|ESPNsoccernet: UEFA Champions League|
Chelsea on Wednesday denied John Obi Mikel had been hounded from Twitter after the midfielder deleted his account amid claims he had been the victim of a torrent of abuse.
Mikel removed his profile from the social networking site less than 24 hours after his mistake helped cost the Blues victory in the opening match of their 2-2 Group E Champions League draw against Juventus.
A Chelsea spokesman said that it was entirely coincidental that Mikel, who insisted he was entirely unaware of any abuse, had decided to delete the 'Mikel12Official' account he set up this summer.
The spokesman said Mikel felt Twitter was not for him at the present time but had not ruled out joining the site again in the future.
Several Chelsea fans on Twitter who assumed Mikel had been hounded off it condemned any abuse of the midfielder, who helped the club end their wait for Champions League glory last season.
The 25-year-old Mikel gave the ball away 10 minutes from time before he and his teammates failed to prevent Claudio Marchisio playing Fabio Quagliarella into space for the equalizer.
"If I want to make up an excuse, I can. But, for me, I gave the ball away. I put my hands up, we move on," Mikel said.
"I'm sorry about the mistake, but there are no excuses."