Ivanovic upset by Serbia violence

16 October 2010 08:00

Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic is fearing for Serbia's Euro 2012 campaign their qualifier in Italy was abandoned just nine minutes in.

Ivanovic was part of the Serbia squad caught up in the violence in Genoa on Tuesday when fireworks and flares were thrown on the pitch by visiting fans, who also attacked their own side's team bus before the game. Ivanovic, who will form the heart of Chelsea's defence with fit again John Terry against Aston Villa on Saturday, now fears that Serbia could be penalised.

"I spoke with him but he was a bit upset because maybe Serbia will have a fine or penalty now," said coach Carlo Ancelotti.

"Every player wants to play football so that was not a happy experience. I didn't speak with him about what happened during that night, but he is okay."

Chelsea are without both striker Didier Drogba (fever) and midfielder Frank Lampard (groin) against Villa but considering the plight of other top teams in the Barclays Premier League, Ancelotti is relatively happy with his lot.

Arsenal and Manchester United have dropped points and the controversy surrounding Wayne Rooney's ankle at Old Trafford has also played into Chelsea's hands. Liverpool are languishing in the bottom three, so Ancelotti has a few reasons to be cheerful.

"I'm surprised," said Ancelotti. "United are our best opponents, so to have five points more than them after seven games is a surprise.

"But it'll be a long season. They didn't start well, above all in away games, and we are doing better. But I hope that things stay the way they are.

"We have a good gap and to have four points more than Manchester City and five over United is a good gap for us, but we have to be able to maintain this and, if possible, improve it.

"When we arrive at a difficult moment, we still want to be at the top, as we were last year. We had difficult moments last year but, when we did, we were still top because we'd built up that gap."

Source: PA