Chelsea v Shakhtar: We’ve learnt from defensive errors, insists Ivanović

Chelsea v Shakhtar: Branislav Ivanović insists the Blues have learnt from their defensive mistakes in recent games

Martin Caparrotta
By Martin Caparrotta
branislav ivanovic
Branislav Ivanovic has 13 appearances for Chelsea this term Photo: The Sport Review

branislav ivanovic

Branislav Ivanović is braced for another testing Champions League clash against Shakhtar Donetsk but insists Chelsea will not make the same mistakes that led to their defeat in Ukraine last month.

The Blues conceded within three minutes in Donetsk as Roberto Di Matteo’s men suffered a 2-1 defeat to leave them three points behind the leaders in Group E.

And although the Serbia defender is expecting another tough encounter in what he describes as a “crucial” game, the 28-year-old feels the west Londoners have learnt from their recent errors.

“We expect a very difficult game”, said Ivanović. “It’s one of the crucial games for us at this stage of the Champions League. We know it will be difficult. I hope for and expect a completely different game [to the one in Donetsk]. We have to be ready to do everything to win the game tomorrow.

“All the games are different. Of course the problem with Chelsea at the moment is with the points and not they way we play. We controlled the first game against Juventus at home and were a little bit unlucky.

“All these kinds of games are very difficult to play. You have to think about it in a positive way. We know how we have to play to win this game.

“It is very difficult to play away games in the Champions League. We conceded in the beginning [in Donetsk] and we lost a little bit of our organisation.

“The positive is that we know where we made mistakes. We know we have to stop counter-attacks because I think they are one of the best counter-attacking teams in our group.”

Ivanović also admitted the imminent return of Chelsea captain John Terry will provide a timely boost after Di Matteo confirmed that Ashley Cole will sit out Wednesday’s game with a hamstring injury.

“John is very important for our organisation and for our defensive line,” he said. “It’s important to see him on the pitch, to see the support he gives and the motivation during the game.”

Chelsea v Shakhtar: Pre-match facts

• Chelsea won all three home group games in 2011-12, scoring ten goals without conceding, and recorded three more home victories in the knockout stages as they claimed the trophy for the first time.

• Fernandinho and Willian play with Luiz, Ramires and Oscar in the Brazilian national team.

• Alex Teixeira’s goal on matchday three was the 100th Chelsea have conceded in the Champions League, group stage to final.

• Chelsea’s 4-0 victory at Nordsjælland on matchday two was the fifth time the Blues have scored four or more goals in an away Champions League game.

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