Chelsea boss Graham Potter has revealed that Mateo Kovacic picked up a little calf niggle in Tuesday’s Champions League win over RB Salzburg. Chelsea all but sealed their place in the Champions League knockout stages but were forced to fight until the end by Red Bull Salzburg after securing a hard-fought 2-1 victory in Austria. The Blues took the lead twice but were taken all the way by Matthias Jaissle’s young and determined side as they continued their unbeaten start under head coach Graham Potter.
Mateo Kovacic opened the scoring for the visitors midway through the first half, only for Junior Adamuto level the score just three minutes after the interval. But Kai Havertz delivered a stunning eventual winner in the 64th minute, sending the Blues home with all three points, on top of Group E and beyond the reach of their rivals. Chelsea will welcome Dinamo Zagreb to Stamford Bridge a week from Wednesday, while Salzburg will close out their Champions League group stage with a trip to AC Milan next week, to determine who will follow the West London club into the round of 16.
Kovacic, who has been nursing several injury issues throughout the season so far, was subbed off in the 68th minute and looked in some discomfort, though Potter did not seem to think the problem was anything serious. Asked if Kovacic is okay after leaving the pitch a little gingerly, Potter told BT Sport: ‘Yeah, he’s just feeling his calf a little bit. ‘It was a heavy pitch, there’s a bit of tightness – hopefully it’s not too bad. It was the same for Mason [Mount], the same for Ruben [Loftus-Cheek], it’s just how it is at this point of the season.’
SOURCE: BT Sport