LONDON (Reuters) - Chelsea skipper John Terry has hit back at Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s description of his team mates as “babies”, saying Paris St Germain’s players were equally culpable on a night of ill-discipline at Stamford Bridge.
Ibrahimovic was shown a straight red card after 31 minutes of the Champions League last 16, second leg tie on Wednesday following a tackle on midfielder Oscar which prompted Chelsea’s players to surround the referee and demand punishment.
Television replays suggested Sweden striker Ibrahimovic was no more at fault than Oscar.
“You have to stick up for your team mates. Every side is as bad as each other. It’s part of the game,” Terry said, responding to criticism of Chelsea’s conduct.
Despite referee Bjorn Kuipers being surrounded by almost the entire Chelsea team, Terry said he was only responding to provocation from the PSG players.
“Once they’re charging the ref, the only thing we can do is respond,” the 34-year-old said.
”You can’t as a group of players let them surround the ref, trying to get our players booked.
”For me if I have to run 20, 30 yards, it doesn’t look great but when you’re standing back and seeing five or six of their players surrounding the ref, I think I support my team mates.
“And once I go, four or five go with me, it doesn’t look good at all but that’s part of the game. We’ll match it if people want to mix it, that’s part of our game as well.”
Speaking after the game Ibrahimovic said: “It felt like I had a lot of babies around me.”
UEFA’s disciplinary panel will review Ibrahimovic’s red card at its meeting next week.
PSG coach Laurent Blanc said the club would appeal against Ibrahimovic’s red card and hoped he would be available for the quarter-final.
The French side went through on away goals after drawing 2-2 on the night thanks to Thiago Silva’s header in extra time.
Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by Toby Davis