Terry hails midfield machine Matic

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Published: Wednesday 1st October 2014 by The News Editor

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Captain John Terry praised the all-round contribution of Nemanja Matic after the midfielder earned Chelsea a first Champions League Group G win.

Former Benfica midfielder Matic’s first-half header secured a 1-0 success at Sporting Lisbon, which should have been more comfortable, but which sees Jose Mourinho’s men top the standings ahead of their double header with Maribor of Slovenia.

Defender Terry, who made his 100th Champions League appearance at the Estadio Jose Alvalade, told Chelsea TV: “I thought he (Matic) was superb. Gary (Cahill) and I were saying how good he is sitting in front of us, breaking things up.

“He’s also got a burst of speed when he gets it and dribbles through.

“He’s come back a complete player and we’re delighted he got on the scoresheet.”

Matic’s strike was valuable after Diego Costa and Andre Schurrle spurned opportunities.

“It could’ve been a lot more,” Terry added. “First half, especially, we had a few chances.

“But (I am) delighted personally on my 100 games, but more importantly the three points. We needed that after dropping points at home (drawing 1-1 with Schalke).

“I thought we played very well. We always looked like scoring going forward.

“A cleansheet away from home against a good attacking side (and) it could have been a lot more.”

Matic converted a Cesc Fabregas free-kick for the goal.

“Most of our chances come from him (Fabregas) opening up defences,” Terry added.

“That’s what he brings to the side, as well as his goalscoring ability.”

Fabregas is in line to play against his former club Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday, while Costa came through 90 minutes apparently unscathed despite his ongoing hamstring troubles and is again expected to start.

Thibaut Courtois was called upon only fleetingly by Sporting.

After reaching the final with Costa and Atletico Madrid last term, as well as winning Spain’s Primera Division, the Belgium goalkeeper hopes for success with Chelsea this term.

“Of course not every player gets the opportunity that I had,” Courtois said on chelseafc.com.

“So it’s normal to think about it and to hope to win it this year.

“The team as a group is strong and works well together, but if you look at everyone individually all the players are at the top level.

“We’ve had a good start to the season and we need to continue this way.

“We are a top team and we need to be first in the group.

“After drawing our first game in the Champions League at home we had to get that first win and we’ve done that now.”

Published: Wednesday 1st October 2014 by The News Editor

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