Terry triumphant as Chelsea choke Stoke

LONDON, March 7, 2010 (AFP) - John Terry had a rare moment of cheer on Sunday, scoring one and laying on the other as Chelsea marched into the FA Cup semi-finals with a 2-0 win over visitors Stoke City at Stamford Bridge.

Terry set up midfielder Frank Lampard to blast in a deflected shot in the 35th minute and his England colleague returned the favour in the 67th, his corner allowing the Blues skipper to head in the second.

John Terry (L) pulls the shirt of Stoke City's Ricardo Fuller during their FA Cup quarter final football match at Stamford Bridge in London on March 7, 2010. AFP PHOTO

Cup holders Chelsea face Aston Villa in the Wembley semi-finals on April 10 or 11. The Blues remain in the hunt for a Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup treble.

Throughout the match, centre-half Terry was booed by the Stoke fans and subjected to various chants about his extra-marital affair.

However, the dethroned England skipper did not let it stop his match-winning efforts against the spirited Potters.

"It's never an easy game against Stoke. They really do put you under a lot of pressure, especially from the dead balls and long throws," said Chelsea assistant manager Ray Wilkins.

"I thought our concentration level was fantastic and we merited the victory.

"The FA Cup is that type of trophy where every game you play, especially against sides like Stoke who really work extremely hard, it's difficult."

The Potters were playing in their first FA Cup quarter-final in 38 years.

"You've got to take your chances when you play against top teams," said Stoke boss Tony Pulis.

"Chelsea at Stamford Bridge was a difficult tie for us but the attitude of the players was first class.

"Even though we were a little bit under-strength I thought the lads gave it everything and had a right go at them."

Both sides had scoring chances in the opening 10 minutes, with Blues winger Florent Malouda shooting wide and striker Nicholas Anelka cutting across the top of the penalty box and hitting a low shot at goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen.

Meanwhile Stoke fashioned a good opportunity from a set-piece, captain Robert Huth heading on for forward Mamady Sidibe to nod over the crossbar.

The Potters then gave their hosts a scare at a corner a quarter of an hour in, midfielder Dean Whitehead blasting a shot which evaded everyone except John Obi Mikel who cleared it off the goal-line.

However, Chelsea dominated the next 15 minutes, with Malouda, Branislav Ivanovic and striker Didier Drogba firing in speculative shots.

Anelka then stole the ball off Whitehead in the Stoke penalty box but his shot went across Sorensen's goal.

Chelsea had centre-half Alex to thank at the other end as his precise tackle halted Tuncay's charge into the Blues' penalty box.

But the Potters' chance was against the run of play and Chelsea's spell of dominance paid off.

Stoke failed to clear a Malouda corner and Terry laid the ball back to Lampard, whose drive from the edge of the box took a deflection as it flew in past Sorensen.

Sorensen pulled off the save of the half in stoppage time, diving low to tip a Drogba shot around the post following a Paulo Ferreira cross.

Lampard went close with an early second half effort and Drogba curled a free kick into Sorensen's arms as Carlo Ancelotti's side sought to build on their advantage.

With 30 minutes to go, Pulis sent on Dave Kitson and former Mansfield winger Liam Lawrence for Tuncay and Sidibe in a bid to reverse the Potters' fortunes.

Sorensen pulled off another excellent save, this time keeping out an Anelka header after Drogba's cut-back.

But from the second corner forced by the move, Terry arrived late to power Lampard's set-piece at Sorensen, who could not stop the header going in.

Terry celebrated by showing off his captain's armband to the Stoke fans and at the final whistle, he gave his shirt to the Blues fans as he marched off triumphant.

Source: AFP

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