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Page last updated at 22:48 GMT, Wednesday, 21 May 2008 23:48 UK

Chelsea rally round skipper Terry


News conference: Chelsea boss Avram Grant

Chelsea boss Avram Grant and midfielder Frank Lampard backed skipper John Terry after he missed a crucial penalty in the Champions League final loss.

Terry had the chance to win the trophy in the shoot-out but lost his footing and Manchester United went on to win.

"JT is the main reason we are here. We had a difficult time and he is part of the team," said Grant.

Lampard added: "He's Mr Chelsea. He wants this more than anyone. He has the strength to stand up and take it."

The game ended 1-1 after 120 minutes of end-to-end action in Moscow.

United star Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored the opening goal of the game, was the first to miss when his penalty was saved by Blues keeper Petr Cech.

John Terry
Terry's slip proved costly for Chelsea
The next four penalties were all successful, leaving the score tied 4-4 and Terry knowing a successful penalty would see him become the first Chelsea player to lift the European Cup.

However, his trailing leg slipped as he struck the ball and his effort smacked against the outside of the post.

Terry might not have taken the penalty had striker Didier Drogba still been on the pitch instead of having been red-carded in the second half of extra time.

"John was not in the first five to take a kick but things change during a game," said Chelsea assitant coach Henk ten Cate.

"It is unbelievable this should happen to him. We practiced penalties so much last week and he was very confident. We were all very confident."

United went on to win the shoot-out 6-5 when Edwin van der Sar saved from Nicolas Anelka but Lampard, the scorer of Chelsea's equaliser just before half-time, praised Terry's bravery for volunteering to take the crucial fifth spot-kick.

"There are not many centre-halves that will take the last penalty," he added. "He slipped and no-one can criticise him. He will be back."

United keeper Van der Sar said he had not been surprised to see Terry take the crucial penalty.


"You don't necessarily have to be a striker to take a good penalty," said the Dutchman.

"I haven't seen John take any penalties (before) but I think the boys from England did and it's our luck that he slipped. Life and also football can change on small things."

Grant added: "Terry was great all season, in the semi-final and this game. He is the reason they didn't create any chances. I feel sorry for him and the team.

"What can I say? Except in the beginning, we dominated the game, we hit the post two times and then we lost on penalties. The team played excellently and I am very proud."

Grant, whose future at Stamford Bridge remains unclear, promised Blues fans his team would be back.

"It's not the last time you will see Chelsea in the final," the Israeli vowed. "You will see us back and we will win the final."

He added: "I'm in the first year in English football and in the first year we had so many good things, and one of them is to be in the final.

"I'm very, very proud of what we did until now.

"I'm very, very proud of the way we played in the final; the spirit of the team was good, the quality was good┐.. penalties are penalties."

see also
Grant can hold his head high
22 May 08 |  Europe
Fans fly back after Moscow final
22 May 08 |  UK News
Player Rater
04 Mar 08 |  Europe
Ferguson delight at Euro success
21 May 08 |  Man Utd
Champions League photos
21 May 08 |  Europe
Spot-on Giggs overtakes Charlton
21 May 08 |  Man Utd
Football fans held after defeat
22 May 08 |  London

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