In pictures: Chelsea v Norwich
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Much is often made of Manchester United’s academy, with Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood regularly hailed. However, Chelsea’s work with their young players is clearly paying off. And, against Norwich on Saturday, Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi were particularly impressive.
Chelsea were too hot for Norwich to handle on Saturday, running riot in a scintillating display of attacking football.
Mount got the ball rolling in the eighth minute, lashing home from the edge of the box with a pinpoint finish.
Hudson-Odoi then doubled their lead 10 minutes later, with Reece James also on target before the interval.
Ben Chilwell and a Max Aarons own-goal saw Chelsea extend their lead at the start of the second half.
And Mount then bagged two late goals to register his first hat-trick for the club, compounding a terrific afternoon in the process.
There were many bright spots for Chelsea on the day.
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Edouard Mendy kept another clean sheet, with the 29-year-old having precious little to do throughout the match.
Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek looked bright off the bench, despite barely featuring under Tuchel so far.
And Kai Havertz led the line with a professional showing in the absences of Romelu Lukaku and Thomas Tuchel, who are both injured.
However, the displays of Mount and Hudson-Odoi were both impressive too.
And, on a day where Chelsea extended their lead at the top of the Premier League table, it seems as though the work done with their academy is really paying off.
Manchester United are often hailed for their young players, with Greenwood and Rashford’s talents obvious for all to see.
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But, in Hudson-Odoi and Mount, Chelsea already have their own versions of the pair.
Mount had previously failed to score for the Blues this season, leading to some suggestions that he’s tired.
Yet the England international produced the goods at Stamford Bridge, causing Norwich all kinds of problems in the process.
Hudson-Odoi has often struggled to win Tuchel round throughout the German’s time in charge.
But he, too, stepped up at a time where Lukaku and Werner were unavailable.
If Chelsea can get him back to the level he was at under Maurizio Sarri, then they’ll be onto a winner.
And with their young guns now operating at the peak of their powers, Chelsea fans have every right to dream of title glory.
Speaking after the game, meanwhile, Tuchel hailed his Blues side for their performance.
“We played a good performance. We were sharp and put in a lot of effort,” he said.
“We pressed high and won many balls, we played with a high rhythm and created a lot of chances. To score seven you also need a bit of luck and momentum, but it was a good effort.
“This is just one game, the next one follows on Tuesday evening [in the EFL Cup]. The players deserve all the credit, but it’s also only one game.
“The focus was that we keep the same intensity and we create opportunities. This is what we demanded.
“You need luck to score and you need the moment. That’s why I’m happy because the intensity was high and the rhythm was high.
“I feel very sorry [for Daniel Farke] because we did not stop and we didn’t want to stop. We said at half-time we wanted to keep going.
“It feels horrible for Daniel today – I hope he keeps his head up and puts his team back on track. He deserves it and he’s a good guy.”
And, on Mount specifically, he added: “No matter how satisfied the coach is, the offensive guys need goals to be fully happy.
“He waited too long, so it was good that he got some goals today.
“I think it’s a process. We’re still in between international breaks. I think it’s normal [for players to be tired]. I agree today that Mason looked fresh and it was good to put him on the pitch. We have to be careful with these players who play important roles in their national teams in important competitions.”
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