Football

Hiddink hails 'inspiring' Terry

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Chelsea coach Guus Hiddink hailed captain John Terry as the inspiration behind his side's brilliant defensive performance in Barcelona.

The Blues held firm in the face of sustained pressure to secure a 0-0 draw at the Nou Camp in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final against the Catalan giants.

And speaking of Terry, Hiddink said after the match: "He was inspiring, an example for the rest of the team."

He added: "You have to play courageously and play with a lot of intelligence against Barcelona, you cannot just play a tough game. This team has a lot of courage and a lot of blood, mentally it was great performance."

Barcelona had scored in every home game this season - having last been held at home by Manchester United at the same stage of last year's competition. Frank Rijkaard was still Barca coach then and they have been a different prospect since he was replaced by Pep Guardiola in the summer.

Hiddink also praised the contribution of goalkeeper Petr Cech, who began shakily but made great saves to deny Thierry Henry, Dani Alves and Samuel Eto'o.

"He did a good job defensively, he intervened in one or two situations and he saved the game for us," he said.

The Dutch coach predicted on Monday Jose Bosingwa would thwart Lionel Messi and the Dutchman was pleased with the Portuguese full-back's contribution on the night. "Bosingwa did a good job and got good help from Malouda on the left. Also, when Messi moved inside, he got help from Terry," he said.

Hiddink was even happier with the collective defensive performance of his side and, despite failing to score an away goal, declared himself happy with the result.

"We are pleased with the result," he continued. "If you look at the recent history of Barca, you will see it is a long time since they last failed to score in a home game. That's quite an achievement against a beautiful team who play beautiful football."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Petr Cech
European News
Football
John Terry
Chelsea
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
Manchester United
Jose Bosingwa
Thierry Henry
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