Goal good for Mikel –Mourinho

The world is yet to hear the last of the goal Nigeria’s Mikel Obi scored on Saturday in an English Premier League match against Fulham. Chelsea returnee manager Jose Mourinho has hailed Mikel for the goal, saying that the effect would be good for the Nigerian.

The Super Eagles midfielder had gone on for seven years in the Premier League without a goal. The goal helped the Stamford Bridge team to a 2-0 win over their London neighbours.

Mourinho said, “Good for him, good for us. I think it is good for his confidence. And I think people enjoyed seeing John (Obi Mikel) score a goal.

“The goal was a shot in a set-piece, in a corner, a rebound, the finishing was good and he was in the position, but the important thing for me is he played a good game, he gave balance and stability.

“He kept very good control of the game, so I am happy with the way John is playing.”

The Nigerian who was converted from an attacking role to a defensive midfielder rarely ventured upfront into opponents’ box through the duration of games. But a rare move on Saturday produced a goal that analysts believe would bolster his chase for the African Football of the Year award. The Nigerian has posted good showing through the year in major competitions at the Africa Cup of Nations, Europa League and the FIFA Confederations Cup.

On Saturday, Frank Lampard’s cross was headed down by John Terry for Mikel to scissors-kick the ball in.

The Nigeria midfielder’s previous goals were in successive FA Cup rounds in January 2007 against Macclesfield and Nottingham Forest and thereafter it became a long waiting game. The goal against Fulham saw Chelsea billionaire owner Roman Abramovic in standing ovation for Mikel and in the remaining minutes the Nigerian was urged to shoot by the Stamford Bridge faithfuls, even when in his more customary position, protecting the back four.

But it was not all lovely for estranged Super Eagles striker Osaze Odemwingie, who lost with Cardiff City 1-0 at home to Tottenham Hotspur from a goal scored in added time. The Nigerian’s second half curling shot was saved by the Spurs goalkeeper Iloris.

Odemwingie, who gave his view of the game via Twitter, wrote, “Was a good team effort today but disappointing to concede last minute. It could go our way too. A lot to be proud off at the same time.”

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