By DAVID FACEY
GLEN JOHNSON has backed Andy Carroll’s plea for a Euro 2012 spot — saying he had England centre-half John Terry ‘petrified’ at Anfield.
Full-back Johnson believes Carroll’s stellar performance in Liverpool’s 4-1 win over Chelsea on Tuesday was the perfect way to push his claims.
Carroll, 23, dominated in the air against Terry and Branislav Ivanovic and Johnson explained: “I definitely think Andy has put himself in contention for the England squad.
“In the last few weeks, big Andy has been fantastic. He is unplayable.
“Chelsea have two big centre-halves and he has thrown them around.
“Andy looks like he is quicker and is working a lot harder.
“You could see John Terry was petrified at times. Andy is a big lump but he’s good on the ball and works very hard. He will scare a lot of defenders.
“Plus you can’t put a price on confidence — and his is obviously growing.”
But Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo has sprung to the defence of Terry.
He said: “John has been magnificent for us. He has been playing all the games, he has been a leader and everything you want in a captain.”
Johnson added: “There wasn’t too much pressure on the lads on Tuesday but we were able to go out and express ourselves.
“And it did look like we were all playing with more confidence.”
Johnson, 27, admitted that impressive performance came three days too late.
Liverpool seemed to freeze in the early stages of their 2-1 FA Cup final defeat against the same opponents, and there was no way back after Chelsea stormed into a 2-0 lead at Wembley.
But Liverpool swept into a 3-0 first-half lead at Anfield and it could even have been 4-0 at the break if Stewart Downing had not missed a spot-kick — won when 6ft 3in Carroll was fouled by Ivanovic.
Johnson, capped 35 times by England, added: “This was a terrific all-round display. It was a disappointing display in the first hour of the final and we wanted to pick up where we left off at Wembley.
“We kept the pressure on and kept it going for 90 minutes.
“Let’s face it — if we knew what went wrong in the first half at Wembley, we’d have avoided doing it. Every one of us wanted to play out of our skins in the final, you don’t want to go there and not perform. But it just didn’t happen.
“The typical thing is that we then go and play really well on Tuesday and there was only going to be one team winning.
“We’ve bounced back and we’ll look to push on now.”
Liverpool only managed six home wins this season and Johnson admitted: “We wanted to make sure we ended our home campaign with a good performance.
“It wouldn’t have been nice to lose the last game of the season at Anfield, that would have been remembered for a while.And it was really good to score goals.
“We still have plenty to play for in the last game.
“Finishing seventh is better than ninth and we have an opportunity to get another three points at Swansea.”