Terry revels in role of captain fantastic

Chelsea 2 Stoke City 0

Some of them were quite witty, most of them were plain abusive but none of the chants that Stoke City's supporters aimed at John Terry yesterday appeared to have the desired effect of unsettling the performance of the former England captain.

The stick, if that is the right word, that has been directed at Terry from the stands in the aftermath of the Wayne Bridge saga is probably the least of his worries but there is no doubt that yesterday he was subjected to the most sustained barrage yet. Just about the only one printable was "John Terry – are you my dad?" and you can imagine that it went downhill from there.

Say what you like about Terry, but the abuse just seems to bounce off him. When he scored Chelsea's second goal, he rolled up the sleeve of his left arm, leaving just the captain's armband around his biceps which he pointed to as he ran back towards the Stoke supporters in the Shed End.

Having been cruel before then, the Stoke fans descended into outright abuse of the man who was once England captain. This kind of stick is usually par for the course but the level of the abuse gave pause for thought. Stoke are the sort of Premier League club whose fans also follow the national team and if this was their considered opinion on Terry then perhaps there is more animosity to come from England supporters.

It was Terry's first goal since he was stripped of the England captaincy and, the worse the abuse gets from the rest, the more they love him at Stamford Bridge. He left the pitch shirtless again yesterday having given it to a fan as he completed another mini lap of honour that included its fair share of chest-thumping and kiss-blowing.

Terry will lead Chelsea into their ninth FA Cup semi-final in the last 17 years against Aston Villa next month and there was no doubt that they deserved it. The FA Cup holders gave a textbook display in negating the very obvious threat of Stoke that meant Henrique Hilario in the Chelsea goal was scarcely called upon to make a save in the second half.

Frank Lampard, who scored the first Chelsea goal, was also integral to the victory against the same Stoke team that eliminated Arsenal and Manchester City. Tony Pulis was without five first-team players and when he lost Glenn Whelan to injury just before half-time it was hard to see how the typical Stoke game plan would have any effect.

Rory Delap's throw-ins were repelled by a Chelsea defence that did not look under any pressure other than two occasions in the first 15 minutes. The first was Robert Huth's header that was nodded on by Mamady Sidibe, just over the bar. Dean Whitehead's shot was kicked off the line by John Obi Mikel and from then on it was one-way traffic.

There were few regrets from Pulis who accepted his side had finally run into a team who lived up to their billing as one of the strongest in the country. "You have your chances, you've got to take them when you play the top teams," Pulis said. "We've knocked Arsenal and Manchester City out. To pull Chelsea out of the hat at Stamford Bridge was a difficult tie. The players were first-class. We gave everything."

Lampard's goal came on 35 minutes as Chelsea's pressure became too much. A corner was half-cleared by Stoke to Terry who teed up Lampard on the edge of the area. His shot went in having taken a slight deflection off Abdoulaye Faye.

For Joe Cole it was yet another afternoon of pacing the touchline waiting in vain for the nod from Carlo Ancelotti to get his opportunity. It never came. With the game effectively sealed with more than 20 minutes to play there would have been no harm in giving him a run-out. Cole could be forgiven for getting paranoid that his manager is taking his contract stand-off personally.

In the absence of Ancelotti, Ray Wilkins explained that Cole would simply have to wait. "We have a superb squad of players and Carlo has a very difficult task in picking a side," he said. "Everyone merits a place in our team, but that was the side. Joe's had a very traumatic time with his knee, and you get highs and lows. He'll play plenty of games for Chelsea, don't you worry. I've no idea [about his contract], but that will be done towards the latter stages of the season."

Terry headed the second goal – via a deflection off Andy Wilkinson – from Lampard's corner in the 67th minute and that was it. Terry paraded his armband in front of the away end but it did not persuade them to shut up. He knows there will be plenty more of that abuse before the end of the season.

Chelsea (4-1-3-2): Hilario; Ivanovic, Terry, Alex, Ferreira; Mikel; Kalou, Lampard, Malouda; Drogba, Anelka. Substitutes not used: Turnbull (gk), J Cole, Deco, Sturridge, Matic, Kakuta, Van Aanholt.

Stoke City (4-4-2): Sorensen; Wilkinson, Abdoulaye Faye, Huth, Collins; Whitehead, Whelan (Pugh, 45), Delap, Tuncay (Lawrence, 61); Sidibe (Kitson, 61), Fuller. Substitutes not used: Simonsen (gk), Amdy Faye, Davies, Moult.

Referee: M Atkinson (West Yorkshire).

Booked: Chelsea Terry.

Man of the match: Lampard.

Attendance: 41,322.

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

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue