Terry braves Lane's bleak midwinter

Spurs' fans gave Chelsea captain a torrid time - a foretaste of what he will receive at other grounds

White Hart Lane

Innocent until proven guilty is a fundamental aspect of United Kingdom law but John Terry will face the judgement of every set of football fans before going on trial in February if last night's match at White Hart Lane is any gauge.

The 31-year-old would always receive a less than hospitable welcome at Tottenham, given the history of antipathy between the clubs, but the racism charge he must now fight has created deeper divisions in opinion on an already divisive individual. The time lag in Terry's case makes this is a situation he must handle for, in all likelihood, the rest of the season. Antagonism is something he is used to but this is different.

Chelsea's resilient display will have helped the time pass on the shortest day of the year but, in terms of character assassination, Terry is in for a bleak midwinter. Following Manchester United supporters' adaptation of a popular Liverpool song – replacing the words "Luis Suarez" with "Racist bastard" – the Spurs faithful gave Terry a torrid time.

It was a chaotic first half, with Terry underhitting a pass to Raul Meireles within seconds of kick-off to prompt a Spurs attack, and suggest the intensity of the occasion had permeated one of the thickest-skinned players around.

Things went from bad to worse as Gareth Bale tore down the left flank and Terry failed to rescue the situation as Emmanuel Adebayor collected the cross to side-foot Spurs in front.

Terry was slow to react to that situation, to the unbridled delight of the home support, and so the catcalls from the stands intensified. "Terry's going down, Terry's going down" and "John Terry – you know what you are."

But Terry and Chelsea responded in typically robust fashion when Daniel Sturridge equalised and the visitors won a grounding in the match.

But nothing is straighforward for Terry right now. Branislav Ivanovic was forced off injured, prompting a defensive reshuffle with Jose Bosingwa deputising at centre-back and Paulo Ferreira making a rare appearance at right-back.

Terry's talent for inducing stability was tested but he responded well, even going close to the ultimate riposte to his detractors with a header from Juan Mata's 54th-minute corner.

He was left writhing late on after a poor tackle by Adebayor – who, having already committed at least two fouls since a first-half booking, was inexplicably not then sent off – but recovered his poise to help steer Chelsea to a well-earned point, not least courtesy of his late goal-line clearance from the Togo international.

There was no unedifying T-shirt display from the Chelsea squad, but the travelling support remained behind their man. "There's only one England captain," they chanted throughout, defiantly ignoring the uncertainty that now must exist over that position.

"He's won the Double, he's won the Double," they crowed with equal ebullience. They were on safer ground there but no one is arguing about his success. Sympathy for Terry is in short supply, given his chequered past, while his abrasive on-field demeanour is not an endearing characteristic to opposing fans.

They are, of course, not dispassionate judges, so Terry must suffer the indignity of many more nights such as this before receiving the opportunity to clear his name in court. But football – if any reminder were needed – is far too tribal and impatient to wait.

Life and Style
“What is it like being a girl?” was the question on the lips of one inquisitive Reddit user this week
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
Life and Style
beauty
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
transfers
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Midsummer swimwear season is well and truly upon us – but diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

Sport
German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
world cup 2014Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
Arts and Entertainment
A still from the worldwide Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer debut
film
News
peopleMario Balotelli poses with 'shotgun' in controversial Instagram pic
News
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Sport
Basketball superstar LeBron James gets into his stride for the Cleveland Cavaliers
sportNBA superstar announces decision to return to Cleveland Cavaliers
Sport
Javier Mascherano of Argentina tackles Arjen Robben of the Netherlands as he attempts a shot
world cup 2014
Arts and Entertainment
The successful ITV drama Broadchurch starring David Tenant and Olivia Coleman came to an end tonight
tv
Sport
Four ski officials in Slovenia have been suspended following allegations of results rigging
sportFour Slovenian officials suspended after allegations they helped violinist get slalom place
News
14 March 2011: George Clooney testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing titled 'Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity.' Clooney is co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project which uses private satellites to collect evidence of crimes against civilian populations in Sudan
people
Arts and Entertainment
Balaban is indirectly responsible for the existence of Downton Abbey, having first discovered Julian Fellowes' talents as a screenwriter
tvCast members told to lose weight after snacking on set
Life and Style
More than half of young adults have engaged in 'unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner,' according to research
tech
Life and Style
A binge is classed as four or more alcoholic drinks for women and five or more for men, consumed over a roughly two-hour period
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice