Mason Mount netted a hat-trick as Chelsea stayed top of the Premier League with an utterly dominant 7-0 victory over beleaguered Norwich City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
The hosts had the lead within eight minutes as Jorginho controlled the ball expertly on the edge of the Norwich box before playing a cute pass to Mount, who arrowed his finish into the bottom corner.
Ten minutes later it was two as Callum Hudson-Odoi ran onto Mateo Kovacic’s simple but perfectly-weighted through ball and applied a simple finish. The Blues made it three before half-time, with Mount turning provider with a cutting pass to the onrushing Reece James, who lifted the ball expertly over Tim Krul.
Chelsea didn’t take their foot off the gas after the break, extending their lead when suddenly prolific goalscorer Ben Chiwell fired into the corner for his fourth in five appearances for club and country.
Hudson-Odoi’s cross was then deflected past a despairing Krul before things went from bad to worse for Norwich. Ben Gibson was given his marching orders just after the hour mark having scythed down James just ten minutes after picking up his first booking for charging into Kai Havertz.
Chelsea went through the motions thereafter, with substitutes, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Hakim Ziyech and Ross Barkley drawing fine saves from Krul.
To add insult to injury, Chelsea were awarded a late penalty for a handball following a VAR review, which Krul initially saved from Mount, but further salt was rubbed into the wounds when it was re-taken and scored after the keeper was spotted off his line.
A statement win was rounded off by Mount completing his hat-trick with a simple tap-in after excellent work by Loftus-Cheek and Ziyech.
Here’s how the players rated…
Edouard Mendy (GK) – 7/10 – Didn’t have many saves to make but dominated his box from crosses. Brilliant goalkeeping to mop up after an error from Chilwell.
Trevoh Chalobah (CB) – 7/10 – Quiet day’s work, but didn’t put a foot wrong.
Thiago Silva (CB) – 7/10 – Supremely comfortable at the heart of the back three. Didn’t have much to do, mind.
Antonio Rudiger (CB) – 8/10 – Inevitably bombed forward at every opportunity and usually heeded the crowd’s calls for a long-range pop. Defended with his usual bite.
Reece James (RWB) – 8/10 – Dominated his opposite wing-back Dimitris Giannoulis in the first half. What a finish for a full-back for 3-0, lifting the ball sumptuously over Krul.
Mateo Kovacic (CM) – 8/10 – Absolutely everywhere. Simple but perfectly executed slid-rule assist for Hudson-Odoi. Another simple assists for Chilwell.
Jorginho (CM) – 7/10 – Lovely control and cute pass to assist Mount. His immaculate passing and shielding of the ball takes so much pressure off his teammates. Subbed after an easy day’s work.
Ben Chilwell (LWB) – 8/10 – The confidence is back. Useful at both ends, making some important interventions. Loose pass almost caused a problem, but bailed out by Mendy. Can’t stop scoring! Excellent finish across Krul.
Mason Mount (RF) – 9/10 – Back among the goals with a bang! Found the corner brilliantly from the edge of the box. Fine assist for James to make it 3-0, dissecting the Canaries’ backline. Re-taken penalty and a tap-in for the hat-trick. Easy work.
Kai Havertz (CF) – 6/10 – A performance full of industry but nothing really went his way. Spurned a couple of half-chances.
Callum Hudson-Odoi (LF) – 8/10 – At his electric best. Couldn’t get on the end of an early ball from Jorginho but finished brilliantly from Kovacic’s pass and tormented his man throughout. Looked disappointed to be subbed with 20 to go, and perhaps rightly so.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (CM) – 8/10 – Really effective off the bench. Assist for Mount’s third.
Hakim Ziyech (LF) – 7/10 – Looked dangerous, going close a few times from range.
Ross Barkley (CF) – 7/10 – Pulled a good effort just wide and forced an excellent stop from Krul after a lovely turn. Maybe should have scored.
Tim Krul (GK) – 5/10 – No chance with the first four goals…no idea what he was doing with the fifth. Two fantastic late saves but not his day, as evidenced by the re-taken penalty.
Ozan Kabak (CB) – 4/10 – Attempted to drive out from the back, to little avail. Blasted one quarter-chance over.
Grant Hanley (CB) – 3/10 – Did well to stop Havertz running in early doors. Not a good day thereafter.
Ben Gibson (CB) – N/A – Absolutely clattered Mount and somehow got away with it. Full-blooded, shall we say. Booked for charging into Havertz then clattered James to pick up a second yellow ten minutes later. Stupid.
Max Aarons (RWB) – 4/10 – Barely able to get into the game.
Pierre Lees-Melou (CM) – 4/10 – Worked hard but struggled to get anywhere near his opposite numbers. Booked for a cynical trip on Chilwell. Subbed at half-time.
Mathias Normann (CM) – 4/10 – Despite Norwich having three in the middle of the park, none of them could get close to Jorginho and Kovacic – Normann included.
Kenny McLean (CM) – 3/10 – Not convinced he touched the ball in the first half. Barely involved in the second.
Dimitris Giannoulis (LWB) – 3/10 – Eesh. Dominated throughout the first half by James and hauled off at half-time.
Josh Sargent (ST) – 2/10 – See: Kenny McLean.
Teemu Pukki (ST) – 2/10 – Not a good day for the Canaries’ main marksman. Didn’t have a sniff.
Milot Rashica (LF) – 6/10 – Brought on to match up to Chelsea’s shape. Pounced on a loose pass from Chilwell, but saw his effort smothered by Mendy.
Brandon Williams (LWB) – 5/10 – Better than Giannoulis but still not great.
Andrew Omobamidele (ST) – N/A – Not sure he touched it.