Title twist leaves Terry down and off

John Terry must have nightmares about days like this, but then again, for many reasons, this has not been the season of his dreams. Before kick-off Manchester United had closed the gap on Chelsea at the top of the table to one point. Then, he was adjudged to have handled a fairly innocuous cross by David Bentley after only 15 minutes of this encounter for a penalty converted by Jermain Defoe. Whether he did was not entirely clear, but it certainly looked like more hand – or upper arm in truth – than head.

Radio then reported he had a confrontation with a supporter in the tunnel at half-time. To compound a bad afternoon, he was sent off after the interval for two yellow cards picked up in the space of three minutes. All this in front of Fabio Capello too, the man who removed the England captain's armband from Terry in February. Such was the fury inside Terry's head, who left the pitch gesticulating at officials, that he initially walked past the away dressing room.

The first card for Terry could have come for the handball, instead it arrived when he brought down Roman Pavlyuchenko, 20 yards out. The second was shown after he ran across to tackle Gareth Bale, and nearly removed the midfielder's legs from his torso. Phil Dowd did not even look at the Chelsea captain as he waved the second yellow and consequent red.

When asked whether Terry, his most important player, was feeling the pressure now, Carlo Ancelotti, the Chelsea manager, replied: "John tried to do the best, but it was not a good day for us. John is under pressure, everyone is under pressure, nothing special, he is the captain, he's involved in this exciting race."

Prior to this game, the west London club had the joint-best defence away from home before kick off with 16 goals – along with Manchester United and Stoke. They also had the second best defence overall in the Premier League, with 30 conceded. Yet having conceded twice before half-time, was White Hart Lane witnessing the Chelsea back four unravelling, as well as hopes for their first title since 2006?

Ancelotti worked with some of the best Italian defenders of the last 40 years when playing and managing at Milan, including Franco Baresi and Paolo Maldini. Often neglected in the famed Milan back four of the early 1990s was Mauro Tassotti. How Ancelotti could have done with some inspiration from that right-back for the man who started this game in that berth for Chelsea. Paulo Ferreira is not Chelsea's first choice in that position but Jose Bosingwa is injured until next season and Branislav Ivanovic is only coming back from injury.

However, half-time was the right time for Ancelotti to put Ferreira out of his misery and replace him with Ivanovic. Bale had twisted the Portugal international inside and out.

What did for Ferreira was the second goal. A straight sprint between Ferreira and Bale is not a fair fight but an experienced hand like the Portuguese should have shepherded the Wales international down the flank. However, the Spurs midfielder cut in a minute before the interval, surprising the right-back and himself by the looks of things, to score with his weaker, right foot.

After that and despite Frank Lampard's late goal, Chelsea's remaining defenders could only be grateful to Petr Cech for keeping the score down and making sure their goal difference remains three ahead of United.

They have a week to digest this loss. Terry, who will now miss the home game with Stoke through suspension, will have a little longer. He might just need it.

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
people
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
News
Tovey says of homeless charity the Pillion Trust : 'If it weren't for them and the park attendant I wouldn't be here today.'
people
Sport
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
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

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little