Chelsea resumed after the imposed break with a comeback win against relegation threatened Aston Villa.
With some good performances on display especially from the likes of N'golo Kante and skipper Cesar Azpilicueta, it was young Mason Mount who was man of the match for his energetic, industrious performance.
A player who has featured heavily this season under Frank Lampard, he seemed refreshed and motivated after the break. With midfield options aplenty at Chelsea, he staked his claim to be a key player going forward for the rest of the season.
What Does He Offer?
With Chelsea youngsters being given plenty of opportunities to flourish this year, an argument can be made that Mount has been the most successful in terms of holding down a place in the team. He’s been trusted by Lampard on many an occasion being used out wide or in midfield - both of which aren’t his ‘natural’ position.
Derby fans will know he was a key player for them in the Championship playing as a ‘number 10’ in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Therefore, it is even more impressive that Mount has learned and adapted his game to play in this Chelsea team in his first year at this level.
He's technically proficient, which was demonstrated with his strike from distance with his weaker foot, which warranted a strong hand from the Villa keeper. Additionally, he works extremely hard for the team pressing well whilst also being a viable option on the ball.
Perhaps he is a player that has gone under the radar for Chelsea, as Tammy Abraham has scored the goals this year and maybe stole the headlines but the ever improving Mount has been a real positive in Chelsea’s season.
Why is he key to how Chelsea play?
He was key to Chelsea yesterday in the 4-3-3 formation, which Lampard has favoured most this season. Playing in the ‘8’ role, which is the most advanced player in the midfield three, suits Mount’s qualities and most importantly, the team.
In a game where Villa sat deep, Chelsea had the majority of the ball but struggled to really penetrate. Mount was one of the only players to find spaces and create chances where many struggled. A real strength in his game is his ability to drift from his position and pop up in different attacking areas and we saw that in abundance at Villa Park.
A balance of skilful dribbling, incisive short passing, quick touches and link up play with other Chelsea players are something he does extremely well.
A prime example was when he collected the ball on the right and drove into the box skipping by two defenders before laying a ball across the box which missed Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s boot by a couple of inches.
In the second half, after Chelsea had equalised, he was key in the build up of the winning goal. This was really the epitome of what he offers the team.
In a tight space, his one two with goal scorer Olivier Giroud and drive into the box was incisive as he fed the ball to Azpilicueta on the left. This created space, where there previously wasn’t, for the Spaniard to play it to Giroud who swivelled and applied the finish.
Mason Mount vs Aston Villa:
11 touches in the box (20% of total touches)
10 passes in box (19.6% of total passes)
1 dribble inside the box
3 ground duels won (60% success rate)
Exceptional display from Mount despite not having a goal or assist. pic.twitter.com/4MeVZMJKX4
— ExpectedChelsea (@ExpectedChelsea) June 21, 2020
This was a key win for Chelsea and going forward, it seems that he’s pushing to be one of the first names on the team sheet every week.
With nearly 2400 minutes in the Premier League this year, he continues to improve and with Manchester City coming to the Bridge on Thursday, he receives one of the toughest tests in Football. But this maturing player is ready for the test.