- Kovacic suffered a major injury after he was lunged on by Dan James in the 24th minute of the match.
- Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel believes that the Croatian midfielder will not be playing in the FA Cup final against Liverpool.
Chelsea player Mateo Kovacic was forced to withdraw from Wednesday’s match against Leeds after being the victim of a horrific tackle from Dan James of Leeds United.
In the 30th minute, with Chelsea leading 1-0 thanks to Mason Mount’s goal, Kovacic was forced to be substituted by Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
Dan James was sent off for the foul, leaving relegation-threatened Leeds down a man and a goal early on. Leeds United were playing like a team doomed to relegation.
Mateo Kovacic injury is looking really bad and he is unlikely to feature for Chelsea in their FA Cup clash against Liverpool.
Thomas Tuchel’s Thoughts On Mateo Kovacic Injury
When asked if Kovacic will be available for the Wembley final against Liverpool this Saturday, Blues manager Thomas Tuchel said: ‘It is very unlikely.
‘Mateo went off and he never goes off. He has a swollen ankle and is in a lot of pain.
‘I am not a doctor and we need to wait for the examinations, but it is very unlikely he can play. It is absolutely bad news for us.
‘If he misses it, I am very disappointed because he was a clear starter. He is a key figure for us in midfield.
‘He is super, super hungry and determined and excited to play these matches and of course, he is in fear he will miss it.
‘It looks swollen and painful. It’s the same ankle he had injured already. It doesn’t look good.’
Tuchel had this to say about Dan James’ tackle: ‘I am not good at looking at these situations because it hurts me, physically, to watch it, but everybody tells me it’s a clear red card.’
Chelsea, who had drawn two and lost one of their previous three Premier League games, had otherwise ideal preparation for the final until Mateo Kovacic injury.
‘We needed a performance like that, that’s the best message,’ said Thomas Tuchel. ‘We arrive in the final with a clear mindset because we did what we needed to do.’
Leeds Doomed To Relegation
It was further agony for Leeds and manager Jesse Marsch, who remain in the relegation zone heading into their last two games of the season against Brentford and Brighton.
James’ dismissal comes on the heels of Luke Ayling’s red card in the 27th minute against Arsenal last Sunday, with both players now sidelined until the end of the season.
‘Two tackles in the last two games that are a little bit crossing the line and hurting the team.
‘I am not going to blame or finger-point any of our players. They’ve given everything they can. We have to stay within boundaries in not jeopardizing ourselves.’
More agony for Leeds and manager Jesse Marsch, who remain in the relegation zone.