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Thursday 14 December 2017

Terry delivers passionate reply to Stoke boo-boys

Chelsea captain John Terry provided the perfect response to an afternoon of abuse as the Blues claimed a place in the semi-finals of the FA Cup with a 2-0 win over Stoke City at Stamford Bridge.

Terry's second-half strike confirmed Chelsea's place in the last four where they will meet Aston Villa at Wembley.

Frank Lampard had given Chelsea a first-half lead with a deflected drive in the 35th minute and Terry sealed the win with a thumping header.

Terry had been booed and abused all afternoon by Stoke fans, who lambasted the defender for his alleged affair with Vanessa Perroncel, the former girlfriend of one-time Chelsea team-mate Wayne Bridge, but Terry, stripped of the England captaincy, celebrated by running to the corner flag and pointing at his captain's armband.

"The armband means a lot, of course," said Terry. "Chelsea have been very supportive, the players as well, but we wanted to show the fans how much it meant to us. We had a couple of days to work on their set plays. On a dodgy pitch I thought we played well and bounced back from last week."

When asked about the abuse, Chelsea's assistant coach Ray Wilkins replied: "It's happening and John's just getting on with the situation.

"I'm not too happy about it, but there's nothing I can do. He's dealing with the situation in the only way he can -- committing himself to the cause. That was another superb performance."

When quizzed about Terry's celebration involving the use of the armband, Wilkins added: "He was taking a bit too much stick from the Stoke fans and wanted to demonstrate that.

"He's an exceptional captain and we're delighted to have him on board. He leads these players on the pitch in fantastic fashion."

Wilkins was delighted with the response after their 4-2 home league defeat by Manchester City last weekend.

"Stoke put you under pressure, especially from dead balls and long throws but our concentration was fantastic," added Wilkins. "Stoke work extremely hard, are superbly organised, and make it difficult for you. Defensively we were very strong.

"Aston Villa are a very strong side and beat us earlier in the season. It will be another tough game in the semi-final."

Stoke boss Tony Pulis defended his supporters over their treatment of Terry and claimed that the Chelsea captain will come home a hero if England win the World Cup this summer.

"Our fans are brilliant," said Pulis. "John will have to accept he'll take stick. He took stick from England supporters the other night. If John does well in the World Cup and wins it, he'll come back a hero. We've knocked Arsenal and Man City out. To pull Chelsea out of the hat at Stamford Bridge was a difficult tie.

"The players were first class."

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