Ivan issues Chelsea challenge

Branislav Ivanovic has challenged his Chelsea team-mates to 'stand up and fight' and ensure progression in this year's UEFA Champions League.

Last Updated: 22/09/13 at 15:58 Post Comment

Branislav Ivanovic: Called on his Chelsea team-mates to 'stand up and fight&

Branislav Ivanovic: Called on his Chelsea team-mates to 'stand up and fight&

The Blues crashed out of Europe's elite competition at the group stage last season - so becoming the first reigning champions to fail to make the knock-out phase of the competition.

After Jose Mourinho's men suffered a shock 2-1 home loss to Basel in their Group E opener in midweek, Ivanovic has called on the Blues to up their game for their next outing at Steaua Bucharest on 1st October.

Chelsea lost 1-0 at Steaua in the first leg of the Round of 16 stage of the Europa League last year, before a 3-1 second leg home victory saw them progress and they eventually went on to win the trophy.

Ivanovic knows it will be tough to win in Romania, telling the Sunday People: "We can't forget how much effort we put in last season to get into the Champions League.

Improve

"We cannot waste it. We have to play hard, we have to train hard every day to improve as a team now.

"Our season is long and we have to react and recover well. Before the next international break we have the Steaua game which is so, so important.

"We all remember how difficult it was there last year when we lost and we know it will be a difficult game, but we have to stand up and fight.

"The atmosphere there is tough, everybody knows how hard and how difficult it is to win there, and Steaua will be motivated for certain.

"But we are a big club and we have big players - we have to show that in every game from now on."

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terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

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he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

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o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

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