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Agony for Terry as penalty miss costs Chelsea
May 22, 2008 11:26 IST
Ten days ago John Terry was carried off the pitch with a dislocated shoulder but that will be nothing compared with the pain he will be feeling after missing the chance to win the Champions League for Chelsea.
The script had fallen perfectly for the hugely popular club captain as he strode up to take his team's fifth penalty of Wednesday's shootout in the final against Manchester United [Images].
Michael Ballack [Images], Juliano Belletti, Frank Lampard [Images] and Ashley Cole had all scored and with Petr Cech saving from United's Cristiano Ronaldo [Images], Terry merely had to score from 12 yards to win the ultimate prize for the London [Images] club for the first time.
However, the centre back, playing with a protective strapping on his damaged shoulder, slipped on contact and watched in despair as his penalty clipped the outside of Edwin van der Sar's left post and flew wide.
Moments later Van der Sar saved Chelsea substitute Nicolas Anelka's effort and United were the champions.
As always, in such situations, everybody leapt to Terry's defence, led by Lampard, who had earlier scored to cancel out Ronaldo's opening goal for United.
"John Terry's a man's man, not many centre halves will stand up and say I will take the last penalty because everybody knows that's the one it can all hang on," he said.
"Nobody can criticise him, certainly not from Chelsea."
Manager Avram Grant said Terry was in tears after the game but added: "He's very sad but he's the main reason we are here."
Even his opposite number on Wednesday, but partner for England [Images], Rio Ferdinand, was quick to offer support.
"I thought JT would score his penalty," he said. "He's a great penalty taker in training, unfortunately he slipped. I guess somebody's got to lose."
UEFA Champions League 2007-08: The Complete Coverage