Ivanovic brushes off final blow
Chelsea defender admits he didn't know he would miss showpiece
Last Updated: April 26, 2012 11:30am
Branislav Ivanovic: Determined not to look back after Champions League ban
Branislav Ivanovic hopes to cheer his Chelsea team-mates to European glory after brushing off his UEFA Champions League heartache.
The Serbian defender will miss the final against Bayern Munich on May 19th after picking up a needless booking in the Blues' semi-final second leg against Barcelona.
Another three Chelsea players will be suspended for the final but unlike Ramires and Raul Meireles, Ivanovic had been unaware he was walking a disciplinary tightrope heading into Tuesday night's memorable game at the Camp Nou.
The 28-year-old had been one yellow card away from suspension, which he picked up for dissent after Barca were awarded a penalty early in the second half.
But Ivanovic has put on a brave face and is backing the Blues to defy the odds by overcoming Bayern in their own stadium.
"I didn't expect him to book me for that and I didn't know I was in the danger zone," he said.
"The Champions League and football is like life - you cannot look back, you have to look forward.
"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."
Gary Cahill had been forced off early on through injury before captain John Terry was sent off, leaving Ivanovic as Chelsea's only recognised centre-back.
And while the Blues rode their luck at times, they stood firm in defence and scored twice with 10 men to claim a 2-2 draw and go through on aggregate.
"I feel happy because the team goes to the final," he added.
"We deserved it at the end of the day, with some luck. With a little bit of luck, we did some great defending.
"We lost two central defenders but I think we did a great, great defending job and we deserved it."