Chelsea captain John Terry thinks that the Blues’ cautious approach in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final at Barcelona last night was vindicated by their coming away with a positive result in the form of a goalless draw, and has hailed the solidity and resilience of a performance many observers labelled simply as boring.
“The whole team defended well,” he told Sky Sports.
“The manager (Guus Hiddink) stressed before the game there would be a spell of 10, 15 or even 20 minutes when they would keep the ball and we would not get it back off them.
“It was important we kept our shape and no-one stepped out of it. I thought we did that really well.
“We didn’t get frustrated but they did. We held our nerve and it was important we did that because they are such a good footballing side on such a big pitch. But the work the midfielders did was incredible.”
Terry also highlighted the role played by the Chelsea gaffer in a display that he was clearly proud to have been part of, adding, “It was as good a performance as I’ve been involved in. Overall we haven’t got the goal but as a collective performance, with the whole team putting in a good shift, it is definitely up there with the best of them.
“Once the manager had spoken to us we knew exactly what to do. We stuck to it and that was the key. We trust him and we trust each other. We did the club and the manager proud tonight but we are only halfway there.
“We expected a really tough game and they piled on the pressure. They kept on coming and they probably looked the most dangerous in the last two or three minutes, but we kept them at bay.
“We are delighted to take them back to the Bridge but it is a tough one. I didn’t expect them to come at us and get in our faces at the start as much as they did.
“They would not let us play at the back or any time in midfield for the whole game. Credit to them as they stopped us playing totally.”
The Blues may well adopt a more attacking philosophy at home, especially as the second leg becomes, essentially, now a one-off game, and Terry concluded by hinting that that might well be how things transpire.
“But it will be a different game at the Bridge, we showed a few years ago that we can get in their faces and make things difficult for them,” he said.
“It was good to come here and not to concede. We didn’t create too many chances. Didier (Drogba) had one good chance early in the first half but other than that they were on top for most of the game.
“It will now be a massive game next week but we have shown that we don’t fear anyone. They are a very good side but we showed that we are as well.”
Zack Wilson, Goal.com