Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry has paid tribute to the professionalism of Wayne Bridge and felt his team-mate's personal problems were a motivating factor in their 4-2 defeat of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
The left-back has been in the media spotlight since claims surfaced about ex-Chelsea team-mate and close friend John Terry's alleged affair with Bridge's former girlfriend Vanessa Perroncel.
Terry lost the England captaincy as a result of the lurid headlines but Bridge still removed himself from international consideration.
The row was stoked further at the weekend when Bridge refused to shake Terry's hand before the game and then City striker Craig Bellamy took a swipe at Terry for his behaviour, with the Chelsea captain then responding with criticism of the Wales international's previous conduct.
Barry did not want to add to the public war of words but did feel the situation had worked in City's favour.
"I think it helped to galvanise us," said Barry, who has now joined Terry on international duty.
"A lot of people feel sorry for Wayne and what has gone on, and as a club we have all supported him. Saturday was a great team performance.
"Whether it was down to that or not, I don't know, but it was good for Wayne, players and fans."
Barry added in the Manchester Evening News: "Wayne won't give much away, but in training and in the game, he performed as a professional person would."Reuse content