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Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is not happy to have lost key man Mateo Kovacic to injury.
Kovacic has been one of Chelsea’s best players this season, and his performance under Tuchel has been remarkable.
The Croatian was to start in the Champions League quarter-final clash against Porto, but got injured in training the day before the game.
Addressing the situation regarding Kovacic just before kick off against Porto, Tuchel admitted that he was disappointed to lose the Croatia international.
“We had a light injury unfortunately in training yesterday which was very sad so Kova is out,” said Tuchel.
“The same with Andreas Christensen. We did not manage to make him fully fit after his muscle issues from the first leg.
“These are our two concerns, but we have Thiago back in the squad. There are not too many changes because we are on a good run and the team feels confident.”
Asked about his decision to start Kante who wasn’t fully fit, Tuchel admitted that he had no other option.
He said: “It got taken out of my hands [whether to start Kante], the decision was taken when Kova got an injury.
“Unfortunately, I’d have loved to have the choice to have N’Golo from the bench to be 100% sure that he could finish the game. It’s still possible. He feels very good. It’s good to have N’Golo on the pitch, he gives us a lot confidence, makes everyone feels safe, has a big impact all the time.
“A quarter-final of the Champions League is the moment for him to be on the field for Chelsea.”
Chelsea lost the second to Porto by a goal, but the Blues won 2-1 in aggregate, thanks to the 2-0 victory in the first leg.