97 touches, 6 key passes: Chelsea star's masterclass v Norwich must not be overlooked - TCC View

Mateo Kovacic turned in the kind of Chelsea performance against Norwich City that simply can’t be overlooked.

Of course, Blues teammate Mason Mount will grab the headlines for his hat-trick in the emphatic 7-0 win over Norwich in the Premier League. In addition, fellow academy graduates Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James were also among the goalscorers at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon.

The light needs to come down, though, on the man pulling the strings in the Chelsea midfield. 

Photo by Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images

Mateo Kovacic latest masterclass for Chelsea

Kovacic was the silent assassin on the weekend that was simply too good for opponents Norwich. It was the kind of performance that highlighted how much he’s improved his final ball and mirrored the kind of form he’s been in this season.

First of all, the 27-year-old produced a glorious assist for Hudson-Odoi with a pass that cut through the opposition backline. Perhaps it’s the kind of ball he wouldn’t have attempted earlier in his Chelsea career.

Also, he provided the pass around the edge of the box to set up the goal from Ben Chilwell.

Kovacic’s individual tally this season is now up to five league assists. Only Manchester United’s Paul Pogba (seven) has directly set up more goals in the Premier League this campaign than him.

Chelsea now have a huge influence in the central midfield position that can penetrate teams. Once again, it’s taken brilliant Blues manager Thomas Tuchel to unlock a special talent in a player.

Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Stats magnify Croatian’s influence

The WhoScored statistics from Chelsea’s win against Norwich shined favourably on Kovacic. 

The all-action midfielder played the most key passes (six) in the Blues team. His closes competitor in that field was Mount (three). 

In addition, Kovacic had 97 touches, boasted a 94 per cent pass accuracy, and made five tackles. He was given a phenomenal overall match rating of 9.48.

Norwich City manager Daniel Farke alluded to the importance of Kovacic, along with teammate Jorginho, in Chelsea’s Saturday victory.

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A sports journalist who graduated from Staffordshire University in 2016 and is a Chelsea supporter. Loves anything football or cricket related when it comes to England.