John Terry said last night that Chelsea's extraordinary four-goal comeback to knock Napoli out of the Champions League was his greatest day in football. His club are the only English representatives in tomorrow's quarter-finals draw.
Terry scored the second of four goals which culminated in Branislav Ivanovic's winner in extra time, defeating the Serie A team 5-4 on aggregate. The performance went some way to vindicating the Chelsea old guard – there were also goals from Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard, from the penalty spot – who had struggled under the former manager Andre Villas-Boas.
Asked if this was one of his best nights, Terry said: "This could top them all, for sure. The lads put in a great display, really solid, really resilient, with the firepower going forward. It was really impressive watching the lads fight to the end. We proved we're a team. First and foremost, that's what we're about: that desire, that togetherness and sticking together when it really mattered. We showed what Chelsea are really made of.
"This is one of the very best nights for us. We were solid and resilient and fought until the very end. We've proved we're a team. Players came in and we stuck together when it really mattered."
Terry's goal after half-time to make the aggregate score 3-3 meant Chelsea were through on away goals at that point. But Gökhan Inler scored on 55 minutes to swing the tie back to Napoli. Ivanovic won the penalty that Lampard converted to set up extra time.
Lampard said it was a "huge win". He said: "It was crucial that whatever the result we produced a performance to stay in the competition. We can really build on this now and hopefully move onwards and upwards... It's been a difficult season but a performance like that can change things for us so it's important we go on from here."
Roberto Di Matteo, the caretaker manager, said: "We made history and knew it would take a lot to win. Some of the players couldn't even run at the end because they had cramp but they just kept fighting. Everybody was incredible."Reuse content