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Kovacic: Happy scoring where I was born | Galagher: Goal gave confidence.

Updated: Dec 22, 2022

Chelsea are through to the knockout stages of the Champions League after securing a win over Red Bull Salzburg on Tuesday evening.



Graham Potter's Blues have now registered 10 points from five games in Group E of the 2022-23 Champions League, four ahead of second-placed Red Bull Salzburg with one match to go.

Mateo Kovacic expressed his joy after Chelsea beat Red Bull Salzburg in the Champions League, voicing, "it's nice to score where I was born. My parents were here and my friends".


Graham Potter's Blues were brilliant on Tuesday night as they thrashed the Austrian club 2-1 to secure a place in the knockout stages of Europe's elite competition.


Austrian-born midfielder Kovacic broke the deadlock with an astounding left-foot volley from 18 yards before Junior Adamu equalised three minutes into the second half as he finished off an awesome pass by Maximilian Wober.



The west London club could have had more goals before the hosts levelled the score, but Salzburg keeper Philipp Kohn denied Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang four times while Jorginho saw his header cleared off the goalline by Adamu.

However, attacking midfield maestro Kai Havertz ensured Chelsea left the Red Bull Arena with all three points when the German's curling finish found the net in the 64th minute.

Die Roten Bullen came close to levelling the score again, but Brazil defender Thiago Silva cleared Strahinja Pavlovic's strike off the line, meaning Chelsea top Group E with 10 points from five games, four ahead of second-placed Red Bull Salzburg with one match left to play.


'Nice to score where I was born.'


Speaking to BT Sport, Kovacic said about his goal against Salzburg: "It's nice to score where I was born. My parents were here and my friends.


"We knew they would come out strongly in the second half, but we reacted very well. It's important we go through, and now we concentrate on the next game.



"I don't score many, but this goal was a nice one. I always say it's important the team wins and less important who scores."


'The first goal gave us confidence.'


Kovacic's teammate Conor Gallagher said of the beautiful opening goal: "It was a great finish, I couldn't believe it to be honest! To get that first goal was important and helped us out and gave us confidence in the game."



Asked about his first Champions League start, he answered: "It's a really proud moment, I wanted to give a good performance and for us to get the win. Hopefully, I can push on after this.

"Every game is very important and we've got a lot of them so everyone needs to be ready. Hopefully, we can carry on in the form we're in."

If Dinamo Zagreb do not seal a win over AC Milan in Croatia today [on Tuesday night], Chelsea will be confirmed as Group E winners and will be seeded for the last 16 draw due to take place on the 7th of November.



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