Tag: Branislav Ivanovic

Premiership: Chelsea 1-1 Burnley

Chelsea’s troubled week ended in further controversy when Nemanja Matic was sent off as Burnley plundered a late 1-1 Barclays Premier League draw at Stamford Bridge.

Matic was shown a straight red card by referee Martin Atkinson for pushing over Ashley Barnes after taking exception to a nasty one-footed lunge from the forward.

John Terry and Kurt Zouma restrained Matic as he seethed at the tackle, before the Serbian eventually left the pitch knowing he now faces a three-match ban for violent conduct.

Branislav Ivanovic was booked during the same flashpoint for attempting to prevent Atkinson withdrawing the red card from his pocket.

Chelsea had been coasting until Matic’s dismissal with Ivanovic firing them into a 14th minute lead, but the melee sparked a revival from Burnley who saw Barnes go close before Ben Mee headed in the equaliser.

The eventful final 21 minutes at Stamford Bridge concluded a miserable week for the Blues, who have been desperate to repair the damage caused when footage emerged of a small group of their fans racially abusing a black man on the Paris Metro on Tuesday night.

Once again they expressed their anger after a commuter was prevented from boarding a train amid chants of ”we’re racist, we’re racist and that’s the way we like it”.

John Terry used his captain’s notes in the matchday programme for Chelsea’s annual ‘Game for Equality’ to describe the incident as “unacceptable”, while chairman Bruce Buck admitted the event had placed the club at a “crossroads” in their fight to stamp out discrimination.

Another potential storm looms on the horizon, however, after police confirmed on Saturday morning they are seeking a gang of men – believed to be Chelsea fans – who were heard shouting racist chants at London St Pancras on Wednesday night.

It was against this backdrop that the Premier League leaders met relegation-threatened Burnley and the relief from controversy they sought appeared imminent as they poured forward in search of a second, but it was the visitors who finished the stronger team.

The match had barely started when Juan Cuadrado looped a header that keeper Tom Heaton parried to safety with his fingertips, but by the 14th minute Chelsea were ahead.

Burnley’s defence was caught dithering and Eden Hazard capitalised, weaving a seemingly impossible path to the byline before pulling back to Ivanovic who drilled the ball home from close range.

The sublime interchange that followed moments later between Hazard, Diego Costa and Oscar was worthy of a second, but they were guilty of over-elaboration when the trigger needed to be pulled.

Ivanovic had a penalty appeal for handball rejected by referee Atkinson and apart from a smart save by Thibaut Courtois, it largely remained one way traffic.

Atkinson had a bigger call to make on the stroke of half-time when Jason Shackell appeared to push Costa over, but the official waved play on and was met with jeers from home fans.

Stood in the technical area, an incredulous Mourinho shook his head with his face breaking out into a wry smile.

Barnes tried his luck from long range with a dipping shot and would have been successful but for the reflexes of Courtois.

Chelsea were quickly back on to the offensive, Oscar playing a beautiful ball through to Costa who ghosted into a strong position only for his shot to lack power, enabling Heaton to deny the Spaniard.

The Blues were pushing hard for a second as Costa almost connected with a fine cross by Ivanovic before scrambling defence stopped another attack at the crucial moment.

Matic was dismissed and Barnes almost beat Courtois, before Burnley plundered the equaliser when Ben Mee leaped high between two defenders to nod home at the far post.

Read more at ESPN

Champions League: PSG 1-1 Chelsea

Stubborn resistance and a Branislav Ivanovic header earned Chelsea a 1-1 draw in the Champions League last-16 first leg with Paris St Germain at Parc des Princes.

Jose Mourinho’s men are well placed to advance to the quarter-finals after Ivanovic netted a vital away goal, although Edinson Cavani equalised and PSG showed enough for Chelsea to be wary in the second leg on March 11.

Chelsea advanced to the semi-finals at PSG’s expense last term on away goals after losing 3-1 in Paris and Demba Ba’s last-gasp strike in the return in London.

The Blues had won just once in six prior attempts on French soil, at PSG in Mourinho’s first European match as boss in September 2004.

