x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

City deal Bridge a winning hand

Wayne Bridge snubbed John Terry's handshake at Stamford Bridge before the full-back's Manchester City team dealt a blow to Chelsea's title challenge.

Manchester City's Wayne Bridge snubs John Terry before yesterday's Premier League match  at Stamford Bridge.
Manchester City's Wayne Bridge snubs John Terry before yesterday's Premier League match at Stamford Bridge.

Wayne Bridge snubbed John Terry's handshake at Stamford Bridge yesterday before the full-back's Manchester City team dealt a blow to Chelsea's title challenge with a 4-2 victory at Stamford Bridge. All eyes were on the ritual pre-match handshake after the revelations that Terry, a former teammate of Bridge, had had an affair with Vanessa Perroncel, the mother of the defender's young son.

The incident lead Bridge to quit the England international team on Thursday, for whom Terry is a first-choice. Therefore, it was no surprise that Bridge refused to shake his former teammate's hand. The big shock, however, was in the scoreline, as Carlos Tevez and Craig Bellamy both scored twice against the London club, who had Juliano Belletti and Michael Ballack sent off, ending their unbeaten home record and inflicting their biggest defeat at Stamford Bridge since 2002.

After the match, Bellamy weighed in to support his teammate. "I know what JT is like," he told Sky Sports. "Nothing surprises me about it. I think everybody in football knows what the guy is like, but that's off the field. On it he's an outstanding player." A minor injury meant Bridge could not complete the full 90 minutes but it allowed him to acknowledge the support he received from the City fans, whose behaviour contrasted sharply with the booing of their Chelsea counterparts every time Bridge had the ball.

By the end, those same fans had far more to occupy their minds after Chelsea, whose goals were scored by Frank Lampard, had missed the chance to go four points ahead of title rivals Manchester United at the top of the table. "It was not a good day," said Carlo Ancelotti, the Chelsea manager. "The only good thing from today is that we still have one point more than Manchester United.

twoods@thenational.ae