Mason Mount has been labelled a ‘brilliant young footballer’ and a Chelsea and England captain in waiting after his stunning strike helped the Blues to a 2-0 win against Porto in their Champions League quarter-final first-leg clash.
Mount expertly put Chelsea in front before half-time with his maiden strike in the competition as he brilliantly spun on the half-turn to leave a Porto defender for dead before slotting into the corner.
And Ben Chilwell completed what was a comfortable 2-0 victory for the Premier League side with a superb solo effort to put Thomas Tuchel’s men in a brilliant position to secure themselves a spot in the last four of the competition.
And former Chelsea defender Jason Cundy waxed lyrical about Mount on Sports Bar, insisting he can go on to captain his beloved Blues and country one day.
“Mason’s awesome, he’s a brilliant young footballer. I think a lot of people don’t watch enough of him and may just look at his work ethic and think that’s all he’s got,” Cundy said.
“He’s got the plus and bags of ability. On Twitter you get a certain type of fan and some of them don’t see it and football’s about opinions – so that’s fair enough.
“A lot of rival fans don’t want to see it, but you can’t deny what he’s done. His meteoric rise he’s had, going to Vitesse and winning player of the year, he went to Derby, Frank [Lampard] plays him, Gareth [Southgate] plays him, Mr Tuchel plays him.
“He’s getting better. We’ve haven’t seen the finished article, but he’s the Chelsea captain in waiting and I think he could be England captain one day as well.”
Meanwhile, former Man City defender Danny Mills was very complimentary about Mount’s brilliant goal following his sublime piece of skill.
“Mason Mount has been Chelsea’s brightest player,” Mills said on co-commentary duties for talkSPORT.
“He’s demanding the ball, he wants it from Kovacic.
“He lets the ball run through his legs with a little reverse Cruyff turn and then he’s into the box and has one thing on his mind and that’s shoot.
“It’s not the cleanest connection in the world and the goalkeeper could have done a little bit better but it’s a good finish from Mount.”
And Blues boss Tuchel was equally pleased with Mount’s contribution on the night, highlighting his importance in his side.
Tuchel said: “The first goal was very important for us. We had been a bit too tense, not precise enough and we had lacked a bit of rhythm.
“The finish was clinical, it was excellent from Mason. He has the quality to do this, and in a quarter-final it is a big step for him and a big, big help for the team.
“Mason has the right mentality and the right attitude towards training and games. And he has the right attitude towards success. He’s got both feet on the ground, and he’s open enough and hungry to learn.
“It’s very difficult for me to compare him to different players in different positions, and different players in the same position from different clubs. But Mason is a very important player for us. A key player for us.”
Mount’s first-half goal settled Chelsea’s early nerves and Tuchel’s men put in an imperious defensive display to see out the victory in the second-half.
Chelsea rode their luck at times, with Edouard Mendy producing fine saves to thwart Pepe and Moussa Marega, but ultimately fully merited their first-leg victory.
Mount and Chilwell’s efforts count as away goals, even though both legs of the last-eight tie are being played at Sevilla’s neutral Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium due to coronavirus travel constraints.
Chelsea were able to hit back from Saturday’s 5-2 Premier League thumping by West Brom, and also move past the training-ground spat between Antonio Rudiger and Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Mount’s fine strike separated the sides for much of the match, with the 22-year-old scoring his first Champions League goal.
Omitted from the starting XI for Thomas Tuchel’s first match at the Chelsea helm back in January for the Blues’ goalless draw with Wolves, Mount has quickly won the German manager’s trust.
Chilwell has had to battle hard with Marcos Alonso for game time on the left flank, but the 24-year-old capped an impressive showing with a stunning late solo goal.