Football

Branislav Ivanovic believes Chelsea must improve as pressure mounts

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Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic admitted the pressure is mounting, but believes it is not time to start panicking after a disastrous start to their title defence.

The champions have picked up one point from their first two matches and were emphatically beaten by Manchester City yesterday.

Ivanovic is assured the Stamford Bridge club can recover from their slow start, but acknowledges Jose Mourinho's men will have to improve if they are to defend their title.

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As per the Mirror, he said: "Last year we won the title but, honestly, we know this is another season now and we play with more pressure and need to adapt to that. Every team is improving. We can be better and have to show that on the pitch.

“We have to forget last season and start thinking about getting the points we need this season. This is the Premier League, every game is like a final and we know we have to look forward.

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"We haven't done well in the first two games, but there are another 36 to go and we know we have to improve ourselves."

IVANOVIC AT SIXES AND SEVENS

Ivanovic had a torrid time against Jefferson Montero on the opening day of the season, getting turned inside and out, and he did not fare much better against Raheem Sterling yesterday.

The former Liverpool wingers pace caused constant issues down the left side for Chelsea with Ivanovic struggling to get near the 20-year-old at times.

He was not the only member of the Blues' back four to struggle with John Terry getting the chop at half-time and Gary Cahill looking lost throughout.

However, the form of Ivanovic will be a major worry for Mourinho. The Serbian has been a stalwart in the Chelsea team since 2009 and produced some vital performances last season.

Ivanovic appears to have no competition at right-back, with Cesar Azpilicueta playing on the opposite flank, so it may be an option for Mourinho to invest in a back-up who can challenge Ivanovic to get back to his best.

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Topics:
Football
Chelsea
Premier League
Branislav Ivanovic

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