Chelsea’s unbeaten start to the new season continued with a win against Zenit St Petersburg on Tuesday night, with Mateo Kovacic yet again standing out for an impressive display.

Chelsea kicked off the group stages of the Champions League with a 1-0 victory at Stamford Bridge over Zenit. 

Romelu Lukaku, who now has four goals in four games across all competitions this campaign, netted the winner with his header in the second half. 

The Blues won their second ever Champions League last season, so it’s going to be exciting to see how close they can go to defending their European crown.

Kovacic, 27, put down another marker last night with his performance. 

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(Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)

The Croatian midfielder has looked at the peak of his powers in the opening stages of the season, which is an indication that he’s desperate to be in Thomas Tuchel’s best XI.

His statistics on WhoScored.com against Zenit backed up what appeared on the eye to be a strong display.

Kovacic topped the most dribbles (four) tally on the Chelsea team, along with the most accurate long balls (seven). In addition, the midfielder made 104 passes at a pass accuracy of 97.1 per cent. 

 

Finally, he was second on his team’s overall match rating (7.42) just behind teammate Romelu Lukaku (7.48). 

It’s going to be very difficult to take him out of the side when he’s in the kind of form, but N’Golo Kante and Jorginho are two fellow central midfielders that also deserves to be in that best XI.

Tuchel is likely to rotate throughout this season, but Kovacic has to be in the side more times than not when he’s playing like this. 

His energy, forward dribbling and weight of pass makes him such an asset.

He was described as “sublime” by Pat Nevin earlier this week, which looks bang on the money right now.

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