The Prof’s plum part

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Eden Hazard is challenged by Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold of Liverpool. PICTURE: GETTY IMAGES


Tim Harrison

By Tim Harrison

Saints alive! Chelsea head to the south coast on Sunday, still unbeaten in the league.

The Sunday afternoon game at Southampton, coming four days after another floodlit European night at the Bridge against the Hungarian outfit Vidi, gives the Blues a chance to keep snapping at the heels of the Premier League favourites.

There was relief, tinged with regret, after Saturday’s blistering showdown against Liverpool.

Most Chelsea fans would have accepted a 1-1 draw ahead of the contest, but when you’re a goal up with a minute to go and an equaliser is scored by an old boy who has only just come on, it stings.

Morrie Sarri was gracious, Jurgen Klopp thought: ‘Gracious!’ On the balance of play, it was a fair outcome.

The star of the show? Everyone thinks it was Eden Hazard… again. After all, he sprinted through to score the goal that looked to have clinched the game.

But my pick would be Mateo Kovacic, who has finally come to terms with the pace and demands of top-flight English football.

The Croatian loanee’s link-up play with N’Golo Kante and Jorginho was sublime – and that hasn’t always been the case. Sarri loves him; thinks the 24-year-old delivers consistently. Kovacic is nicknamed The Prof, a moniker bestowed by his Croatian team-mate Nico Kranjcar.

A few more performances like the one against the Scousers and he really will be giving tactical lectures.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and unless specifically stated are not necessarily those of Hammersmith & Fulham Council.

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