IVANOVIC: NET GAINS
By scoring the opener against Wigan on Saturday, Branislav Ivanovic took his goal total for the season to five, one behind the tally for last year which was his Chelsea best so far.
His close-range finish past Ali Al Habsi at the Matthew Harding End was also his fourth goal in his last six appearances, but unlike the one against Napoli and his second at Villa Park, both of which established leads the team were not to lose, against Wigan the visitors did level the score before Juan Mata pinched a winner with time almost up.
'Sometimes this happens, sometimes you are feeling differently and you think you can score the goals,' said a relieved Ivanovic after the game as he considered his productive run in front of goal. He was not able to comment on the decision by the officials that he was onside when scoring, hotly disputed by the Wigan players and manager.
'I didn't see the whole situation as I was focused on the ball to score. To be honest it was very difficult for us, much more difficult than we expected. Wigan played well but we scored in the last minute and it was a very important three points for us.
'It was very tough because the first half we didn't do great. We knew we had to score and Wigan played a defensive line very well. In the first half we didn't have a lot of chances.'
For the second weekend running, Ivanovic found himself praising Fernando Torres who although didn't score this time, was again vital to the team finding the net, this time when his volley cannoned off the post into Mata's path.
'Fernando was again near to scoring, he deserves a lot of goals and he played well, he ran and he gave the energy for us, and I think he will be better and better.
'In a couple of games after we changed the manager we won,' the defender adds. 'We started to believe after a couple of games. We started to believe we could be in the positions for the Champions League and we started to believe in the FA Cup and the Champions League. We have to win a lot more games but we will try to do everything.'