Potter thanks Chelsea duo for ‘making his job a lot easier’; players showed ‘real courage’

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Potter reacts to Chelsea win

Graham Potter has thanked Chelsea duo Mateo Kovacic and Kai Havertz for “making his job a lot easier” with their goals against RB Salzburg.

Superb goals from Kovacic and Haverz sealed a 2-1 win for Chelsea which sends them through to the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Kovacic found the top corner with his first-time strike before Junior Adamu levelled the game for the hosts.

Havertz won the game for the Blues after the interval with a fantastic curling effort that went in off the post.

“It is amazing, top corner, it makes my job a lot easier when they can do that,” Potter told BT Sport.

“Great for Kai, I’m really pleased, he has been fighting and trying his best, so today to score that and help us win, fantastic.”

The goals were worthy of the win and Potter was pleased to see his side stop a 40-game unbeaten home record for Salzburg.

“I am delighted. It was a fantastic performance, I thought the players showed real courage here because of the atmosphere, they are so intense,” he said.

“We were under pressure but I thought we controlled it well, we attacked well, created some chances. I was a bit disappointed to be only 1-0 half-time – one action from them, which can happen at this level – but we responded really well and a great goal from Kai and overall we deserved it.

“It was hard work but it is going to be at this level, that is how it is, away from home in the Champions League is so complicated, with the crowd and their team and the quality they have. Overall we played well, delighted for the players. They were fantastic.”

Kovacic did leave the game early after suffering a calf issue.

Potter added: “He is feeling his calf a little bit, it is a heavy pitch.

“He was feeling a little bit of tightness, hopefully it’s not too bad. It is just how it is at this point of the season.”

Tuesday night’s game was a big occasion for Kovacic as the Chelsea midfielder was born in Austria.

He stated post-match that it was “nice to score” in front of his parents and friends.

“It’s nice to score where I was born. My parents were here and my friends were,” Kovacic told BT Sport.

“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.”

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