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Apr 19, 2012

Terry: Drogba put the fear into Barca

Chelsea skipper John Terry heaped praise on Didier Drogba after the Ivorian snared the matchwinner against Barcelona to claim a 1-0 win in their Champions League semi-final first leg.

• Palmer: Chelsea find the blueprint
• Drogba: Chelsea have learnt lessons
• Di Matteo: We've answered critics
• Chelsea v Barcelona gallery Photo Gallery

Drogba netted on the stroke of half-time to give Roberto Di Matteo's side a vital lead ahead of next week's second leg, leading Terry to hail the striker's performance after the triumph.

"We had to be very patient, I don't think we touched the ball for the first 15 minutes but from Didi on his own up front, the midfield and defence, it was a great team performance," Terry told ITV.

Drogba opened the scoring shortly before the interval in Sunday's FA Cup final against Tottenham and did so again on Wednesday, rounding off a break involving Frank Lampard and Ramires.

"Didi is all about these big nights, the big occasions," said Terry. "He put fear into the Spurs defence at the weekend and he did that again tonight. He was up there on his own against some of best defenders in world and he did it brilliantly.

"They had chances, we cleared a couple off the line but they're a great side. We respect them but we're not in awe of them, and another performance like that and we'll be okay."

Di Matteo expressed pride in his charges after the match, stating Chelsea's ageing stars had proved their critics wrong in a memorable team effort.

"In the past, a lot of the public opinion has been that these boys are over the line, too old to play two games, and to play at this level," he said.

"It wasn't just Drogba. There were other players on the pitch that you regard as the old guard, who can't play two games in such a short period of time. But they gave an answer on the pitch.

"I talk about the 'team'. You talk about them as the 'old guard'. We have a team, a good team spirit, a good team ethic. Young and old stay together in this team and fight for the same target. That's what I think."

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