Branislav Ivanovic makes history in Zenit Saint Petersburg 2-0 FC Ural

FC Zenit Saint Petersburg vs FC Anji Makhachkala - Russian Premier League

Branislav Ivanovic spoke of his delight after signing for Zenit Saint Petersburg on February 1.

"I can say I'm very happy to come here, and to be at a big club like Zenit,” he told the club’s official website, via ESPN FC. “I hope together we'll have success.

"I had a very big hope to come back to Russia and to play here. I am motivated and I think that I can play for many more seasons at the top level. I can say that I am excited to be here and everything went smoothly!"

The move brought to an end Ivanovic’s successful nine-year spell with Chelsea. In that time he won two Premier League titles, the Champions League and scored the winner in the Blues’ Europa League final win over Benfica in 2013.

Chelsea fans will certainly remember him fondly.

And his career at Stamford Bridge ended on a positive note. He scored in his final appearance for the club in a 4-0 win over Brentford in the FA Cup.

SL Benfica v Chelsea FC - UEFA Europa League Final

Zenit just played in a crazy match

The 33-year-old took part in one of the strangest matches of his career this afternoon when Zenit hosted Ural in the Russian Premier League.

Zenit were playing their first ever match in their new stadium, named Stadium St. Petersburg, and emerged with a 2-0 win.

But they had to wait until the second half, and a complete capitulation from their opponents, before they broke the deadlock. Ural had three players sent off, in the 61st, 62nd minutes and 86th minutes of the match.

Ivanovic made history

And Ivanovic made history by becoming the first player to score at the St Petersburg stadium, as he bundled the ball in from a Zenit free-kick.

Watch Ivanovic’s goal below.

Video: Ivanovic becomes first scorer in Zenit's new stadium

Yohan Mollo sealed all three points for Zenit when he scored in the fourth minute of injury time.

The win keeps the Mircea Lucescu’s side third in the table. They are eight points behind leaders Spartak Moscow.

State-of-the-art stadium

Zenit’s new stadium, which has a capacity of close to 70,000, will be used at the 2017 Confederations Cup and the 2018 World Cup.


Who will win the 2018 World Cup? Let us know in the comments section below!

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