• Champions League

Ivanovic had no idea he could miss final

ESPN staff
April 26, 2012
Branislav Ivanovic was booked for dissent during Chelsea's away leg against Barcelona © PA Photos

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Branislav Ivanovic has confessed he had no idea he was one booking away from missing the Champions League final, during Chelsea's sensational semi-final triumph over Barcelona.

Ivanovic produced a heroic display in the absence of John Terry and Gary Cahill at the heart of Chelsea's patched-up defence. However, he was cautioned for dissent after Barca were awarded a penalty, and will now miss the May 19 showpiece with Bayern Munich.

A post-match interview on Sky Sports with Ivanovic has gone viral after the interviewer painfully reminded the defender three times that he would miss the final. But, Ivanovic has admitted that he was not aware of the situation during the match.

"I didn't expect him (the referee) to book me for that and I didn't know I was in the danger zone," Ivanovic said.

"The Champions League and football is like life. You cannot look back. You have to look forward. [But] I feel happy because the team goes to the final. We deserved it at the end of the day, with some luck. With a little bit of luck, we produced some great defending.

"I think we have great players and a good squad. That's why we are in the final and we have to play like a group, and we have to believe. Not a lot of guys believe in us, but we believe."

Ivanovic also threw his support behind manager Roberto Di Matteo, who has been told by Chelsea's chief executive Ron Gourlay that he must wait until the summer to discover if he will get the Chelsea job full-time.

"He's changed everything," Ivanovic said. "He gave us support, he gave us trust, and I think he's great. We have a great relationship and the results are good for us.

"At the moment, we don't want to look forward too much. We are not finished yet, we are not safe in the league for the Champions League place.

"We want this still, we are in the final of the FA Cup. So, there are a lot of things to do. We've got a big squad and we'll try to do everything."

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