Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi stomped all over Norwich on Chelsea’s coup, but they also fell back and got caught … the Blues duo used Canaries as a wet stone to sharpen after losing their lead.
- Chelsea thrashed Norwich 7-0 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday
- Mason Mount, Reece James, Ben Chilwell and Callum Hudson-Odoi scored
- The Blues are now four points clear at the top of the table after nine games.
They live a strange existence, Norwich City. But if we’re going to detect a larger purpose in the latter part of their biennial cycles, when the slaps in the Premier League follow their success in the Championship, then perhaps it is about what they offer to others.
It would seem that on these trips to the top flight, they are best served as a kind of wet stone, a means of sharpening those from bigger clubs who have lost their edge. For Chelsea’s Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi, what a accommodating opposition to the rediscovery of form on a relaxing Saturday afternoon.
In Mount’s case, it feels strange to reflect after a hat-trick that there was a buzz of unease surrounding his productivity, with only one assist and no goals in the early stages of this season.
Mason Mount was the star of the show after landing his first career hat-trick for Chelsea.
More worryingly, he had lost his place in the starting eleven, with five consecutive appearances from the bench before the trip west by Daniel Farke’s side.
Dramas can quickly turn into a crisis in this league, and in the same way, a problem can be forgotten almost as quickly. Hat-tricks have a way of working wonders.
On the other side of Chelsea’s offensive trident was Hudson-Odoi, a player of considerable talent with the ability to frustrate coaches. His brilliance seems to be a fleeting condition, and that quest for consistency had been the main topic of Thomas Tuchel’s pre-match press conference.
Callum Hudson-Odoi did not disappoint in an unusual start and also scored a goal
As the German said on Friday, it would take a lot more than a good game against Norwich to talk about corner changes for a forward with just two other starts in the league this season.
In fact, there have been too many false sunrises with the 20-year-old to read massively how he played against a group that tracks down to be among the worst teams to breathe in this division.
But this was a good step, one that probably would have been the tale had it not been for Mount’s contribution. Together, they trampled all of Norwich.
Hudson-Odoi was involved in the first goal, finished well for Mount, and Hudson-Odoi then scored the second. The fifth, an own goal by Max Aarons, was immediately preceded by a Hudson-Odoi cross, and the sixth was scored from the penalty spot by Mount.
Tim Krul saved Mount’s initial penalty, but he went off his line and had to take it again
Tim Krul had saved his initial effort, but his fractional step off the line prompted a somewhat cruel order to retake: Norwich is not only bad, it is also unlucky. Mount also survived an offside check by scoring the seventh.
Those were the highlights of the couple, the sparkling parts. What probably caught Tuchel’s most insightful attention were the broader contributions: Mount tracking down to rob Ben Gibson in 28 minutes; Hudson-Odoi pressing Ozan Kabak and cutting his pass at 11.
That Hudson-Odoi interception was just part of a sustained attack on Kabak, who was hit repeatedly in the race for the three-time cap with England.
Thomas Tuchel will be delighted with his team’s performance on Saturday afternoon
Whether Tuchel saw enough to be satisfied is anyone’s guess. After three minutes here, he broke out at Hudson-Odoi about his direct pass choice, before his player told him to calm down. He had scored 15 minutes later so the point was made.
If there was one oddity in all of this, it was that Tuchel, having said that Hudson-Odoi needs to deliver in a full game, hooked him in 68 minutes.
Nothing is ever simple. Except for the games against Norwich, apparently.