Mateo Kovacic played 70 minutes for Chelsea during a pre-season win over Barcelona on Tuesday – and some of the club’s fans on Twitter were thrilled with his performance.
The Blues concluded their tour of Japan with a 2-1 victory against Spanish giants Barcelona, who are at the beginning of their pre-season preparations.
Tammy Abraham opened the scoring in the first-half with a great individual goal, as he showed quick feet to round the goalkeeper and tap home.
Ross Barkley then added a second in the half with a left-footed finish from outside the box, while Ivan Rakitic scored a late consolation for Barcelona with a long-range stunner into the top corner.
Blues head coach Frank Lampard once again took a look at most of his squad with wholesale changes in the second period, but the team looked better than their opponents overall.
Kovacic partnered Jorginho in the centre of the park for Chelsea and the pair seem to have found an excellent blend in pre-season.
Lampard has shown he likes the 4-2-3-1 formation and the duo dictated play well from deep.
Kovacic arrived for £40million (BBC) this summer after spending the whole of last season on loan from Real Madrid.
The 25-year-old was used regularly by Maurizio Sarri, but it didn’t quite click for him at Stamford Bridge and
But Lampard may have found an ideal role for him in a deeper position, where he can help break up play and also spring passes over the pitch.
Here are some Chelsea fans on Kovacic:
Kovacic is a quality player there’s no doubt about that. Works so much better in a double pivot. Alongside Jorginho Barca couldn’t handle the level of composure.
— H™️ (@CFCRebuildSZN) July 23, 2019
— Ram Diraviyam (@Ramdiraviyam) July 23, 2019
I can’t believe people said we shouldn’t sign kovacic permanently. #cfc
— MATON (@Frank_Maton) July 23, 2019
Kovacic is such a baller man 🔥
— . (@CFCYagxn_) July 23, 2019
Kovacic is so underrated
— A1_said (@S1CFC) July 23, 2019
I’m so excited to watch Kovacic this season man
— Omar (@oCFC_) July 23, 2019
Kovacic’s expansive passing range on display under Lampard, something not shown under Sarri last season.
— J (@CFCJude) July 23, 2019
Kovacic gliding through the midfield like hot knife through butter
— Okinawan Bakayoko. (@Omarii_CFC) July 23, 2019
Kovacic looks like another player this preseason
— Deif (@DeifCFC) July 23, 2019