Ivanovic escapes ban

Ivanovic walks at Villa Park. Photo: PA

Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic will not face any suspension despite his red card in yesterday's fiery Community Shield defeat to Man City.

Ivanovic was sent off by referee Kevin Friend near end of the first half.

The Serbian caught fellow countryman Aleksandar Kolarov with a high tackle which Friend deemed worthy of a straight red card.

It was thought Ivanovic would be banned for three matches, starting with Chelsea's opening Barclays Premier League fixture at Wigan next Sunday.

However, it now appears the FA changed their rules after an incident during an Amsterdam Tournament in 2006, when Manchester United pair Paul Scholes and Wayne Rooney were both sent off against Porto and ended up serving three-match bans.

As the rule change covered all non-competitive pre-season fixtures, including the Community Shield, it means Ivanovic will be free to play at the DW Stadium.