LONDON, February 8- Carlo Ancelotti paid tribute to John Terry's inspirational leadership after the Chelsea captain put aside his off-field problems to help the Blues secure a crucial 2-0 win over Arsenal on Sunday.
Terry gave a commanding performance and set up Didier Drogba’s first half goal just two days after being sensationally stripped of the England captaincy as a result of his alleged affair with the ex-girlfriend of international team-mate Wayne Bridge.
The centre-back savoured an emotional celebration at the end as he threw his shirt into the crowd before hugging Ancelotti on the touchline.
Ancelotti was delighted with Terry’s performance and said: "My captain has a fantastic attitude. He is doing very well in every game.
"For the team it is important to have this leadership. He is always in control of the game and really he has a strong mentality.
"I wanted to hug him at the end to thank him for his performance. Is he the perfect captain? Yes for sure."
Ancelotti, who refused to criticise England coach Fabio Capello’s decision to axe Terry, admitted he wasn’t surprised to see the defender produce such a dominant display.
"I am not disappointed. It is not my decision and I don’t want to judge about this decision," he said.
"I’m not surprised by John. He is working for his club and we are happy to have this performance from him in this moment."
Ancelotti needed Terry to be at his best. The Gunners dominated possession to such an extent that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger insisted his side had forced Chelsea to play a negative game.
Wenger said: "Chelsea won and you have to congratulate them. We didn’t get a demonstration of football but they were highly efficient.
"We had great attitude and spirit but couldn’t come back to 2-1 to get them wobbling. We had 70 percent possession of the ball, we were not running after the ball for 90 minutes.
"We were not dominated, we were in an attacking position. That meant we risked everything on the attack and they were good on counter-attacks.
"I’m completely happy with our performance, but you have to give them credit, they are very experienced at the back.
"They make the little fouls in the midfield of the pitch where it is not enough to get a yellow card. They have the tricks of an experienced team and they did that well."
Ancelotti agreed that Chelsea had been forced to defend deep at times but he insisted he had no reason to apologise for his team’s tactics.
"We did fantastic defensive work. It is normal to defend and we were together for 90 minutes. Sometimes you have to show attacking play, sometimes you have to defend," he said.
"When you are winning 2-0 it is important to defend. (Petr) Cech didn’t work a lot, but it was not easy because Arsenal played a fantastic attacking game.
"Maybe they did more possession but this is not football, football is attack, defend, keep possession when you need to and also results.
"We deserved to win because you can’t speak about a match only with possession. We did an unbelievable second goal with a great pass and fantastic finish from Didier."
Drogba, who took his goal total against Arsenal to 12 in 12 appearances, admitted the squad had been keen to unite behind Terry at such a traumatic time.
"It’s been a difficult week for the club, but we’ve tried to stay together and focus on the games and we must look forward," he said.
"We have offered John Terry as much support as we can, but the best thing for him is to play football."