Revealed: Why Kovacic was missing against Southampton

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Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic has been an integral member of Chelsea’s midfield this season under Frank Lampard, and his impact was missing as the Blues were beaten by Southampton at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day evening.

Many Chelsea fans have wondered why the Croatian didn’t make the starting line-up or even the Chelsea bench.

Kovacic was suspended for the Southampton game having picked up his 5th PL yellow card of the season. Kovacic earned the yellow after a spat with Tottenham’s Dele Alli.

Kovacic’s impact was clearly missing as Chelsea struggled to break down the Saints all game long.

Chelsea had fewer shots than in any of Lampard’s game this season, and the Blues boss has urged his attackers to be able to take on players.

“We have to work,” the Chelsea manager said.

“Players have to go one versus one if you’re an offensive player. Play it around the corner, mix up your game, break defensive lines, because teams aren’t stupid, they are well organised, we need to do more in an attacking sense.

“You can’t have nearly 70 per cent possession and control, in particularly the first half, and not do more, not hit better crosses, not hit better final passes, not get clear chances at goal from our point of view.”

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