Di Matteo defends Terry
Chelsea interim boss Roberto di Matteo insisted he was not angry with captain John Terry despite his red card against Barcelona.
By Rob Parrish - Follow me on Twitter @skysportsrobp
Last Updated: 25/04/12 5:51am
Chelsea interim boss Roberto di Matteo insisted he was not angry with captain John Terry despite his red card in the astonishing UEFA Champions League success against Barcelona.
The Blues skipper was given his marching orders for a petulant knee into the back of Alexis Sanchez in the first half of a memorable semi-final second leg at Camp Nou.
Already behind to Sergio Busquets' opener, the Blues fell behind on aggregate when Lionel Messi set up Andres Iniesta for the second soon after Terry's moment of madness, which will rule him out of the final.
But a brilliant chipped reply from Ramires gave the Premier League side the edge once again prior to the break and a heroic second-half display saw them home with Messi hitting the bar from the penalty spot before Fernando Torres clinched a staggering 3-2 triumph on aggregate.
Di Matteo told Sky Sports 2 HD: "He is a fantastic leader of this group and he is the captain of our club.
"Anyone can make a mistake in life and we are just so happy that this group has managed to go to the final.
When asked if he was angry with Terry, Di Matteo replied: "No, I'm not. We are all human beings and these players are under a lot of pressure and we all make mistakes."
Di Matteo has overseen a staggering upturn in fortunes since replacing Andre Villas-Boas and now has the Champions League final to look forward to on 19th May against either Real Madrid or Bayern Munich on top of the FA Cup final.
He said: "A lot of people have written us off and we showed again the kind of character our players have.
"We didn't expect to play with 10 men. We knew it was going to be tough and it was even more difficult than we expected.
"Barcelona are a great team with some fantastic players and we just showed what we are made of.
"We achieved something incredible tonight and when it is the right time we will be thinking about the final.
"The second half wasn't much about tactics. It was about the pressure and the pride, the desire to go to the final. We were 45 minutes away and that is what the second half was about.
"The belief was always there. We wouldn't be in the final if we didn't believe we could get to the final."