John TERRY proved the fight to clear his name had not affected his game after surviving a trial by fire in Chelsea’s London derby at Tottenham.
Blues captain Terry weathered an early Spurs onslaught and the loss of his central defensive partner, on top of the merciless taunts of the White Hart Lane crowd, to help his side secure a 1-1 draw in their final Premier League game before Christmas.
Playing barely 24 hours after being charged with a racially aggravated public order offence over October’s altercation with QPR defender Anton Ferdinand, Terry turned in one of his most impressive performances of the season.
Manager Andre Villas-Boas was glowing in his praise of his skipper’s resilience. “His performances have increased since the incident happened,” Villas-Boas said. “His commitment, quality and talent are never in doubt.”
“He’s completely focused on the cause of this football club.”Only when the game was finished did Terry acknowledge his off-field travails by approaching the away supporters, tearing off his shirt and tossing it into the crowd. They should also have been celebrating a victory, with Chelsea wasting a glut of chances after falling behind inside eight minutes. Adebayor pounced on hesitancy from Blues goalkeeper Petr Cech to give Tottenham the lead but Daniel Sturridge levelled after 23 minutes.
Chelsea then took charge.
Villas-Boas said: “It should have been a Chelsea win.”