John Terry let his football do the talking yesterday as he made his first public appearance since being sacked as England captain.
Earlier in the day Health Minister Mike O'Brien weighed into the furore claiming manager Fabio Capello's decision to demote the player was “crass”.
The Chelsea skipper's own response was to lead his team to a 2-0 win over Arsenal at Stamford Bridge.
Terry received strong support from the home crowd, with many turning out in Team Terry T-shirts, or waving banners hailing their “leader and legend”.
As the game kicked off chants of “there's only one England captain” echoed around the stadium.
Gunners fans replied with a rendition of “you're not captain, you're not captain, you're not captain anymore”. But they were soon silenced as Terry flicked on a header for Didier Drogba to score an eighth minute goal.
As the match finished, Terry made a point of applauding the crowd, blowing kisses to his fans and beating his heart with his hand.
Drogba, whose two first-half goals put Chelsea back on top of the Barclays Premier League, said it had been a difficult week for the team, but the players had offered Terry their full support.
He told Sky Sports: “I think it's a matter of time but we will stick together. The best thing for him is to play.”
Mr O'Brien, MP for North Warwickshire and Bedworth, yesterday wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter: “The sacking of Terry is crass. Capello has bowed to tabloid pressure.
“Infidelity is bad but I saw no signs of fatigue in his football.”
Allegations first surfaced a week last Friday that the 29-year-old had an affair with lingerie model Vanessa Perroncel.