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Villas-Boas: Terry not distracted

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30 Oct 2011 07:47:00

Villas-Boas: Terry not distracted

Andre Villas-Boas denied the race row that has engulfed John Terry had any impact on Chelsea's poor performance as they were ripped apart by Arsenal in an eight-goal thriller at Stamford Bridge.

Terry had put his team 2-1 up at half-time after Robin van Persie had equalised Frank Lampard's opener, but the England skipper was humiliated five minutes before time when he slipped attempting to pick up a routine pass from Florent Maloud and Van Persie raced through to beat Petr Cech for 4-3 before completing his hat-trick in injury time.

"Has the situation affected John? No, not at all," Villas-Boas said. "It hasn't distracted him at all, I don't think. For me, it was never a situation. It's a misunderstanding. It's an FA investigation, so let them investigate. This is just defeat for a team, a very important defeat and nothing else."

Andre Santos had put Arsenal level at 2-2 just after half-time before the Gunners took the lead later in the second half thanks to a brilliant solo goal from Theo Walcott, who picked himself up after falling down and muscled past three Chelsea defenders before driving past Cech.

Ten minutes before time Juan Mata then made it 3-3 with an equally brilliant 25-yard bullet before Van Persie's double towards the death clinched the crucial win for Arsenal.

The defeat capped the most turbulent week of Villas-Boas tenure, but the Portuguese played down the loss, claiming the scoreline was not representative of his team's performance.

He said: "You have to take two goals out of the situation because one was caused by a slip from our player that left Robin van Persie through on goal, and the other came when we were chasing an equaliser so it's nothing to do with defensive organisation. We were punished by an unlucky situation. Luck didn't want anything with us."

The victory could mark a significant turning point in Arsenal's season. Lambasted for losing three out of their opening four games - one of which was an 8-2 hammering to Manchester United, the Gunners have bounced back in style to win eight out of their last nine in all competitions.

Van Persie, who took his tally to 12 for the season, has been key to the club's revival.

"He is on fire," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. "He takes advantage from his class, plus the fact we attack a lot and that we create chances. Overall the intelligence of his movement around the box and the accuracy of his finishing is exceptional."


PA

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