Chelsea must tighten up in defence warns Branislav Ivanovic following Juventus draw

 

Branislav Ivanovic admitted Chelsea were failing to show the resilience that helped win them the Champions League after they were exposed again by top-class opposition.

Last night's 2-2 draw against Juventus in the opening match of their defence of the trophy was the third time already this season the Blues' defensive deficiencies have cost them dearly on the big stage.

Having already seen them miss out on the campaign's first two pieces of silverware and shipping seven goals in the process, Wednesday's surrender of a two-goal lead suggested they may face an uphill struggle to hold on to the biggest prize of all.

Manager Roberto Di Matteo has been tasked with transforming Chelsea from dogs of war into one of the game's great entertainers.

And while that was always going to prove easier said than done, defender Ivanovic refused to make excuses for his and his team-mates' recent lapses.

"We are playing differently this year, with more emphasis on attacking, but everyone also has to be focused on defending and being organised," he said.

"This is what helped us get good results last year."

Ivanovic admitted Chelsea "made it too easy" for Juve to get back into the game.

"It is very difficult, but it's all about our concentration and motivation," added the Serbia star, who missed last season's final through suspension.

"Personally, for me, I have very big motivation for this year.

"Everyone knows when you win something - it doesn't matter if it's the league or Champions League - everyone is more motivated against you. So you have to be ready and be strong.

"I think we are - it's just we need a couple more games."

He added: "We are much more creative in the attacking third, but we have to have the right balance and still work hard to get to the top level.

"It's more of a mental situation because our training is hard enough to prepare for a good game. Physically, we are ready but, mentally, we have to do more and be stronger.

"We have to support each other to get better.

"Every player has to motivate themselves."

Fernando Torres appeared to be lacking such motivation in Saturday's goalless Barclays Premier League draw at QPR and although he worked much harder last night, his continuing lack of confidence was palpable.

Ivanovic tried to defend his team-mate, insisting the striker was "doing very well" and "fighting for every ball".

He added: "Sometimes he is alone without the support of the others and that is very difficult to fight against three defenders."

Torres' latest travails will become even more of a concern if the hamstring strain that saw Daniel Sturridge miss last night's game proves significant, or the ankle knock that ended Oscar's stunning full debut.

Both were due to be assessed today ahead of Saturday's visit of Stoke.

Oscar will be desperate to pick up where he left off against Juventus, his stunning double good enough to win any match but for Chelsea's slackness.

The 21-year-old Brazil star said: "In Brazil, the people, the young boys, they dream about playing in the Champions League.

"For me to realise the dream, I am very proud of that.

"I am very happy with the two goals but I would be much happier if the team had won the game. I hope that I can keep going and keep scoring goals like that."

Fellow midfielder John Obi Mikel, who apologised for giving the ball away in the build-up to Juve's equaliser, said of his new team-mate: "He's going to be a great player for this club, with his talent and ability.

"Hopefully he can do even more - and he can only get better.

"I think his all-round game is very good. He can score goals, he's very creative, and I think that's what this club is looking for."

Oscar was a surprise starter - he had hardly impressed in his three substitute appearances and had appeared to struggle with the physical demands of English football.

Mikel revealed Chelsea's training sessions had helped toughen up the £25million man.

"You don't want to kick anyone and get anyone injured in training," he said.

"We try to give him a little bit sometimes."

PA

News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
News
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Sport
Robbie Savage will not face a driving ban
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
voices
Life and Style
Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries were putting themselves at risk of tinnitus and, in extreme cases, irreversible hearing loss
health Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries are at risk of tinnitus
News
It was only when he left his post Tony Blair's director of communications that Alastair Campbell has published books
people The most notorious spin doctor in UK politics has reinvented himself
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in ‘I Am Michael’
filmJustin Kelly's latest film tells the story of a man who 'healed' his homosexuality and turned to God
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Public Service Broadcasting are going it alone
music
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower