MATEO KOVACIC became Chelsea’s 17th goalscorer this season after finding the back of the net against Valencia.
The Croatian, 25, broke an incredible duck lasting 1,033 days as the Blues picked up a point at the Mestalla.
Kovacic fired in a timely equaliser to level the scores at 1-1 before the break.
And even though Chelsea conceded late on for a 2-2 draw, a place in the last 16 is guaranteed with victory over Lille at Stamford Bridge next month.
Kovacic’s last goal came at former club Real Madrid on January 29 2017 in a 3-0 win over Real Sociedad.
He failed to score once during his final season at the Bernabeu, which yielded 36 appearances.
And Kovacic was also impotent in front of goal under Maurizio Sarri, during which time he played an incredible 51 times.
The playmaker has since gone on to forge a fine midfield partnership with Jorginho, with the pair allowing N’Golo Kante freedom of the pitch as a result.
However, Kovacic still looked no closer to scoring a goal when the Blues took the field in Spain last night.
But after Chelsea went behind in the 40th minute, they raced up the pitch and Kovacic was able to fire home from distance to the delight of his teammates and fans.
It means Chelsea have now had 17 different goalscorers this season so far.
That’s despite Tammy Abraham bagging an impressive 11 strikes in all competitions.
Chelsea have netted 27 times in the Premier League, while also hitting the target nine times in Europe.
Lampard’s men also scored eight goals in just two Carabao Cup matches.
And the Blues are certainly silencing the doubters who claimed Eden Hazard’s £150million move to Real Madrid would leave Lampard short on attacking flair.
Chelsea’s 17 goalscorers this season
- Tammy Abraham (striker): 11 goals
- Christian Pulisic (winger): 6 goals
- Michy Batshuayi (striker): 5 goals
- Mason Mount (midfielder): 4 goals
- Jorginho (midfielder): 4 goals
- N’Golo Kante (midfielder): 3 goals
- Willian (winger): 3 goals
- Reece James (defender): 2 goals
- Marcos Alonso (defender): 1 goal
- Ross Barkley (midfielder): 1 goal
- Pedro (winger): 1 goal
- Kurt Zouma (defender): 1 goal
- Mateo Kovacic (midfielder): 1 goal
- Olivier Giroud (striker): 1 goal
- Callum Hudson-Odoi (winger): 1 goal
- Cesar Azpilicueta (defender): 1 goal
- Fikayo Tomori (defender): 1 goal
The likes of Christian Pulisic, Michy Batshuayi and Mason Mount have helped out with 15 goals between them.
But even players such as N’Golo Kante, Cesar Azpilicueta and Kurt Zouma have chipped in along the way, with defenders, midfielders and attackers alike getting involved.
Kovacic tweeted his delight at netting his first Chelsea goal, saying: “…And I almost gave up on the ‘goal thing’.
“Happy to score and help the team win a valuable point.”
Kovacic later told the club’s official website: “It was a difficult game, as always at the Mestalla.
“We had to work very hard. At the end maybe we dropped a little bit too much but that’s normal.
“We were a little bit tired, this is the game, sometimes you need to drop.
“We conceded a stupid goal but that’s football. In the end a draw is not bad for us.
“It’s a good point. We need to improve still a lot, we have time and lots of space to, and we will keep working.
“It won’t be easy. In the Champions League there are no easy games.
“But it’s important it’s in our hands. We need to win at home in front of our fans and I hope we will do it.”