at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
London – Chelsea captain John Terry has apologised to the club's supporters for risking their Champions League dreams with a red card against Barcelona.
Terry was dismissed for a needless foul on Barca forward Alexis Sanchez in the first half of Tuesday's semifinal second leg in the Camp Nou, leaving Chelsea in grave danger of crashing out of the competition.
Remarkably, Roberto Di Matteo's side fought back from 2-0 down with 10 men to earn a 2-2 draw that sent them through to face Bayern Munich in the final.
Terry, writing in Chelsea's match programme ahead of Sunday's clash with QPR, said sorry to the fans and revealed he also apologised to Di Matteo and his team-mates in the dressing room immediately after the semi-final.
“I want to start my notes today by saying how sorry I am for getting sent off at the Camp Nou and for putting the players, the manager and the club in that situation so early on in such an important game,” Terry said.
“I apologised to Robbie, the players and the staff after the game. I'm big enough to come out and man up when I make a mistake and, clearly, I made a mistake on Tuesday.
“I'm sorry for that and I owe it to you, the fans, to come out and say so.
“After that, for the boys to go and get the result they did, in the manner they did, was honestly one of the best things I have seen since I have been at Chelsea.
“It was not just the result, but the way they played.
“Just when it looked like everything was going wrong, for the 10 players on the pitch to stand up to one of the best teams ever to play the game, in their own stadium, was incredible.
“I was really proud to see the lads get through, because this football club and this group of players deserve the opportunity in the Champions League final.” – Sapa-AFP