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Kovačić happy to score, happier to win, but calf ‘tightness’ a worry

And even kept his shorts

FC Salzburg v Chelsea FC: Group E - UEFA Champions League
We’re all Jorginho
Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Mateo Kovačić has been giving everything (almost literally) to the Chelsea cause of late, playing through injuries, coming to our rescue on his days off, and on Tuesday, scoring yet another absolute wondergoal. The man rarely scores, but when he does, Goal of the Season lists get longer. (He has 5 career goals for Chelsea in nearly 200 appearances.)

The fact that he scored it in his country of birth — born in Linz, a little over 100km east of Salzburg — with his parents and friends in the stands made it ever more special, though for him, the win itself mattered the most.

“It’s nice to score where I was born. My parents were here and my friends.

“We knew they would come out strongly in the second half but we reacted very well. It’s important we go through and now we concentrate on the next game.

“I don’t score many but this goal was a nice one. I always say it’s important the team wins and less important who scores.”

-Mateo Kovačić; source: BT Sport via BBC

What’s also important is coming through these games without suffering further injury (or suffering dirty play, like Benjamin Šeško taking out Thiago Silva’s legs in the air, causing a heavy, awkward, and painful fall).

Unfortunately, Kova’s now carrying a calf concern, to go along with his knee concern. He really does need a day or two off at this point, impossible as that may be to arrange.

“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, the same for Ruben, it’s just how it is at this point of the season.”

-Graham Potter; source: BT Sport via Metro

Next up for Chelsea’s walking wounded is the Potter Derby, away at Brighton on Saturday. Time to rest up!

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