Belfast Telegraph

Chelsea general John Terry takes swipe at Benitez after claiming his fourth crown

By Matt McGeehan

A rejuvenated John Terry took time out of Chelsea's Premier League title celebrations to criticise former interim manager Rafael Benitez for writing him off.

Yesterday's 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace means the Chelsea captain will lift the Premier League trophy for a fourth time on May 24, before a west London parade the following day.

Terry appeared to be being phased out of Stamford Bridge during Benitez's short reign in 2012/13, but has been revived by the return of long-time mentor Jose Mourinho and featured in every minute of all 35 Premier League games this term.

"One person said I couldn't play twice in a week. He knows who he is," Terry, who in March signed a one-year contract extension until the end of next season.

"I have proved him wrong as I'm still fighting, still in the side and feeling great."

Mourinho's men needed three points against Palace to claim the title with three games to spare and Eden Hazard headed in the rebound after having a first-half penalty saved to seal it - their first in five years.

"Unbelievable, we've worked so hard this year," added Terry, who won the title in 2004/05, 2005/06 and 2009/10.

"Today was a tough match, we were a little bit nervous but we got over the line and are champions.

"The first time is very special obviously, (but) when you go four or five years without winning it and you see teams (winning the league) and you've grafted all year and you get nothing it really hurts - we're going to enjoy today."

Cesc Fabregas spent eight years at Arsenal before joining Chelsea via Barcelona and was elated to win the Premier League for the first time.

Fabregas said: "I cannot believe it, I have fought very hard for this moment and it is here, I'm very proud. This is a top club, a top team and we are the champions."

PFA Player of the Year Hazard added: "We have won the title and always Chelsea are happy to win. I was lucky today."

On Mourinho, the Belgium playmaker said: "He gives me a lot of confidence, lets me play my best football. I know the team need me, we are here to score and change the game."

Didier Drogba has won all four titles with Chelsea.

He left between the third and fourth and could depart again as he is out of contract at the end of this season.

The 37-year-old striker said: "This one is sweet. With or without me, Chelsea will always be number one. Chelsea is bigger than me and always will be."

Belfast Telegraph


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