John Terry scored a goal on his comeback, but went off injured as Chelsea drew 1-1 with Liverpool on Sunday, allowing Manchester City to go second in the Premier League by beating Tottenham Hotspur.
Terry was making his return after a four-game domestic ban for racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand last season and he broke the deadlock against Liverpool with a 20th-minute header.
However, 19 minutes later he left the fray on a stretcher, his head in his hands, following a collision with Luis Suarez, who added insult to injury by scoring the visitors’ equalizer with 17 minutes left to play.
“We’ll have to have an MRI scan on John Terry on Monday to fully understand the extent of the injury,” Chelsea coach Roberto di Matteo said. “I thought we pushed on and had the chances to score the second goal, but their ’keeper made good saves and we missed chances. It’s a shame and a disappointment that we didn’t score the second goal.”
The result left the European champions three points behind leaders Manchester United and one point below City, who came from behind to win 2-1 at home to Spurs thanks to an 88th-minute winner from substitute Edin Dzeko.
At Stamford Bridge, Terry glanced home Juan Mata’s corner to break the deadlock and claim his 50th goal in Chelsea’s colors, but the former England defender did not make it to halftime.
His right knee buckled after Suarez fell on top of him, prompting an anguished cry that was picked up by television microphones and necessitating five minutes of treatment, before he was carried off by medics.
Chelsea came close to extending their lead on several occasions, most notably when Mata fired over late in the first half and when Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Jones blocked Fernando Torres’ second-half header.
Suarez had been having a quiet game, but in the 73rd minute he popped up to claim the equalizer, nodding in from close range after Jamie Carragher flicked on Suso’s corner to record his eighth league goal of the campaign.
It was Liverpool’s third consecutive draw and it left Brendan Rodgers’ side in 13th place.
“It is a good point, but we have to kick on now and start getting some wins”, Carragher told Sky Sports.
Dzeko’s late strike gave City victory over Spurs at the Etihad Stadium, as Roberto Mancini’s side emulated United’s 3-2 win at Aston Villa on Saturday by coming from behind to win.
City trailed to Steven Caulker’s 21st-minute opener, but drew level through Sergio Aguero in the second half, before Dzeko struck late on to close the gap on United to two points.
“It was a huge win because it was a difficult moment,” City coach Mancini said. “We had a lot of important players injured and today I saw the same spirit from the players that I saw last year. In the first half we played well. I didn’t feel Tottenham had chances, apart from a couple of set-pieces. We need to improve there, but after they scored first, I thought we played fantastic.”
The visitors successfully marshaled City’s attacking players in the opening stages and went ahead in the 21st minute when Caulker met Tom Huddlestone’s free-kick with a header that Joe Hart fumbled over the line.
Huddlestone came within centimeters of extending the visitors’ lead with a crisp drive, but City felt they should have been awarded penalties for an apparent William Gallas handball and a block by Huddlestone on Pablo Zabaleta.
Carlos Tevez and Zabaleta both tested Spurs goalkeeper Brad Friedel in the minutes prior to halftime, before Aguero drew the hosts level in the 65th minute.
David Silva’s pass was inadvertently diverted into Aguero’s path by a Spurs player and the Argentine cut inside Caulker, before rolling the ball past Friedel.
Silva shot wide and Friedel saved well from Aguero, but victory looked set to elude the home side until Silva picked out Dzeko and the Bosnian hooked a left-foot half-volley into the roof of the net.
In the day’s other game, Kevin Nolan returned to haunt his former club Newcastle United by scoring the only goal as West Ham United won 1-0 at St James’ Park.