a penalty shootout on what proved the greatest night in their history.

Mikel said of the Robben blunder: "I told him, 'Petr Cech knows where you are going to kick it'.

"I just told Robben that he is going to miss it. You know, we just do that sometimes as players."

The midfielder added: "I think when the penalty was missed, we kind of believed that this trophy was going to be ours."

Chelsea's win ended billionaire owner Roman Abramovich's nine-year quest for what was his Holy Grail.

Mikel said: "The owner has made it clear to us that this trophy is the trophy he wants to win.

"And now that we have done that, I think that he is a very, very happy man."

He added: "We have shown what we can do. And, hopefully, people can stop writing us off.

"I think we have made names for ourselves - we are the first club to win this trophy from London.

"I think it is just fantastic, it is amazing."

Chelsea's triumph also rescued them from the Champions League wilderness, denying Tottenham the spot they had earned through finishing fourth in the Barclays Premier League.

Mikel said: "I am sorry to Spurs - I know they were praying and hoping that we lose."

The 25-year-old was instrumental in Chelsea winning both the Champions League and FA Cup this season after his days looked numbered under former manager Andre Villas-Boas.

Mikel hailed caretaker boss Roberto Di Matteo, saying: "When he took over, he had a word with me and said he knows how good I am, I am just maybe lacking a bit of confidence. And he gave it back to me."

Asked if Di Matteo should be appointed full-time, he added: "I would like to see him get the job.

"But, at the end of the day, the club will make the right decision."
 

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