Football Features

“Class act” Mason Mount puts on a show as Chelsea take huge step towards Champions League football

By Harry Edwards

Published: 21:50, 11 May 2022

Mason Mount put in a wonderful display to help Chelsea all but secure their spot in next season’s Champions League as they beat Leeds United 3-0 on Wednesday night.

Chelsea went into the game in poor form, without a win in their past three Premier League games, drawing two and losing once including on Saturday when they let a 2-0 lead slip against Wolves. It had seen their comfort in the top four blown away, just one point clear of fourth-placed Arsenal and five ahead of Tottenham Hotspur in fifth.

Such was Chelsea’s form, fans were not confident of their team leaving Elland Road with all three points, especially against a Leeds side currently battling for their lives against relegation.

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But any fears were quickly allayed when Mount gave the visitors the lead in the fourth minute. It was excellent play from Chelsea, who switched the ball across the pitch very quickly through Romelu Lukaku and Mount, who found Reece James. Mount continued his run towards the box and, after James had cut inside, was on hand to curl a beautiful shot past Illan Meslier at his near post.

Scored just 3:15 into the game, it was Chelsea’s third-fastest goal of the season, with only Timo Werner vs Zenit in December (1:24) and Trevoh Chalobah against Norwich in March (2:31) scoring quicker than Mount.

Chelsea game looked to have got easier when Dan James was sent off midway through the first half for a terrible challenge on Mateo Kovacic, but they were made to wait until 10 minutes after half time for their second. And again Mount was involved.

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This time Mount was the penultimate component of another good team goal, backheeling to ball to Christian Pulisic for the American to place the ball into the bottom left corner of the net. It was Mount’s 10th Premier League assist of the season, to go with his 11th goal scored earlier in the game.

Only Mohamed Salah and Jarrod Bowen have also managed to score 10+ goals and record 10+ assists in the Premier League this season, and Mount is the first Chelsea player to do so since Eden Hazard in 2018/19.

“He’s a class act this boy,” Graeme Souness said of Mount at half-time on Sky Sports.

“What a boy this is. I think he’s top class,” he added after the match.

“And I remember a couple of years ago Chelsea supporters doubted him. There’s nothing to doubt about him. He’s energetic, he’s a workaholic, he’s got great skill, he’s got an eye for a goal, an eye for a killer pass.

“He’s just a top player at such a young age.”

Souness’ sentiments were echoed by Sky Sports commentator Alan Smith, who said: “Mason Mount has been poetry in motion out there at times. Such a classy player and young enough to get better. He’s been too much for Leeds tonight.”

The win leaves Chelsea now seven points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham in the race for the top four, and the Blues could actually see their spot sealed tomorrow if Antonio Conte’s side drop points against Arsenal.

But Chelsea won’t have too much focus on that, or time to celebrate if it is sealed, as there’s the small matter of the FA Cup final against Liverpool coming on Saturday.