Football Features

Mason Mount cements Tuchel ‘MVP’ claim as Chelsea beat Leeds Utd

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 17:43, 11 December 2021

Chelsea got back on the winning trail as they ran out 3-2 winners over Leeds United at Stamford Bridge this afternoon.

Thomas Tuchel’s men were looking to avoid dropping valuable points for a second consecutive weekend and last time out their sloppiness, grabbing defeat from the jaws of victory against West Ham on the road, proved costly as it meant they would no longer be sitting on top.

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Having made two changes from the 15th matchday — César Azpilicueta and Timo Werner coming in for Andreas Christensen and Hakim Ziyech respectively — started on the wrong foot as influential Brazilian winger Raphinha had put the visitors ahead from the penalty spot.

Marcos Alonso, recently back in Chelsea’s first team after missing six consecutive matches due to Ben Chilwell’s irresistible form but now sidelined through a serious knee injury, made amends following his involvement in the incident that led to Marcelo Bielsa’s side being awarded their spotkick. His pass was converted by Mason Mount who is sneakily the club’s ‘most valuable player’ in this Tuchel era.

He’s now scored and assisted a goal in four of his last five Premier League starts for Chelsea, registering six and assisting three across these matches. The former academy graduate has to date scored the most league goals (10) and assists (6) of anyone under Tuchel.

To say he’s living the boyhood dream would be an understatement. Back in 2017 esteemed magazine France Football named their 12 most promising talents. Among those featured was Mount then learning his trade at Eredivisie club Vitesse. It was during his loan spell when the Londoner spoke to Dutch publication Voetbal International and in his interview Mount cited his goal of becoming a regular Chelsea first-teamer.

Although he looked impressive playing in the Netherlands top division there was no guarantee it would lead to Chelsea’s senior team. The road getting here was arduous but there was an element of fortune. His former Derby County boss Frank Lampard succeeding Maurizio Sarri played a significant role so did a transfer embargo, which forced a renewed focus on giving several of the club’s youngsters a chance.

Mount seized his opportunity and hasn’t looked back since. The same can be said for Antonio Rudiger. Much has been said about the German international’s future but today the imposing centre-back, who loves to maraud forward, was equally important as Mount as he won both of Chelsea’s penalties in the second half — subsequently becoming the second Chelsea player to win two penalties in a single Premier League game after Yuri Zhirkov (against Aston Villa in March 2018) — which turned everything around.

Jorginho slotted home the first before the hour mark; their lead though was short-lived as Leeds substitute Joe Gelhardt levelled proceedings with seven minutes remaining on the clock, it was an emotional moment for him as he’s the first teenager to score a Premier League goal for the Yorkshire club since James Milner (against Everton in April 2004) and to make things even more special Gelhardt did so with his very first touch of the game.

Just when it seemed the Blues had shot themselves in the foot again — having now conceded eight goals across their last three matches in all competitions, which is as many they’ve shipped in their previous 18 outings — Chris Kavanagh pointed to the spot deep into stoppage time. Jorginho stepped up to dramatically secure all three points which didn’t go unnoticed by his boss. “It’s not so easy two score two penalties. I wasn’t sure if he would take the second one,” he told Sky Sports. “We believe in our players, it’s not easy so full credit to him.”

It was also a historic goal in this rivalry, as Chelsea have now won their last five home league matches against Leeds, something they’ve never managed to do so before at Stamford Bridge.