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Rampant Chelsea defy key absences in Norwich rout with Mason Mount firmly back on goal trail

·4-min read
Rampant Chelsea defy key absences in Norwich rout with Mason Mount firmly back on goal trail

Mason Mount’s wishes were granted by Norwich as Chelsea ruthlessly exposed the gulf between top and bottom with their biggest win under Thomas Tuchel.

The England international admitted this week that he was long overdue a goal after failing to find the back of the net all season. And he ended that duck in spectacular fashion with a hat-trick in the absence of injured strikers Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner.

A 7-0 scoreline could have been so much worse for Norwich, who contributed to their own downfall with such an insipid display against the European champions.

They were the most generous of guests and Mount could hardly have asked for better opposition in his search for goals.

Norwich were 3-0 down at half-time after gifting Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic the freedom of midfield and standing back to admire Chelsea’s forward talents.

In the second half they got in on the act as well, with Max Aarons putting through his own net and Mathias Normann handling in the box to concede a late penalty.

In between, Ben Gibson was sent off for a second bookable offence, which demonstrated perfectly just how far off the pace the visitors were.

Chelsea really did not need any help against such meagre opposition, but were grateful recipients. No one more so than Mount.

How Lukaku and Werner must have rued the injuries that ruled them out of a day like this. This was a gift of a game to do some stat-padding.

Even when Tuchel took the flow out of the contest with three second-half substitutions, Chelsea looked capable of scoring at will, with Mount netting his second and third in the final 20 minutes, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Hakim Ziyech and Ross Barkley all came off the bench to force fine saves from Tim Krul.

Those changes had the feel of Tuchel showing showing sympathy to his friend and countryman Daniel Farke.

He would also have been keen to conserve energy in a week when he has already complained about the strains being placed on players.

The decision to withdraw Kai Havertz, for instance, was doubtless to protect his only fit centre-forward.

Still, the German will have been disappointed not to score against a side who were there for the taking from kick-off.

Norwich were the first of a run of games against the bottom three of the Premier League for Chelsea. A chance to stretch their lead at the top as well as boost goal difference.

That is precisely how it played out, with Mount opening the scoring after eight minutes. The brilliant Callum Hudson-Odoi’s cross was headed to the edge of the box where Jorginho collected it and laid off to Mount.

If the England international was lacking in confidence, it did not show, with him unleashing a low drive that arrowed into the corner of Krul’s goal.

With the visitors’ resistance broken so early, Farke must have feared the worst – and for good reason. Chelsea were in their flow and doubled their lead 10 minutes later.

Kovacic was the architect with a pass that split Norwich’s defence and found the run of Hudson-Odoi on the left. The winger did not break stride as he cut in towards goal and slipped his shot into the corner.

 (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
(Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Mount saw another effort saved after a fantastic twisting run from Hudson-Odoi and pass across the box. It felt like the score could be anything, with Chelsea enjoying so much space in the final third.

They made it 3-0 in the 42nd minute with another well-worked move. This time Jorginho swept the ball to Mount, who flicked it with the outside of his boot as Reece James raced up on the right.

He was moving at such speed that his first touch carried him close to goal, with Krul advancing. But he showed composure to quickly adjust his feet and lift the ball into the back of the net.

On 57 minutes Ben Chilwell hit Chelsea’s fourth to continue his own purple patch in front of goal with a powerful effort on the angle. Five minutes later Hudson-Odoi’s cross was deflected past Krul by Aarons.

It got worse when Gibson was sent off for a foul on James, which reduced Norwich to 10 men for the final 25 minutes.

Chelsea were awarded a penalty when Normann handled Antonio Rudiger’s shot in the box.

VAR was required to award the penalty, and after Mount’s initial effort was saved, it took the video assistant to point out Krul had stepped off his line early.

Mount struck again – this time finding the back of the net, despite Krul getting another touch.

There was still time for a seventh – Mount again – after Loftus-Cheek’s quick break.

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