Capital One Cup: Ivanovic fires Chelsea to win over Liverpool in semifinals

London: Branislav Ivanovic headed Chelsea into the Capital One Cup final with a 1-0 victory over Liverpool on Tuesday, settling an enthralling semi-final in extra time.

After a 1-1 draw in the first leg, Ivanovic rose to meet Willian’s free kick in the 94th minute at Stamford Bridge to secure Chelsea’s progress.

“This is a game where we showed the real character of the team and we are happy, very happy,” Ivanovic said.

The Premier League leaders were fortunate to complete the heated and compelling game with 11 men after Diego Costa avoided punishment for stamping on Liverpool duo Emre Can and Martin Skrtel. With Costa risking a retrospective ban, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho defended his striker and blamed the media.

“What you call stamps and Sky (television) calls crimes, I have to say absolutely (were) accidental,” Mourinho told reporters.

By denying Brendan Rodgers a first final as Liverpool manager, Mourinho can now prepare for the first since returning to Chelsea in 2013.

Chelsea, who won the competition in 2005 and 2007 under Mourinho, will discover their opponent for the March 1 final at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday. Tottenham leads Sheffield United 1-0 heading to Bramall Lane.

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