Graham Poll believes referee Cuneyt Cakir was right to send off John Terry on Tuesday night for his "senseless" challenge on Alexis Sanchez.

Chelsea had already lost centre-back Gary Cahill to injury and were a goal down when Terry was dismissed eight minutes before half-time for raising his knee into the back of Alexis Sanchez in an off-the-ball incident.

Within five minutes, Barcelona had doubled their lead as Andres Iniesta latched on to Lionel Messi's through-ball and tucked the ball beyond Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech to give the home side an aggregate lead.

John Terry
Chelsea's John Terry talks to manager Roberto Di Matteo after he was shown a red card and sent off during their Champions League semi-final second leg match against Barcelona at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona. REUTERS

Terry has since issued an apology to Chelsea fans but former Premier League referee Poll believes the experienced defender should not need to resort to such "dark arts".

"He was trying to leave something on the speedy Sanchez," Poll told the Daily Mail. "It was a senseless and unnecessary act from an experienced footballer who has earned much praise recently for his performances, playing on with broken ribs.

"Terry is an excellent defender who will often attempt to get away with as much as possible but with five officials for these European games, they should be able to see more of the dark arts.

"The challenge on Sanchez wasn't spotted by the referee, who was following play, but he was alerted by one of his colleagues.

"The straight red, for violent conduct, will carry a three-game ban and ensure Terry misses the Champions League final."

Chelsea rallied against a dominant Barcelona attack and staged a dramatic fight back to reach the final for the second time in five seasons. Goals from Ramires and Fernando Torres sealed a remarkable two-legged victory over the defending European champions.

And Di Matteo refused to criticise Terry for the indiscretion that almost cost his team a trip to Munich.

"He's fantastic leader of this group," the Italian told BBC Sport. "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."