With striker Diego Costa restored following his disputed three-match ban for stamping on Liverpool’s Emre Can and returns for goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, defender Gary Cahill and playmaker Cesc Fabregas, Chelsea were at full strength against an injury-depleted PSG, who started with former Chelsea defender David Luiz in midfield.

Luiz stated on the eve of the match that Chelsea were a better team than last season and they fared better than on their last trip to Paris.

Chelsea’s bus became stuck entering the stadium and Zlatan Ibrahimovic caused the visitors all kinds of difficulties once the match began.

Courtois made three saves from headers in the first half, the pick from Cavani, before Ivanovic’s header against the run of play.

Cavani equalised after losing Cahill to meet Blaise Matuidi’s cross and both the Uruguay striker and Ibrahimovic had chances to double PSG’s lead.

The Swede was denied by Courtois in stoppage time to leave Chelsea in control of the tie heading to Stamford Bridge.

There are three weeks and a day before the return, by which time Chelsea’s confidence may be boosted by silverware, with the Capital One Cup final against Tottenham on March 1.

Read more at ESPN

Premiership: Chelsea’s Ivanovic escapes punishment after McCarthy clash

Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic will not face further punishment for his part in a scuffle with Everton’s James McCarthy on Wednesday, the FA has announced.

Tempers flared in the 86th minute after Ivanovic had a goal ruled out for offside. Everton’s Gareth Barry then tripped Willian, earning a second yellow card, and Ivanovic motioned his head towards McCarthy in the resulting fracas.

In a statement the FA said its panel of former referees could not unanimously agree that Ivanovic should have been sent off for his action.

The statement read: “In Premier League matches, if an incident has not been seen by the match officials, a three-man panel of former elite referees will be asked by The FA to review it and advise what, if any, action they believe the match referee should have taken had it been witnessed at the time.

“For an FA charge to follow, all three panel members must agree it is a sending-off offence. In this instance, the panel did not believe the conduct was worthy of a dismissal.”

Speaking after the game, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho insisted that Ivanovic did not head-butt McCarthy and was innocent of any wrongdoing.

“Did Branislav Ivanovic go in with his head?” Mourinho told BT Sport. “Don’t make me laugh. Don’t make me laugh.”

While the Serbia international escaped sanctions, both Chelsea and Everton were charged for “failing to ensure their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion”.

Mourinho, who was last month fined £25,000 for saying there was a “clear campaign” against Chelsea, was not prepared to discuss the Ivanovic incident post-match or the possibility the defender would be banned.

Mourinho has already shown his anger at Diego Costa’s retrospective suspension for three matches for stamping on Liverpool’s Emre Can.

“I’m tired of stories and I’m never tired of football,” Mourinho added. “Football is emotion and what we had here today.

“A discussion because of a red card, a red card that should be given in the first half, because Barry should be sent off in the first half. He pulled Hazard. The second yellow card should be given there.”

Read more at ESPN

Premiership: Aston Villa 1-2 Chelsea

Chelsea extended their lead at the top of the table to seven points after seeing off an Aston Villa team who finally ended their Premier League goal drought after 11 hours.

With nearest rivals Manchester City held at home by Hull, Branislav Ivanovic’s winner secured a vital victory for the leaders.

Villa, who had not scored in the league since 20 December, responded well after falling behind to Eden Hazard’s early goal and levelled through Jores Okore’s header at the start of the second half.

But Ivanovic restored the Blues’ advantage after 66 minutes and they went on to secure Jose Mourinho’s first win at Villa Park at the sixth attempt.

The spirit Villa showed in defeat will be scant consolation for Paul Lambert’s struggling side, whose winless run now stands at nine league games, but it appeared they were heading for a far worse defeat when Hazard opened the scoring after eight minutes.

That goal was scored far too easily from Villa’s point of view, with their defence being carved apart as Oscar escaped down the right and fed Willian, who found Hazard running into the area to slot home.

Villa’s main tactic in Lambert’s 100th league game in charge seemed to be to fire a succession of crosses into the box, despite that fact their out-of-form target man Christian Benteke was dropped to the bench and Gabriel Agbonlahor did not offer much of an aerial threat in his place.

