Monday 9 January 2017

Chelsea 4 Peterborough 1: John Terry Sent Off

FA Cup

The Chelsea skipper’s first start since the defeat in the EFL Cup at West Ham over ten weeks ago ended in disaster, when he was dismissed in the 67th minute.

With the Blues 3-0 up, Posh went on the counter-attack and Terry found himself as the last defender and one-on-one with pacey 22-year-old Lee Angol.

Angol went to skip past and Terry fell right in front of him, sending the striker tumbling.

Terry, 36, tried to act innocent, as if it had been an accidental slip. But ref Kevin Friend was having none of it, showing him the red card despite Branislav Ivanovic possibly being in a position to get back and cover.

It was the Blues skipper’s first dismissal since August 2015, when he was sent packing after fouling Salamon Rondon as he bore down on goal.

A reasonably strong Blues team - boss Antonio Conte kept his top aces Diego Costa and Eden Hazard on the bench - did not have it all their own way against their lively League One opponents.

And who knows what might have happened if Angol hadn’t tapped straight at Asmir Begovic from close range in the eighth minute.

Chelsea’s opener came in the 18th minute. Nathaniel Chalobah’s 25-yard shot was pushed away by Luke McGee but only to Pedro, who continued his fine form by stepping inside and smashing into the roof of the net.

In the 39th minute striker Michy Batshuayi showed just how desperate his was for a goal, ignoring the well-placed Willian to take on a defender, but getting tackled.

Willian was not best pleased!

But Belgium forward Batshuayi, also making his first start since the West Ham game, did get his much-desired goal thanks to unselfish play from Ruben Loftus-Cheek in the 43rd minute.

He cushioned a cross from Ivanovic to his team-mate, who slotted in with his right foot from 10 yards.

Antonio Conte was thrilled to see Willian drill home the third in the 52nd minute after being teed up by Pedro, the Chelsea boss punching the air with both fists.

Then came Terry’s dismissal and Posh quickly took advantage of the extra man. Micheal Smith’s cross from the right was helped on by Angol right into the path of Tom Nichols, who converted comfortably.

Chelsea restored their three-goal advantage in the 75th minute, Pedro curling in with his right foot after an exchange with Batshuayi.

The £33m striker may have added this assist to his goal, but didn’t do anywhere near enough to suggest he can be a serious threat to the rested Costa.

At least the Italian boss will have been heartened by the performance of Kurt Zouma after 11 months out due to a torn knee ligament.

The France international surely has to be ahead of Terry in the centre-back pecking order and the doubts about the former England skipper’s Chelsea future can only have grown after this performance.



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