John Terry’s nature is to defend anything Chelsea does.
Terry backed his and his teammates’ actions in Wednesday’s contentious draw against Paris Saint-Germain, which eliminated Chelsea from the UEFA Champions League in the round of 16.
Terry told Sky Sports that Chelsea surrounded and tried to influence referee Bjorn Kuipers only in response to similar tactics by PSG. Kuipers dismissed PSG star Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the first half in a decision widely ridiculed by pundits and fans alike.
Terry also said it is his duty as Chelsea captain either to lead such charges or join the fray in support of his teammate.
“Once they’re charging the ref, the only thing we can do is respond,” Terry said. “You can’t as a group of players let them surround the ref, trying to get our players booked.
“For me if I have to run 20, 30 yards, it doesn’t look great but when you’re standing back and seeing five or six of their players surrounding the ref, for me I think I support my teammates.
“And once I go, four or five go with me, it doesn’t look good at all but that’s part of the game. We’ll match it if people want to mix it, that’s part of our game as well.
“You have to stick up for your teammates. Every other side is as bad as each other. It’s part of the game.”
Ibrahimovic blasted Chelsea after the game, calling the Blues “babies” for trying to pressure Kuipers into showing him a red card.
Chelsea’s gamesmanship might not appeal to everyone’s tastes, nor should PSG’s. But these things happen every year in the knockout rounds of major tournaments. The stakes increase, tempers flare, and players do things they might not do in a league game on any given weekend.
That is, except for John Terry defending Chelsea. The soccer world always can count on that.
Thumbnail photo via Matt Dunham/The Associated Press
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