Chelsea have not one but two strikes on the shortlist for January Premier League Goal of the Month, with Mateo Kovacic and Hakim Ziyech both in contention to receive the award.
Kovacic receives his nomination for the spectacular volley which launched our fightback against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge. With a few minutes left until half-time and the Blues trailing by two, the midfielder acted instinctively when Reds keeper Caoimhin Kelleher punched a free-kick in his direction, looping a volley over a crowded penalty box and in off the right-hand post.
That brilliant strike sparked the Blues into life, with Christian Pulisic adding a second before half-time to ensure we went in at the break level. ‘We were in a difficult moment because we were 2-0 down,’ said Kovacic. ‘I had the luck that the ball came to me and I just shot. When I saw that it was going in, it was a beautiful goal. We were growing with the momentum and we scored the second goal.’
Ziyech’s nominated goal will be fresh in the minds of all Chelsea fans, as it opened the scoring in our last match, a 2-0 London derby win over Tottenham. The Moroccan had never previously scored in the Premier League at the Bridge, but got his first in some style, as he curled a perfect shot from outside the box which dipped just in time to creep inside the angle of post and crossbar, leaving Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris rooted to the spot.
‘It was a good goal, I think it was a 10 out of 10 actually,’ beamed Ziyech. ‘I wanted to put it in the top corner. I didn’t know it would go in straight away when I hit it, I was following the ball. I thought maybe I’d hit it a little bit long, but in the end I saw it go in.’
You can watch both those fantastic strikes again in the video above before voting for your favourite to win January Premier League Goal of the Month. You have until midday (UK time) on Monday 31 January to cast your vote here. If either Kovacic or Ziyech were to win, they would be the first Chelsea player to receive the award since Eden Hazard in April 2019.
The Blues duo face competition from six other nominees: Manuel Lanzini (West Ham United), Alexis Mac Allister (Brighton & Hove Albion), Richarlison (Everton), Joshua Sargent (Norwich City), Kyle Walker-Peters and James Ward-Prowse (both Southampton).
The winner of the January Premier League Goal of the Month award will be announced at 1pm on Friday 4 February.