Premier League fallout

Chelsea skipper Terry hails Anelka's rich form

November 10, 2008
By Soccernet staff

John Terry hailed Nicolas Anelka after the Frenchman's rich vein of striking form saw Chelsea return to the top of the table with a 2-0 win over Blackburn Rovers on Sunday.

GettyImagesTerry congratulates scorer Anelka.

Anelka grabbed both goals at a rain-soaked Ewood Park to give him 10 goals for the season and take him clear as the Premier League's top scorer.

Anelka's form means Chelsea are hardly missing Didier Drogba, who is still not ready to return to first team action after injuring his knee whilst on Champions League duty against CFR Cluj in early October.

Blues captain Terry said: ''[Anelka]'s been brilliant, when we need him. 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.''

Anelka's brace took his weekly goals total to five after hitting a hat-trick in last week's 5-0 demolition of Sunderland.

After Chelsea's 3-1 defeat in the Champions League to Roma last week and Terry said he and his teammates had a point to prove.

''That's the response we wanted,' said Terry. ''We talked in the dressing room before the game, (saying) 'We can't perform like that again, we have to match Blackburn today', which we did, and we got the performance as well.

''We're back on top and hopefully we can stay there a bit longer. It's about keeping the momentum, keep winning our games and putting the pressure on the teams below us.''

Chelsea's win was marred only by a heated exchange involving Rovers boss Paul Ince and the Blues assistant manager Ray Wilkins.

Ince had been incensed by Wilkins' remarks in the build-up that Blackburn were aggressive and over-physical, and he made his feelings clear in a heated exchange at the final whistle.

Ince said: ''Of course I was a physical character as a player but you don't play for the teams I did if you are just that. All the teams I have managed have played football.

''For him to come out with that garbage about us trying to put them on their [backsides] and that we are over-physical - well we weren't like that today, we played some decent football.

''I just said to him 'next time you are going to say something make sure you get your facts right'. I told him that in no uncertain terms.''

Chelsea's first goal came after Jose Bosingwa's long-range shot hit Anelka and deflected in.

''Their first goal killed us really - I don't know if it hit his hand or his side but we have had no luck at all this season,'' added Ince.

It was the perfect gift for Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari, who celebrated his 60th birthday on Sunday.

''We had a cake and a glass of champagne with him last night,'' said Wilkins. ''Now he can go home and celebrate properly.''