Chelsea defeated RB Salzburg by 2-1 to progress to the Knock stage of this season’s Champions League with one more game left.
The blues are top of Group E with 10 points followed by AC Milan with 7 points. RB Salzburg and Dinamo Zagreb are on 6 and 4 points respectively.
Mateo Kovacic gave Chelsea the lead with a stunning strike just inside the penalty area.
Conor Gallagher, who was handed his first Champions start for Chelsea had a night to remember after witnessing Mateo Kovacic’s stunning strike. The result means RB Salzburg’s unbeaten run at the Red Bull Arena has ended.
What did Conor Gallagher say about Mateo Kovacic’s goal?
Speaking on BT Sport after the match together Mateo Kovacic, The Chelsea midfielder said: “It’s a great finish, huh?
“I couldn’t believe it to be honest! Getting that first goal is very important. It definitely helped us out.
“It gave us more confidence in the game. It’s a great finish, nice one brother!”
Asked about his feeling as he makes his first Champions League start for Chelsea, he added: “It was a really proud moment.
“I wanted to give a good performance today, I wanted us to get the win, that’s the most important thing. Hopefully, I can push on from this.
“[We are] really happy. It was a really tough game today; we knew it would be. Everyone stuck to the task, and we gave our all.
“The three points are massive, and we are happy to qualify. We’re just taking it game by game. Every game is really important.
“We’ve got a lot of them [coming up] so everyone needs to be ready, which we are, so hopefully we can carry on in the form we are in.”
Graham Potter has revealed that Mateo Kovacic was feeling his calf a little bit.
Mateo Kovacic was substituted in the 68minute in the second half. The Croatian was seen in discomfort.
Potter told BT Sport: “Yeah, 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 [Mount], the same for Ruben [Loftus-Cheek], it’s just how it is at this point of the season.”
Meanwhile, Graham Potter has expressed his delight in Chelsea’s win at Salzburg and qualifying for the knockout stage.
He added: “Very. It’s not easy to win here as you can see from the record they have and the quality of the team. We had to play well, and I thought we did. We created some good chances in the first half and were unlucky not to go more than 1-0 up.
“Then one action, with the quality at this level, and it’s 1-1. I thought our response was really good then, so I am delighted to go through, delighted with the performance of the players: I thought they were fantastic tonight. To go through with a game to spare is brilliant considering where we started the competition.”