Mason Mount has played several (many?) games at Stamford Bridge throughout his Chelsea youth career, including a couple appearances in FA Youth Cup finals, which are a two-legged, home-and-away affairs. But none of those compare to playing a senior competitive match at the big house, in front of a (let’s call it) sellout crowd of almost 40,000, 90 per cent of whom are hoping to see him one day play in the same place in a Blue instead of a white shirt.
It certainly was a unique situation, a Chelsea player (loanee, to be exact) making his Chelsea home stadium debut against Chelsea ... while managed by one of Chelsea’s greatest legends and the club’s all-time leading goalscorer!
“Surreal” might not be enough to describe it, and that’s before we get to Derby scoring twice in the wrong goal, too...
“It was an unbelievable experience for me, to come and play in front of all these Chelsea fans - and Derby fans.
“It was quite surreal, having been at Chelsea since I was six-years-old, and my first (senior) game at Stamford Bridge is against them. I won a couple of youth cups there, which were obviously very memorable. I was captain for the second one and that was probably my last game at Stamford Bridge before this.
”I was probably a bit more nervous than usual going onto the pitch. I don’t usually get nervous. I wasn’t nervous at (Manchester) United but going to Chelsea and knowing so many people at the club... but it was an unbelievable game and a special, special moment.
”It was a weird feeling but something I will remember for a long time. There is so much I can take away from this game.”
Then again, at the end of the day, it was just another football match to play, and try to win. And Derby certainly gave a great account of themselves, hanging with and at times even outplaying (and certainly out-efforting) the home side.
Mount collected an assist as Derby scored four times, twice in each goal, before Cesc Fàbregas got Chelsea’s eventual winner towards the end of the first-half.
“I’ve got mixed feelings. We created so many chances - we could have had a couple more. Nuge (David Nugent) hit the post, Jack (Marriott) had a couple of chances and on another day, we might have won. But what a strong Chelsea side it is. They are unbeaten at the moment and playing good football. I think we can take confidence from the way we played, and hold our heads high.”
“The way Chelsea create chances, it’s hard to defend against. [Unlucky goals] happen in football but I think we can take a lot from the way we bounced back. Going down twice and coming back the way we did shows the character we have in the team. We managed to get back into the game against a tough, tough side.”
-Mason Mount; source: Derby Telegraph
Spoken like a true veteran, as always, despite the barely 19 years of wisdom between his ears. Incidentally, that means that Mount has been a Chelsea player for about as long as Lampard was (13 years or so). And he’s just getting started.
Derby now return to focus on the Championship, where they currently sit sixth and are looking good for a promotion challenge. Best of luck to them, to Mount and the unlucky Tomori, to Jody Morris and Chris Jones, and of course Super Frank himself.
Until the next time...