Terry: we are now walking on eggshells in case we get banned

Chelsea players criticise referee for failing to award penalty but captain says he cannot be too outspoken

Chelsea's senior players were united in claiming that Patrice Evra's late challenge on Ramires in Wednesday's 1-0 Champions League quarter-final defeat to Manchester United should have been a penalty but John Terry sounded a note of caution – saying players were "walking on eggshells" about criticising referees.

Frank Lampard described the challenge as a "blatant penalty" and Terry also said that that Spanish referee Alberto Mallenco made the wrong call. However, the Chelsea captain said that players were now cautious about speaking their mind – a reference to the five-match touchline ban given to Sir Alex Ferguson after he criticised referee Martin Atkinson last month.

Terry said that the players feared a "ban" if they were too outspoken in their criticism. Ferguson was banned from the touchline for five games by the Football Association for claiming that Atkinson had not been "fair" in the game between United and Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on 1 March when the official chose not to dismiss the Chelsea defender David Luiz.

Terry said: "On the penalty issue as well, I think that it's difficult for us and for you guys [the press] as well, because the players want to come out and speak honestly about it. I've clearly seen it from 60 yards away, Rami clearly getting the first touch. The lads watched it on TV after the game.

"We can't come out here and speak honestly and it's a little bit frustrating. Because we can't speak honestly, you guys [the media] lose out, everyone's walking on eggshells, fearing a ban before the next game. It's not the first time it's happened but anywhere else in the world – Old Trafford, the Nou Camp, the Bernabeu – that's a penalty."

Strictly speaking, Ferguson's ban was administered by the FA rather than Uefa under whose auspices the Champions League falls. Equally, players are permitted to criticise decisions as long as they do not – as Ferguson was ruled to have done – suggest a bias or favouritism on the part of the referee.

Lampard said: "Everyone knows it was a penalty, but he didn't give it. Simple as that. I can't believe he didn't give it. It was blatant – everyone in the stadium saw that."

There is a chance that Chelsea will have the winger Yossi Benayoun back in contention for Tuesday's second leg at Old Trafford. Terry also said that the centre-back Alex da Costa, who has not played since 28 November, might be in contention for the game, or at least a place on the Chelsea bench.

Terry said that he and his team-mates still believed they could defy the odds and get through to the semi-finals. "I was saying to the lads afterwards that it's us versus everyone," he said.

"I think that's clear to see over the last few years. Only we can change that on the football field and expect nothing from anyone. Nothing gets given to you on a plate and it certainly won't be in this competition.

"I'm staying positive. That's the way I am and that's the way I want the lads to be and only we can change it. We can say stuff, we can let things get to us. But, at the end of the day, we need to go there and win on Tuesday."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific