Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Blue Bottle Keeps Glory Bid Buzzing; Captain Fantastic: John Terry Heads the Winning Goal at the Stadium of Light to Keep Chelsea within Touching Distance of Their Title Rivals

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Blue Bottle Keeps Glory Bid Buzzing; Captain Fantastic: John Terry Heads the Winning Goal at the Stadium of Light to Keep Chelsea within Touching Distance of Their Title Rivals

Article excerpt

Byline: KEN LAWRENCE

LOSING in two cup competitions in the space of two weeks may prove to bea blessing in disguise if Chelsea continue to show their current 'league' form.

Avram Grant's side are now right back in the Premier League title race afterSaturday's 1-0 win over Sunderland.

Victory in two London derbies, against Spurs on Wednesday and Arsenal on EasterSunday, could even see the Blues hit top spot by the end of the weekend ifManchester United lose to their deadly rivals Liverpool on the same day.

Add to the equation a favourable draw in the Champions League against Turkishoutsiders Fenerbahce and all the portents are there for a memorable double forGrant that seemed highly unlikely following defeats by Spurs at Wembley and atBarnsley in the FA Cup.

Captain John Terry bridled at the suggestion that Chelsea no longer have thestuff of champions after nodding the winner at Sunderland.

The England centre-back scored his first goal in 19 months to put his sidesmack bang into contention and insisted bottle will not be a problem when itcomes to the title shakedown and their Champions League bid.

That altered state is something few would have predicted from a group ofplayers supposedly so disillusioned by life under Grant and internecine warfareat Stamford Bridge that their domestic cup failures would be repeated in thetwo major competitions.

But Terry insisted: "There is still drive and ambition in this club and anyonewho says we can't handle the pressure in the biggest games is wrong.

"We are right in there in the Premier League race and the Champions League drawgives us a real chance of making progress. We've proved over the past few yearsthat we have the consistency to win trophies yet now people are saying we arenot able to handle the games that really matter.

"Well, we'll see who is right at the end of the season because I believe we canstill bring back trophies. …

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