No, this is not an Internet hoax. No, it's not good news for Chelsea. Both Branislav Ivanovic and Nemanja Matic had to be substituted off in Serbia's 2-0 win over Albania earlier today due to apparent injuries.
Ivanovic has to come off because of a injury. Dusko Tosic comes on. Not good news.— Serbian Football (@SerbianFooty) October 8, 2015
This was in the 65th minute. Ivanovic had been playing center back. Center backs do not get substituted like-for-like in a 0-0 match in the 65th minute unless there's an injury. Early reports indicate Ivanovic had a problem with his hamstring.
Branislav Ivanovic substituted with a hamstring injury with Serbia 0-0 in Albania. Some would suggest good news for Chelsea.— Oliver Todd (@oliver_todd) October 8, 2015
Not ten minutes later, Matic limped off as well.
Matic comes off for Fejsa. He tried to play through an injury but couldn't last any longer. 15 minutes to go.— Serbian Football (@SerbianFooty) October 8, 2015
There's no word on what the midfielder's problem may have been, though he did try to play through it, so perhaps it's just a minor knock.
Adem Ljajic, Luka Milivojevic & Aleksandar Mitrovic were great tonight. Also major respect to Ivanovic & Matic for playing through injuries— Serbian Football (@SerbianFooty) October 8, 2015
Serbia ended up scoring twice in added-on time to record their
first second official victory of the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign. Obviously, it's a bit too late to actually make it to next summer's tournament. And apparently it's come at quite a cost.
Stay tuned for any updates we may find out.