LONDON — Chelsea captain John Terry withstood a torrent of jeers from Tottenham fans following his legal charge for racist abuse and helped his team gain a vital point Thursday night.
After Emmanuel Adebayor's shot had beaten Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech in second-half stoppage time, Terry diverted the ball away from goal — a decisive deflection that earned the Blues a 1-1 tie at White Hart Lane.
"He anticipated the situation at the end — it was a big opportunity for Tottenham," Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas said. "It shows his character and strength and personality."
A day earlier, Terry became the first soccer player in England to receive a criminal charge for racially abusing an opponent. He will appear in court in February after he was alleged to have used racist language toward Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand during an October Premier League match.
"His performances have increased since the incident happened," Villas-Boas said. "His commitment, quality and talent are never in doubt. He's completely focused to the cause of this football club."
With chants booming from the White Hart Lane stands, even Chelsea's official Twitter feed described Terry as its "under-fire skipper."
Chelsea forward Daniel Sturridge scored in the 23rd minute, canceling out Adebayor's eighth-minute goal.
"I am very proud of the players under a lot of adversity — there was a good spirit of resistance," Villas-Boas said. "It is a moral win."
But Chelsea (10-4-3) remains fourth in the standings, two points behind Tottenham (11-3-2) and just a point above Arsenal (10-5-2). First-place Manchester City (14-1-2) is 11 points ahead of Chelsea, which has not won at White Hart Lane since 2005.
Back after missing Sunday's win over Sunderland because of injury, Gareth Bale easily went past Jose Bosingwa on the left flank and sent a loss cross into the penalty area. Cech failed to grasp the cross, allowing Adebayor to beat him to the ball and score his sixth goal in as many games.
After allowing Chelsea to regain a foothold in the game and taking the sting out of Tottenham's attack, the equalizer came after Rafael van der Vaart's attempted sliding tackle diverted the ball onto Ashley Cole's arm and it fell kindly for the Chelsea fullback, who crossed for Sturridge.
The England striker easily evaded his marker, Ledley King, to rush forward unchallenged and score his 10th goal of the season. Tottenham's appeals for handball against Cole were waved away by referee Howard Webb.
"It certainly bounced up on to his hand," Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp said. "Sometimes you get them, sometimes you don't."
MADRID — With Lionel Messi and a few other regulars allowed to leave early for Christmas vacation, Barcelona routed third-tier Hopspitalet 9-0 to reach the fifth round of the Copa del Rey on 1-0 aggregate.
"One part of me is bold and the other fearful," said Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola, who started most of his Spanish regulars. "These types of games fill me with some fear."
Andres Iniesta injured his right thigh and will be sidelined for at least two weeks, Cesc Fabregas also appeared be hurt in the second half.
"We were jet-lagged, and I asked the players to take the game seriously. I didn't know how they would feel today and the game could have easily ended with them winning 1-0," said Guardiola, who won his 13th trophy from 15 competitions in Japan. "To see how composed these players that have won everything shows why we are so admired and why we are the best team in the world this year."
Emerging talents like Isaac Cuenca showed just how deep Barcelona's squad is as the speedy winger earned penalty kicks, including Pedro Rodriguez's 11th-minute opener. Cuenca, 20-year-old Cristian Tello and Thiago scored two goals each, and Xavi scored once.
Valencia beat division Cadiz 4-0 to advance after a scoreless first leg. Atletico Madrid and Villarreal both fired their coaches after being eliminated by third-division clubs on Wednesday, when first-division teams Real Betis and Zaragoza also failed to advance.