Terry apologises for red card
John Terry insists he is "not that type of player" but apologised to his Chelsea team-mates for his red card against Barcelona at the Nou Camp.
The 10-man visitors battled back from 2-0 down at the Nou Camp to draw 2-2 on the night and win 3-2 on aggregate to progress to theChampions League final - all after losing centre-back Terry for inexplicably kneeing Alexis Sanchez eight minutes before half-time.
After viewing a replay of the red-card incident, Terry said on Sky Sports 2: "Sanchez was darting in behind me. I've seen the replay and it does look bad.
"I'm not that type of player to intentionally hurt anyone. I've raised my knee, which I maybe shouldn't have done in hindsight. But hopefully people who know me as a person, as a player...I'm not that type of player.
"I'm disappointed but delighted for the lads. To come here and play the way they did and get the result they did with 10 men...I feel I've let them down. I've apologised to them and I want to apologise to the fans as well.
"At the time, I was bewildered because I was trying to protect myself a little bit, but looking at it on the replay, I've no complaints. I've let the lads down. They've performed brilliantly, so hopefully this doesn't take it away from the players.
"This is what this football club deserves. We deserve to be in the Champions League final. The boys were excellent and I hope the incident doesn't take away from how hard they worked."
Midfielder Frank Lampard savoured the result as one of the most special of his 11 years with the west London club.
"It's one of the finest moments I've felt in a Chelsea shirt," he said on Sky Sports 2. "It was backs to the wall. I know we dug in and people want to see beautiful football, but with 10 men for 50-odd minutes or whatever it was, to perform like that was unbelievable.
"That clock wasn't half slow in the second half! You know they're liable at any moment because of the players they've got in their team but there's a determination about us and you get what you deserve.
"We were all in it together and we dug in."
Looking ahead to the May 19 final against Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid or Bayern Munich - who meet in their semi-final second leg on Wednesday night at the Bernabeu, the England international said: "I don't even want to think about that yet. They're two very, very good teams. It could go either way.
"Of course Chelsea people have a lot of love and respect for Jose for what he's done here. But we're just delighted. No-one expected us to go through and we're in that final."
Ashley Cole hailed his team's self-belief.
As well as Terry's red card, the visitors were also disrupted by the loss of Gary Cahill through injury.
Cole said on Sky Sports 2: "When you lose quality centre-halves like that against a great team, it's going to be hard.
"But we all believed. Not many people did but we did as a group of players, and that's what happened.
"It's hard, but we defended well as a team, got a bit lucky, and Petr (Cech) made some good saves.
"Three to four months ago no one thought we had a chance. We lost a few games in the Premier League but we always believed and knew we were good enough to be here. You can't beat that desire and fight that you saw out there."
Defender Branislav Ivanovic, who will miss next month's final in Munich along with Terry, Ramires and Raul Meireles after a late yellow card, added: "It was a very difficult game. We deserved to qualify."
Caretaker boss Di Matteo refused to condemn Terry for leaving his team a man down.
"He's fantastic leader of this group. He's the captain of our club. Everybody can make a mistake in life. We're just so happy that this group has managed to go to the final."
Asked if he was angry with his skipper, the Italian replied: "No, I'm not. We're all human beings. We're under a lot of pressure as players."
Barca peppered the visitors' goal throughout the semi-final second leg and deservedly took the lead through Sergio Busquets, who tapped home from close range.
Things got worse for the Blues less than two minutes later when Terry was sent off and Barca surged further ahead through Andres Iniesta, although Ramires clawed a goal back in first-half stoppage time with a deft chip.
Lionel Messi saw a penalty smash the bar shortly after the restart and later hit the post, but Chelsea somehow held out and Torres came off the bench to wrap up the aggregate victory late on.
"It's an incredible achievement by this group of players," Di Matteo said.
"A lot of people had written us off and we showed again what kind of character these players have.
"We didn't expect to play with 10 men and we knew it was going to be tough. It was even more difficult than we expected.
"They're a great team, with some fantastic players. We just showed what we're made of."