John Terry defends Chelsea team-mates branded as 'pathetic' and 'like babies' after PSG antics

Chelsea captain says 'it's part of the game'

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The Independent Football

John Terry today defended the behaviour of Chelsea’s players during their shock Champions League exit to Paris St Germain.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic accused the Blues of acting like “babies” to get him sent off for a challenge on Oscar in the first half at Stamford Bridge.

Graeme Souness branded Chelsea “pathetic” and fellow Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher claimed Jose Mourinho’s team “will never be loved”.

But Terry insists Chelsea were standing up for themselves against a PSG side who he felt were guilty of gamesmanship.

“There was a lot of stuff going on but I wouldn’t say anyone got caught up in it,” the Blues skipper told the Evening Standard. “Once they’re charging the ref, the only thing we can do is respond.

“You can’t as a group of players let them surround the ref trying to get our players booked.

“As a group of players, and me as well, 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, I have to go and support my team-mates.

“Once I go, four or five come with me and it doesn’t look good at all but it’s part of the game. We will match it if people want to mix it. It’s part of our game as well. It was a bit of both sides. It’s not nice but it’s part of the game. In European football, you can get booked for something silly — it’s part of the game.”

Told about the criticisms from former Liverpool players Souness and Carragher, Terry replied: “Coming from them? Yes [it’s unfair]! As a group it’s difficult because it’s there and you have to stick up for your team. The fans want to see that.

“It’s the same with every side — you go through different spells and every side is as bad as everyone else. It’s part of it, so maybe it’s just an excuse they’re looking for.”

Chelsea went out at the last-16 stage for the first time since 2010 as a 2-2 draw saw them lose on away goals.

Terry says the Blues cannot dwell on their exit and must focus on the Premier League, where they have a five-point lead over Manchester City and a game in hand.

He said: “I am disappointed but it’s gone, we have to pick ourselves up and go again. We have a big game against a very good Southampton side on Sunday.

“Southampton will come here on the front foot and if we’re not at it, we will drop points and slip away in the Premier League.

“The Premier League is all we have got now and it’s a massive one to go for. We are a few points clear and we need to maintain that gap. We can only do that by responding and picking up three points at the weekend.

“This makes us hungrier to win the Premier League. The manager told us that if we win the Capital One Cup and Premier League it will be a very successful year.  There is still an awful lot to do, but it’s in our hands.”