A Mason Mount hat trick was the highlight of an utterly dominant performance from Chelsea as they crushed the Premier League’s basement side, Norwich, 7-0 in the lunchtime kick off.
Goals from Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James put Chelsea in cruise control at half time before Ben Chilwell, two late ones from Mount and an own goal compounded a day of misery for 10 man Norwich.
Thomas Tuchel made five changes from Wednesday’s resounding 4-0 win against Malmo. Just like the other night Kai Havertz and Hudson-Odoi replaced the injured Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner. Trevoh Chalobah retained his spot in the Premier League side replacing the ever impressive Andreas Christensen. James started for the first time since Manchester City at right wing back and Mateo Kovacic came in for N’golo Kante who had muscle tightness. All of Edouard Mendy, Thiago Silva, Antonio Rüdiger, Chilwell, Jorginho and Mount kept their spots.
Whereas for Norwich they named an unchanged team from last Saturday’s home 0-0 draw with Brighton. The only change in the matchday squad was Billy Gilmour dropping out as he can’t play against his parent club. This meant Daniel Farke chose to stick with the 5-3-2 system that had stopped Norwich’s losing run with consecutive draws.
As expected, Chelsea asserted their dominance from the first whistle with an attack led by Hudson-Odoi being well snuffed out by the Norwich backline. Soon after the somewhat traditional Rüdiger shot followed and he forced Krul into a save down low to his left.
However, the deadlock was broken by a more conventional source in Mason Mount who was gifted far too much room on the edge of the box and his arrowed right footed shot into the far corner left Tim Krul with no chance. His first goal for 25 games for club and country and one that was welcomed by everyone.
Just 10 minutes later, the Blues had doubled their lead and it was once again a new goal scorer, their 17th of the season. Kovacic was gifted far too much time in the middle of the park and his superb line breaking ball found Hudson-Odoi in acres of space who stroked the ball beyond a helpless Krul.
A similar pattern followed for the rest of the half as the intensity from Norwich just wasn’t up to the level needed to challenge the Champions of Europe. A perfect example being when Ben Gibson was too casual in possession in Chelsea’s half and Mount surged in to nick it off of him.
Though in the 37th minute, Norwich made a rare foray into the Chelsea’s defensive third and registered their first shot of the game as Ozan Kabak looped his effort over the crossbar after pickpocketing Hudson-Odoi. But any hopes of a comeback didn’t last long.
Twelve minutes after Mount had a shot saved by the Dutchman in goal, his through ball on the half turn in the right half space set James up who expertly chipped it over the onrushing Krul to put the Stamford Bridge outfit out of sight just before half time.
HT: Chelsea 3-0 Norwich
Unsurprisingly, Daniel Farke made some changes at half time. Brandon Williams and Milot Rashica came on for Dimitrios Giannoulis and Pierre Lees Melou and one of them very nearly worked instantly.
Rashica ran onto a loose ball from left back Chilwell but in his attempt to go around Mendy, the Senegalese made a sliding block/tackle to deny the Bosnian. It was something you would associate with a defender making a last ditch tackle and not a goalkeeper in their own box such was the desperate nature of it.
Any slim hopes of a Norwich turnaround were quickly extinguished as Chelsea highlighted the gulf between both sides again. They shifted the ball from the right flank to Chilwell on the left corner of the penalty box effortlessly and his left footed drive nestled in the far corner. This now means Chilwell has scored in three consecutive Chelsea games and four for club and country and Kovacic registered yet another assist.
Norwich’s day continued to get worse as only five minutes later, Hudson-Odoi’s driven cross deflected off Max Aarons and squeeze between Krul and the post.
And then on the 64th minute things really went from bad to worse for the Canaries as Gibson, who was already on a yellow card, dived in late and upended James to earn himself an early bath.
For the next twenty or so minutes, Chelsea unleashed a barrage of shots on the away team’s goal. Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Barkley shot wide before the latter had an effort very well saved by Krul after a tidy spin on the edge of the box.
Then just as it seemed the game was fading out, Mathias Normann’s outstretched hands blocked a Rüdiger shot and after conversing with Michael Oliver in the VAR room, Andy Madley awarded the home side a penalty.
Mount’s effort from the spot was rather timid but his blushes were saved by the fact Krul was off his line and second time around he made no mistake with a drilled effort down the middle.
Then to round off an already fantastic day, Loftus Cheek sprung the offside trap from a Hakim Ziyech ball and unselfishly squared it to Mason Mount to complete his first ever Chelsea hat trick and condemn Norwich to a 7-0 hammering.
Full-Time: Chelsea 7-0 Norwich
Written by Harrison Burridge (@indepthFandC)
Edited by Tom Coley (@tomcoley49)
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