Chelsea News: Mateo Kovacic creates unique record after Europa League triumph

Chelsea v Arsenal - UEFA Europa League Final
Chelsea v Arsenal - UEFA Europa League Final

What's the story?

Chelsea thrashed Arsenal 4-1 last night to win the UEFA Europa League, thanks to a brace from Eden Hazard and a goal apiece from Olivier Giroud and Pedro Rodriguez. The Blues' combative midfielder and Croatia international Mateo Kovacic established an unparalleled record with the title win, becoming the first footballer in the modern era to win four European club titles in a row, having won three Champions Leagues back-to-back between 2015 and 2018 with Real Madrid.

In case you didn't know...

Still only 25-year-old, Croatia midfielder Kovacic moved to Chelsea from Real Madrid on a season-long loan deal last summer. He has managed to impress Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri, especially with his performances in the UEFA Europa League in the present campaign. Although Sarri is keen on making Kovacic's loan move permanent, Chelsea's transfer ban remain a hindrance in this regard.

The heart of the matter

Kovacic helped Chelsea dominate Arsenal in the midfield battle in Baku last night, maintaining a 91 per cent pass completion rate and completing two successful tackles. He was largely a peripheral figure during Real Madrid's three consecutive Champions League triumphs during the 2015-16, the 2016-17 and the 2017-18 seasons. He was out with an injury and missed Real Madrid's penalty shoot-out win over Atletico Madrid in the 2015-16 Champions League final. The Croatian was an unused substitute for Real Madrid during their 4-1 win over Juventus in the 2016-17 final as well as their third successive Champions League win in 2017-18, where they beat Liverpool 3-1 in the final.

What's next?

Kovacic made 51 appearances in all competitions for Chelsea this season, failing to find the back of the net, but providing two assists. It remains to be seen where he plays in the upcoming campaign.

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Edited by Samya Majumdar