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Kovačić pleased Chelsea still in control of own Champions League destiny despite ‘stupid’ late goal

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Independent

Valencia CF v Chelsea FC: Group H - UEFA Champions League Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

It was a game that could’ve finished 5-5 or 6-6, as Frank Lampard reflected afterwards, but Chelsea almost got lucky and walked away with a 2-1 win from the Mestalla. In the end, it were Valencia who got a bit lucky with the equalizing goal ... though only after missing a couple empty nets and having a penalty saved by Kepa Arrizabalaga, too!

Still, Mateo Kovačić wasn’t best pleased that his first goal for the club — and the first in three years for any team at any level — was nullified by a “stupid” goal in the end, but the midfielder also recognized that the draw isn’t the end of the world, especially at a raucous Mestalla (a place he would have known from his time at Real Madrid).

“It was a difficult game, as always at the Mestalla. We had to work very hard. At the end maybe we dropped a little bit too much, but that’s normal, we were a little bit tired as well. This is the game, sometimes you need to drop. We conceded a stupid goal, but that’s football.”

“In the end a draw is not bad for us, it’s a good point. We need to improve still a lot, we have time and lots of space to, and we will keep working.”

Chelsea remain well in control of our destiny, and a win at home against Lille on the final matchday of the group stage will be enough to see us through to the knockout rounds.

On paper, it should be an easy match. In reality, that will likely not be the case.

“It won’t be easy. In the Champions League there are no easy games, but it’s important it’s in our hands. We need to win at home in front of our fans and I hope we will do it.”

-Mateo Kovačić; source: Chelsea FC

Let’s hope so!