Blues keeper Thibaut Courtois gave them hope when he flapped at a couple of deliveries but Chelsea remained comfortable and even created further chances to extend their lead.

That all changed after half-time, when Villa finally found a way to hurt Mourinho’s men.

Carles Gil had already shown some neat touches before slipping past Oscar on the by-line and lifting in a perfect pass for Okore to power home a downward header.

The goal brought wild celebrations from Villa’s players and fans – with Okore booked for running into a crowd, who had not seen a league goal from their side since 20 December.

Ironic chants of “we score when we want” followed from the home supporters and with Chelsea pegged back in their own half, for a few minutes it least, it appeared more might follow.

Not for the first time this season, the Blues found themselves in a battle, but they responded in perfect fashion.

Mourinho’s men held firm at the back and began to build their own spell of pressure. Willian sent two shots skidding narrowly wide but the waves of Chelsea attacks were becoming relentless.

Villa cracked after 66 minutes, when they failed to deal with Cesar Azpilicueta’s run and cross into the area.

The ball broke for Ivanovic on the edge of the box, who fizzed an unstoppable first-time shot into the top corner.

Read more at BBC Sport

League Cup: Chelsea 1-0 Liverpool AET (2-1agg)

Branislav Ivanovic goal for Chelsea sees off Liverpool in Capital One Cup

Branislav Ivanovic kept his head as Chelsea edged a frenetic, ill-tempered clash with Liverpool to advance to the Capital One Cup final.

An Ivanovic header in the fourth minute of extra-time proved the difference as Chelsea responded from the humiliating FA Cup defeat to League One Bradford to advance to a first final of Jose Mourinho’s second spell as boss.

A 1-1 first-leg draw at Anfield meant it was all down to the Stamford Bridge clash and the 1-0 victory for Mourinho means he has now won four of his five contests with Brendan Rodgers, once his protege and now a bitter rival.

The managers confronted each other on the touchline as a tempestuous contest featuring nine bookings spilled into the technical area.

A comical moment followed as Liverpool assistant boss Colin Pascoe offered the Portuguese his glasses. Mourinho was not amused.

The Blues boss spent much of the night fuming, but it was Rodgers who had reason to feel most aggrieved early on as Diego Costa should have been sent off for stamping on Emre Can’s ankle.

Costa should then have had a penalty when tripped by Martin Skrtel, but referee Michael Oliver waved away appeals, much to the astonishment and anger of Mourinho.

Twice Liverpool spurned chances to take the lead as Thibaut Courtois saved well from Alberto Moreno and then Philippe Coutinho, while Simon Mignolet twice denied Costa at the other end.

Mourinho raged at Oliver when Jordan Henderson avoided a second booking for handball and his displeasure with the officials continued into extra-time as he missed Ivanovic’s header while talking to fourth official Phil Dowd.

With Frank Lampard’s Manchester City visiting Stamford Bridge in the Premier League on Saturday, the additional half hour was less than welcome, but Chelsea showed a grit and determination lacking against Bradford to prevail.

Read more at ESPN

Premiership : Burnley 1-3 Chelsea

Diego Costa scored on his Premier League debut as Chelsea beat Burnley 3-1 at Turf Moor

The Clarets memorably beat Manchester Unitedin their first home game of the 2009-10 season, and Burnley fans would have been hoping for a similar result when Scott Arfield scored the opener after 14 minutes.

But Costa, a £32m summer signing from Atletico Madrid, took just 17 minutes to register his first goal for Chelsea, as Jose Mourinho’s side came from behind to beat the Premier League new boys.

The Spain striker’s debut was overshadowed by another summer signing from La Liga, as former Barcelona star Cesc Fabregas dominated in midfield and had a hand in all three Chelsea goals, with Andre Schuerrle and Branislav Ivanovic also on target in 20 whirlwind first-half minutes.

Chelsea manager Mourinho opted for Thibaut Courtois over Petr Cech in goal, and the Belgian repaid the faith with an assured debut and a brilliant save at the start of the second half to deny Arfield a second goal.

Read More on Yahoo Sport