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Monday, Feb. 1, 2010

Controversy-hit captain Terry guides Chelsea to win over Burnley

LONDON (AP) John Terry will at least be in the British papers for the right reasons after scoring the winning goal in Chelsea's 2-1 Premier League victory at Burnley on Saturday.

News photo
Captain controversy: Chelsea captain John Terry fights for the ball against Burnley's Steven Fletcher during their match on Saturday at Turf Moor. AP PHOTO

The England captain started the match and made sure his team will stay top of the league despite intense media attention on him following allegations about the England captain's private life.

The goal took Chelsea to 54 points, four clear of second-place Manchester United.

The defending champions were at third-place Arsenal on Sunday in the weekend's biggest match.

Also Saturday, Liverpool beat Bolton 2-0 to close to within a point of fourth-place Tottenham.

Dirk Kuyt's third goal in three matches and an own goal by Kevin Davies increased the pressure on Tottenham, which conceded a 90th-minute equalizer to draw 1-1 at Birmingham.

Aston Villa won 2-0 at Fulham to move up to sixth place, two points ahead of idle Manchester City.

A High Court judge lifted a court order Friday that had prevented the media from reporting allegations about married defender Terry's ties to another woman.

British media had reported that Terry may sit out the match at Turf Moor and speculated over his future as England captain.

The Football Association has not commented upon the matter.

"He is a fantastic player," Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti said. "That is his private life. He is about work. We don't have to say nothing because he is very professional."

The court order — a so-called superinjunction which barred publication that any order even existed — related to a story about the 29-year-old Terry, who is married with two children, and his ties with another woman whom the judge did not name.

After the injunction was lifted, it wasn't just the country's famously racy tabloids that published page after page about Terry — some of Britain's more conservative broadsheet newspapers followed the story as well for its long-term impact on the country's strict media laws.

Ambi Sitham, a media lawyer, called High Court judge Michael Tugendhat's decision "hugely significant," and said while those with legitimate privacy concerns would continue to be protected, people trying to escape scrutiny for other reasons won't find relief in the courts.

"It's a big red flag for high-profile people who are increasingly using privacy law to keep sordid details out of the press," she said.

In December, a similar injunction barred journalists in Britain from publishing material about Tiger Woods, even blocking the media from revealing the details of the order itself. Woods has since confessed to marital infidelities, lost millions as sponsorship deals evaporated, taken an unspecified amount of time off from professional golf and disappeared from public view.

Terry, whose past bad boy antics have been frequently chronicled by the press, never had the saintly reputation of Woods. Still, he is one of soccer's highest-paid stars playing the world's most popular game for one of the most renowned clubs in the Premier League, the world's wealthiest.

Britain doesn't have a formal privacy law, but is a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights. That guarantees the right to respect for privacy and family life, and this clause has been used repeatedly by celebrities to fight media exposes.

Terry had been working on his image after a series of damaging incidents and last year was named "Dad of the Year" by a condiments company.

The injunction was granted Jan. 22 after Terry learned that a newspaper was about to publish a story about his private life.

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