Branislav Ivanovic was again the goalscoring hero for Chelsea, heading them into the Capital One Cup Final, and he has revealed his pride at popping up at the most important of times in front of goal.The defender was the man on target in extra-time of their semi-final against Liverpool, sending the Blues to Wembley where they'll face Tottenham Hotspur in front of a sell-out crowd.
But it isn't the first time he has scored a pivotal goal at a crucial time in a cup competition. In the 2009 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, he scored a headed brace against Liverpool, and netted an extra-time winner against Napoli in the Round of 16 three years later as the Blues went on to win the top prize in Europe.
The Serbian international was at it once on the European stage 12 months after that success, scoring the decisive goal in the Europa League Final against Benfica, finding the net in the depths of injury time to put Chelsea in command.
“When you look back in the past, I have perhaps scored some big goals, but every player is important in that moment,” the 30-year-old said modestly.
“I am proud of the goals I've scored and I like the feeling when I score important ones. Mainly, it's vital that the team wins, but to give us that advantage of scoring goals as a defender is great.
“Maybe the secret is we, as defenders, don't feel the pressure when we are going forward, as we're not there to score.
“To score the winning goal in the semi-final was an amazing feeling but I think we won the game on our defensive line.”
Ivanovic's goals and all-round contribution to Chelsea's back line have helped him win the Premier League, FA Cup, Community Shield, Champions League and Europa League in a Blues shirt, but there's one winners' medal still missing from his mantelpiece.
The match under the arch against Tottenham presents him with the opportunity to fill that void, in a repeat of the 2008 League Cup Final, when he watched from the stands as his team-mates lost 2-1.
“I really want to win this trophy,” he declared. “It'll be good to look back on winning all of the trophies in England at the end of my career.
“The first year when I arrived we played Tottenham in the League Cup Final and it was my first time at Wembley.
“Everyone before the game was just speaking about Wembley, Wembley, Wembley – I didn't know exactly what they were talking about but when I went there I got to see the atmosphere and everything."
READ MORE! Buy the Capital One Cup Final matchday programme to read more from Branislav Ivanovic.