It took Chelsea until the second half to make the breakthrough against Crystal Palace on Saturday, but Frank Lampard’s Baby Blues never looked like losing the game. Things were mostly under control, even before making sure of the points with a second goal ten minutes from time.
The win, a current league-best sixth in a row (and 9th from 11 in all competitions), briefly put Chelsea second in the table and ensured that we head into the break on a positive note and with an at least 8-point gap to fifth place. While there have been a couple hiccups in the road, including a loss to Manchester United in the League Cup, Chelsea are building strong positive momentum.
“Yeah, it was massive [win]. We’ve had a really good month. A lot of wins a lot of good performances. So to finish it off before the international break was massive for us and to take over take a good win into the break. So yeah, we’re very pleased with the performance and the win and the three points was most important.
“Yeah, I think [momentum] is what you need. Just keep playing, staying focused and t hat momentum builds and then it’s like you don’t really think about the game or winning. You just have to keep playing and keep focused and the goals are coming we’re doing well in the back was stopping also this is going on.”
Mount himself has been riding strong momentum since the very start of the season. He’s failed to feature in just 1 of Chelsea’s 19 games in all competitions, starting 16. Twice now he’s overcome ankle injuries to not only not miss any time, but to start the game and be a positive influence on and off the ball.
It was no different on Saturday, when he was key to Chelsea eventually breaking down Crystal Palace. He may have been kept off the scoresheet — after a hot start, he has just 1 assist in his last 4 league games — but he created chances, keyed the press, and was his usual all-action self.
“We’d seen a couple of their games recently, but we knew that they would come here try and make it difficult for us sit behind the ball and try and defend and so we knew it was going to be tough. It kind of took us that first half too. Keep moving it into keep trying to break them down right at the end of the first half we could have scored so it took. It took us a long time. But yeah, we got there in the second half and then the second one came.”
Mount was withdrawn a few minutes from time, and his substitution brought up an amusing situation, the oncoming fresh-faced Billy Gilmour, 18, was replacing a 20-year-old veritable veteran (in this situation, especially in terms of professional experience). But those are the days of Chelsea’s youth revolution, and these are some fun days indeed.
“It’s brilliant. It shows that there’s obviously a lot of young players coming through at the moment and focus to do well. It’s a step up but I think a lot of us are obviously wanting to do that step up and want to prove that we’re ready. It’s a massive season for us. We’re all focused and with the experienced boys as well helping us so much from the beginning of the season. So yeah, at the moment it’s going well. We just need to keep that focus.”
-Mason Mount; source: Chelsea TV
After the two-week break, Chelsea will take on Manchester City at the Etihad, then travel to Valencia for a massively crucial Champions League group stage match, then head into the busy holiday schedule. The season could look and feel very different based on the outcomes of those two games, and potentially set us up for a truly festive period.