Chelsea skipper John Terry has defended his side’s conduct during their Champions League defeat to Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday night.
The Blues were twice ahead on the night but PSG drew level on both occasions to secure a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge to advance to the quarter-finals on away goals after the tie finished 3-3.
But the main talking point was the behaviour of Jose Mourinho’s players, who surrounded the referee on 31 minutes following a Zlatan Ibrahimovic challenge on Oscar that led to the Sweden striker being shown a straight red card.
Ibrahimovic branded the Chelsea players "babies", while Sky Sports pundits Graeme Souness and Jamie Carragher were also highly critical after nine of Mourinho’s men, including Terry, gathered around the match official.
You have to stick up for your team-mates. Every other side is as bad as each other. It's part of the game.
Terry remained defiant, however, insisting he and his team-mates were merely supporting each other in a high-pressure match.
"Once they're charging the ref, the only thing we can do is respond," he said. "You can't as a group of players let them surround the ref, trying to get our players booked.
"For me if I have to run 20, 30 yards, it doesn't look great but when you're standing back and seeing five or six of their players surrounding the ref, for me I think I support my team-mates.
"And once I go, four or five go with me, it doesn't look good at all but that's part of the game. We'll match it if people want to mix it, that's part of our game as well.
"You have to stick up for your team-mates. Every other side is as bad as each other. It's part of the game."
Chelsea have the opportunity to return to winning ways when they face Southampton in the Premier League on Sunday as they look to keep some distance between themselves and second-placed Manchester City.
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The Londoners go into the weekend five points clear of Manuel Pellegrini’s side, although they could see that lead cut to just two points if City win at Burnley on Saturday evening.
Regardless of how their title rivals perform at Turf Moor, Terry has urged his team-mates to show their fighting spirit and react positively to being knocked out of Europe.
"We have to pick ourselves up and go again at the weekend now," he added. "There's enough experience in the squad to rally round and get everyone going again.
"The manager said if we can win the Capital One Cup and the Premier League, it will be a very successful year.
"There is an awful lot to do but it's in our hands and we have to respond. We're a few points clear and we need to keep that gap and maintain it.
"We can only do that by responding and doing that the right way and coming back here and picking up three points. We've got another big game against a very good Southampton side.
"Southampton will come here playing on the front foot and, if we're not at it, we'll drop points and slip away in the Premier League."
Watch Chelsea v Southampton, part of this weekend’s Super Sunday double bill. Action begins on Sky Sports 1 at 12:30pm.