Mason Mount

Chelsea got a deserved 1-0 victory in the top-four playoff with Liverpool, leaping into fourth as they opened a four-point gap over the Premier League champions.

Away victories at Anfield are much easier to come by these days but this was a controlled and effective performance from Chelsea. The Reds have now lost a fifth straight home game for the first time ever, but it makes it 10 games unbeaten and two goals conceded in all competitions for Thomas Tuchel

The Blues were once again solid and in control, successfully smothering Liverpool’s press and restricting them to a single effort on goal after 84 minutes. 

The decisive moment came from Mason Mount, Chelsea’s best player this season who was called the Teacher’s Pet under Frank Lampard’s regime, but is now the top scorer in the Tuchel era with three goals in successive away games.

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Mount was benched on the German’s first game in charge but has been undroppable since and pulled up with the kind of star turn Liverpool attackers have been missing of late with a wonderful goal.

The 22-year-old embarked on a solo run across the box and buried an accurate shot into the bottom corner three minutes before halftime.

Psychological boost to the Tuchel era

In 2015, Jürgen Klopp took his new Liverpool team to the home of José Mourinho’s defending champions and secured the first win of a new era with Philippe Coutinho ruling the day with his magic touch. That win at Stamford bridge resonates with Liverpool’s current predicament as ailing champions who were given a reality check by Tuchel’s mid-season managerial bounce.

The 47-year-old’s first Premier League win over his German counterpart will strengthen the belief among the players as they look to consolidate their Champions League place.

Mason Mount
Mason Mount delivering the win for Chelsea. (Phil Noble/Reuters)

Tuchel is pulling the whole squad together and has shown in a short space of time what a top-class coach can achieve with this talented squad. He was no doubt pleased with his side’s performance;

“We needed to show courage if we wanted to escape the pressure and we did this excellently. We were strong in our transition game, we were strong in defending and winning second balls and counter-pressing. It was a very, very good team performance.”

Mason the man

Mount was a key element of that counter-pressing game and his development is expected to go to another level under Tuchel’s coaching.

Mason Mount

The England international had plenty to offer in build-up play, finding gaps between the lines and linking play with intelligent combinations, particularly benefitting the likes of Ben Chilwell and Timo Werner.

Defensively, he was characteristically aware and his work rate was non-stop throughout.

“We’ve been on a good run recently, winning games, getting points, and not conceding many chances or goals.” Mount said after the game. 

“We felt like we could come here, put in a good performance and win the game. When you turn up with that mentality, of wanting to give it to them and press high, you’re always going to have a chance.”

This was another big-game performance under the belt for the midfielder after his technical quality and work ethic were on show against Tottenham, Atlético Madrid and Man United. He has the highest shot-creation actions for Chelsea in the league (141) at a rate of 2.5 per game and averages a goal contribution every three games in 2020/21.

The Cobham academy graduate has been a shining light in this strange season and now sets the benchmark for Tuchel’s attackers. His ever-presence boosted by the fact he has been used in several positions across midfield and attack throughout the season.

Mount has quickly dismissed the Lampard favouritism tag and is Chelsea’s brightest spark in their surge back into the top four. Indeed, he was made in Chelsea.

Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin
March 5, 2021
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Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin

Chief Editor of the Football Castle, Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin is a football junkie and writer of the beautiful game.

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