Thomas Tuchel has provided an update on Mateo Kovacic’s injury status after the Midfielder was injured in Chelsea’s 3-0 victory over Leeds United.
Mateo Kovacic had recently returned from an ankle injury against Everton before Daniel James’ reckless tackle in the 23rd minute ended the game prematurely for the midfielder, the Leeds forward was showed a straight red card.
According to Thomas Tuchel Mateo Kovacic is likely to miss the FA Cup semi-finals against Liverpool on Sunday.
His absence will be a huge blow as Chelsea seeks to avenge their EFL cup defeat to Liverpool on penalties earlier this year.
What did Tuchel say?
Speaking at his post-match press conference, Tuchel said: “I tell you not as a coach and not as an expert, but for me, it is very unlikely. I see him – first of all, if Mateo goes out, he never goes out and he played in the semi-final of the FA Cup with the same injury and tried to play another 15 minutes, which was almost impossible. Now he is out. It was a swollen ankle and he is in a lot of pain.
“For me, I am not a doctor and we need to wait for the examinations. It is very unlikely he can play. It is absolutely bad news for us on a perfect evening.”
Thomas Tuchel also claims Mateo Kovacic’s injury will be a huge blow ahead of Chelsea’s FA Cup final with Liverpool.
He also expressed disappointment in the possibility of Mateo Kovacic missing the FA Cup finals and he insisted the Croatian midfielder might start based on his recent performance against Liverpool.
Tuchel added: “If he misses it I’m very disappointed because he was a clear starter. If you look at the quality today with Jorgi and him in central midfield when we played eleven against eleven, it was a very strong start. He is a key figure for us in midfield.
“He played against Liverpool – I think both matches from the beginning – and was very strong. He’s super, super hungry and determined, and excited to play these matches. And of course, he is in fears he will miss it. We will see. We need to wait. Maybe we have a miracle and we make it possible.
“I did not see the challenge live. I just saw it from a distance on the iPad. I am not good at looking at these situations because it hurts me physically to watch it, but everybody told me it is a clear red card.”
Meanwhile, Thomas Tuchel also admitted that Chelsea needed to win against Leeds to boost their confidence ahead of the FA Cup final.
He continued “It was necessary to change things, how we play on the field. Where we take risks, how we take risks, how we protect each other, the focus, the level of awareness of where dangerous situations can be for us, and where we need to protect each other. We needed to step up, it’s as easy as that.
“There was a reason why we conceded the goals, there was a reason we conceded a late equalizer. We did this as a team and, of course, tactical decisions but it was also the behavior in the tactics. We talked about it and immediately stepped up.
“There was nothing new that we did today but we did our stuff with a much higher level of focus and discipline than in the last matches. I felt the team was very calm and determined before the match and they delivered a performance that we got so used to over many weeks.
“We saw a big difference today and I’m happy. It was necessary – not only because of our situation – because it’s good to arrive at a match like on Saturday with a calm mind. This was the foundation for that: this performance.”