CHELSEA boss Carlo Ancelotti insists John Terry’s focus remains solely on Chelsea’s title charge after his side missed out on the chance to go four points clear at the top of the table.
Blues captain Terry was booed throughout by Hull fans following widespread reports he had an alleged affair with the former girlfriend of England team-mate Wayne Bridge.
And things got no better for Terry as opposite number Steven Mouyokolo headed lowly Hull into a shock first-half lead, only for Didier Drogba to save the Blues blushes with a fine free-kick equaliser on his first game back from Africa Cup of Nations duty.
Asked if the headlines were making an effect on Terry, Ancelotti replied simply: “No. John is focused on his job. Chelsea is the focus of his job.”
But despite only pulling a further point ahead of rivals Manchester United, Ancelotti insisted it was a point gained rather than two lost. We wanted to win [but] it was the right result. Both teams played well, it was a very strong game. It is a good result. We have two points more than Manchester United. This is good for us.”
There was no hiding, however, that Ancelotti’s side were below-par to say the least, but credit to Hull who, like Burnley on Saturday, through everything they had at the league leaders.
Six wins in six against a side without a victory in nine, this was surely an away banker, but Hull, inspired by the lively Stephen Hunt, weathered an early storm and deservedly took the lead on the half-hour – Hunt floating over a corner and defender Mouyokolo heading home unmarked.
But Ancelotti’s men weren’t behind for long, although it took the guile of the brilliant Drogba to spare their blushes. Nicolas Anelka was brought down just outside the box and Drogba rifled the ball home for his eighth game in nine games for Chelsea.
Hull kept going after the break, however, with Hunt carving out chances for Anthony Gardner and Jozy Altidore, while, at the other end, keeper Boaz Myhill kept out headers from Drogba and Terry before saving brilliantly to deny Daniel Sturridge.
But if Ancelotti’s men are to effectively rule Arsenal out of the title race with victory over the Gunners on Sunday, they are going to have to show far more than this.
Team pld w d l f a Pts
Chelsea 24 17 4 3 58 20 55
Man Utd 24 17 2 5 56 20 53
Arsenal 24 15 4 5 60 28 49
Tottenham24 12 6 6 45 25 42