Ivanovic avoids ban after Shield dismissal

Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic will be able to play in the Premier League club's opening match of the season against Wigan Athletic despite receiving a red card against Manchester City in the Community Shield on Sunday, his club said.

The Serbian international had escaped the sanction as the Community Shield was not classed as a competitive first-team fixture, Chelsea said on their website.

Ivanovic, 28, was issued with a straight red card by referee Kevin Friend during the first half of the season curtain-raiser, after a tackle on Aleksandar Kolarov. City won the game 3-2.

Ivanovic would be banned for three non-first-team games, said the London club, who open their season at Wigan next Sunday.