Premier League 2019-20: Jorginho and Kovacic Chelsea's real stars in win over Watford
A 2-1 victory over Watford at Vicarage Road has propelled Chelsea to the third in the Premier League while extending their winning streak. Goals from Tammy Abraham and Christian Pulisic were enough to see off bottom side Watford, who seemed toothless for majority of the game.
The match which looked like it would turn into a goal-fest for Chelsea if not for Ben Foster's heroic saves had a nervy finish to it when VAR decided to award a penalty to the hosts for a foul on Gerard Deulofeu. A Kepa Arrizabalaga save in the dying minutes helped Chelsea take all three points after a late upsurge from Watford.
One thing that was evident from the game yesterday was the control Chelsea had over the game, especially after the second goal. The side turned into a passing machine, often making the match look like a training ground session. The Blues were ruling the possession and passing stats and the two men who were responsible for this midfield masterclass were Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho.
Chelsea's midfield double pivot looked to be in a class of their own as they sprayed passes between them and all across the pitch. Chelsea's opener came with Jorginho's first-time pass, which cut open the Watford defence for Tammy Abraham to loop home. From then on, the game became solely in their control as they changed the pace of the game as they wished. Jorginho, who was a victim of criticism since his debut last year under Sarri, is finally looking the part of a classy player by pulling the strings in Chelsea's midfield from his deep position.
Kovacic's season on loan at Chelsea didn't seem the most impressive, yet it was clear that there was more to his game than what caught the eye.That plus a transfer ban resulted in Chelsea opting to turn that loan deal into a permanent one. While both of them haven't played together a lot under Sarri as he considered them both to be of the same position, Frank Lampard has started them together on numerous occasions. Injuries to N'Golo Kante, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ross Barkley has put the impetus on both of them to be starting and have made most of their opportunities together.
The co-ordination and chemistry both of them share seems telepathic at times. Although both of them are considered as defensive-minded players, Kovacic has shown his ability going forward several times. Against Watford, the Croatian made a couple of surges from his half gliding past opponents before laying it off to others. Jorginho, on the other hand, doesn't really like going forward and instead dictates the game with his vision and passing skills. Here's what Lampard had to say about his midfield maestros,
‘Kovacic, his ability to play – him and Jorgi together – and then that ability to drive from midfield, that’s not the norm. ‘As a midfield player, it’s your worst nightmare having a player who can play and then drive by you out of nowhere. ‘He was doing that today to great effect. Really pleased with him.’
The fact that the duo complement each other and have been instrumental in the club's recent victories is clear for everyone to see. While Jorginho is sure to keep his place even when injured players return, Kovacic has made a real statement regarding his starting place in the Chelsea midfield. It won't be unfair to say that Chelsea have found a midfield combination that could be go on to be one of the best in Europe.