x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Terry: Brilliant when we need him

The Chelsea captain John Terry hailed Nicolas Anelka after the Frenchman's two goals against Blackburn put Chelsea back on top of the league table.

BLACKBURN // The Chelsea captain John Terry hailed Nicolas Anelka after the Frenchman's two goals against Blackburn put Chelsea back on top of the league table. Anelka scored goals on a gloomy day on a rain-drenched Ewood Park pitch to make him the joint top-scorer in the top flight with eight in the league so far. Chelsea are doing exceedingly well despite the absence of their striker Didier Drogba through injury, courtesy, in part, to Anelka's form.

That prompted Terry to dwell on the embarassment of riches. "He [Anelka] has been brilliant, when we need him," he said. "We've got a glut of strikers out at the minute. "Didier's out, but he's come in and from day one in pre-season he's been fantastic. Hopefully he can continue playing well and getting the goals for us." Terry said the players had a point to prove after their defeat to Roma last week, and had done so in style. "That's the response we wanted," he said. "We talked into the dressing room before the game, [saying] 'We can't perform like that again. We have to match Blackburn', which we did, and we got the performance as well."

Meanwhile, the Blackburn boss Paul Ince has criticised Chelsea's assistant manager Ray Wilkins' remarks in the build-up that his team were aggressive and over-physical. "All the teams I have managed have played football," Ince said. "For him to come out with that garbage about us trying to put them on their backsides - well we weren't like that today, we played some decent football." * Agencies