Branislav Ivanovic Charged With Violent Conduct

Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic has been charged with violent conduct by the FA after an off-the-ball altercation with Wigan Athletic midfielder Shaun Maloney on Saturday.

The incident, which was not originally spotted by referee Mike Dean or any of the assistant referees on the day, has been investigated following video evidence which appears to show the Serbian defender striking Maloney in the stomach moments before Juan Mata netted the winning goal.

Ivanovic has established himself as one of, if not the best Chelsea defender this season, with important goals to compliment his no-nonsense style of play from the right-back position.

He'll face a three game ban if found guilty, which would start immediately, leaving Chelsea without his services for the FA Cup semifinal with Tottenham Hotspur this weekend, along with crucial London derby clashes with Arsenal and Queens Park Rangers in the coming weeks.

Somewhat ironically, Ivanovic scored earlier in the game whilst in an offside position, and now any further punishment for the 28-year old would be a kick in the teeth to Roberto Martinez. The Latics boss was highly critical of the decision, and now could see Chelsea weakened whilst they take on Queens Park Rangers, who are fighting along with the Lancashire side for their Premier League survival.

Ivanovic has until 6pm (GMT) on Wednesday to respond to the charges, and make any appeal.

For more on this story visit our Chelsea site, We Ain't Got No History.

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