- Branislav Ivanovic scored an amazing overhead kick during Zenit’s easy victory
- Ivanovic took the ball on his chest and acrobatically scored in the second half
- The ex-Chelsea man’s goal made the score 2-1 before Leandro Paredes scored
- The 3-1 win over Real Sociedad sealed top spot in their Europa League group
Former Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic scored an astonishing overhead kick as Zenit St Petersburg easily beat Real Sociedad 3-1 to top Group L in the Europa League.
The 33-year-old was well-renowned for popping up with the occasional goal during his nine-year stint at Chelsea but he has never scored one quite as spectacular.
Zenit had taken the lead in the match in the first half, through Aleksandr Yerokhin’s strike but were pegged back by the La Liga side two minutes before the hour mark.
Branislav Ivanovic scored an outrageous overhead kick as Zenit beat Real Sociedad 3-1
The 33-year-old couldn’t believe it went in and ran off with his team-mate to celebrate
Ivanovic joked with his team-mates after his stunning strike made the score 2-1 to Zenit
But five minutes later the Russian side got just what they needed.
After their corner was partially cleared, Darler Kuzyaev volleyed the ball hopefully back into the area, it looked promising, but when they saw who it was falling too many would have quickly taken their stool again. How wrong they were.
Ivanovic took the ball on his chest and acrobatically overhead kicked the ball past a hapless Geronimo Rulli and into the corner of the net. He took it like a true striker.
He took the ball down on his chest after the ball was looped back into the Sociedad area
The 33-year-old proved there’s still life in his legs as he acrobatically turned the ball home
IVANOVIC’S SCORING RECORD IN LEAGUE
2002–2003 Srem 19 games, 2 goals
2004–2006 OFK Beograd 55 games, 5 goals
2006–2008 Lokomotiv Moscow 54 games, 5 goals
2008–2017 Chelsea 261 games, 22 goals
2017– Zenit St Petersburg 28 games 2 goals
Leandro Paredes scored five minutes from the final whistle to complete the scoring and secure top spot in the group.
Ivanovic, who ditched the Premier League for Russia in February, has helped Zenit make a title surge this season.
He has been a stalwart in Roberto Mancini’s defence and has performed well in the league, helping to take them to second and within reach of leaders and rivals Lokomotiv Moscow.
But after seeing his goal on Thursday evening Mancini could be tempted to chuck the Serbia international up front for their trip to Akhmat Grozny next week.