Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

How did John Terry behave against Shakhtar?

1. Demeanour
Nothing, it would appear, fazes John Terry. There was a confident handshake as the two teams lined up in the tunnel. He strode behind the referee Damir Skomina as Chelsea walked into a caldron of noise (with his 'Unite Against Racism' armband) and he stood firm as the figurehead in this team as the Champions League music played, as if he'd never been missing through a suspension for racially abusing a Premier League colleague.
2. Conduct
Terry gave the referee his pen back in the first half, after he'd dropped it, so there was respect for officialdom. That was his tone all evening. Terry was too busy worrying about a possible rout than a ruck with anyone, and his behaviour was that of a captain leading his side in European competition, albeit a team outclassed. Last night was not the night to pick fights, and he didn't.
5. Controversy
If there was one spot of relief it was that Terry was not at the centre of another scandal. He cannot afford it and nor can Chelsea. Shakhtar have black players, and Willian led Terry and his defensive partners a merry dance all night, but there was thankfully no suggestion of a new race row.

Martin Hardy judges Terry's return from a domestic suspension for racial abuse, in Europe.

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