'Class': Some Chelsea fans impressed by Mateo Kovacic against Wolves

Most Chelsea fans were extremely pleased with the performance of Mateo Kovacic against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Wednesday evening.

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Thomas Tuchel’s first game in charge was not the resounding result he would have wanted after the Blues drew 0-0 with the visitors.

Chelsea has now gone three Premier League games without a win for the first time since 2019 as Tuchel was understandably unable to transform his new side instantly.

But little could be made of this fixture considering the limited opportunities the German has had with this set of players.

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There were very few standouts from Chelsea as they failed to breakdown a stubborn wolf pack. Callum Hudson-Odoi was arguably the most exciting, whilst Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic had positive cameos off the bench.

However, it was Kovacic’s underrated display that caught the attention of several Chelsea supporters.

The £40m (BBC Sport) signing from Real Madrid had a really constructive night in the capital. He touched the ball 164 times, achieved a pass accuracy of 97.3% from his 152 passes, made three tackles and made two interceptions (WhoScored.com).

Kovacic was starting his fifth league fixture in a row in what was a highly re-arranged line-up by Tuchel.

His decision to deploy a three-man defence with Hudson-Odoi at wing-back and withdrawing Mount from the starting XI were his most queried tactical changes.

Mount was replaced by Jorginho in midfield despite the 21-year-old captaining his boyhood club against Morecambe in the FA Cup last weekend.

Photo by Chris Lee – Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Plenty was made of the possession and passing statistics that Chelsea yielded during the match. They completed 820 passes and kept 78.9% of the ball, both record figures in their own right (OptaJoe).

Most of that was down to Kovacic and Jorginho in the middle who set the tempo for Chelsea’s play. Yet, there was a lack of cutting across edge throughout the team that Tuchel will need to work on.

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I have been an admirer of Kovacic ever since he stepped foot in England and I thought he was excellent against Wolves.

The issues did not lie with him and Jorginho necessarily. It was the absence of runners in behind that was most worrying, but hopefully that will develop as Tuchel is afforded more time with his troop.

I would like to see Mount and Kovacic pair up in the next game, just to add a bit more thrust to the midriff.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.