Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi were among those who dazzled as Chelsea cruised to a 7-0 win over Norwich City on Saturday.
As expected, Chelsea were in total control of the proceedings from the get-go, and were duly ahead in the 8th minute after some sloppy moments that irked Thomas Tuchel. The deadlock was broken with a moment of brilliance from Mason Mount, whose half volley went in off the upright to make it 1-0. And shortly after, the Blues were two to the good.
This time around, Callum Hudson-Odoi became Chelsea’s 17th different goalscorer this season after being delightfully picked by Mateo Kovacic. Things went from bad to worse for Norwich ahead of half-time, as Reece James made it 3-0 after being released by Mount with a deft pass into the Norwich box.
Post the interval, Norwich picked up the tempo and threatened Chelsea early on. However, the hosts soon found their feet and soon made it 4-0, with Ben Chilwell finishing off a well worked team move that had all the midfielders and wing-backs involved. Moments later, Chelsea were five up, with Hudson-Odoi’s effort scrambling past Tim Krul thanks to a deflection off Max Aarons.
Norwich’s travails worsened in the 65th minute as Ben Gibson was sent off for a second bookable offence. Late in the game, Chelsea had a few opportunities to add more gloss to the scoreline but were time and again denied by an inspired Krul until the 82nd minute when the Blues were given a penalty for a handball by Mathias Normann.
Mount stepped up to take the resulting spot-kick but had it saved by Krul. But, VAR intervened once again to find that Krul did not have one foot on the line to force the penalty to be retaken, with Mount making no mistake this time before completing his hat-trick in injury time. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Thomas Tuchel’s men after they consolidated their place atop the Premier League table.
Edouard Mendy: 6/10
No goalkeeper has kept more clean sheets (5) in the Premier League this season than Edouard Mendy.
Safe pair of hands between the sticks. 🧤 pic.twitter.com/1Zp0KwpAwS
— William Hill (@WilliamHill) October 23, 2021
A largely quiet afternoon for Mendy, who did not have a save to make all game. Almost got caught out by Milot Rashica early in the second half but showed brilliant awareness to keep the Norwich forward out. That was as busy as Mendy got in the game, with the Chelsea no. 1 keeping another clean sheet.
Trevoh Chalobah: 7/10
With Andreas Christensen given a bit of a breather, Chalobah got another chance to impress. And the young defender once again looked comfortable at the back, proving that last week’s wobbliness against Brentford was only a blip. Utilised possession smartly, only misplacing four of the passes he attempted.
Thiago Silva: 7/10
A straightforward afternoon for Silva, who ensured Norwich hardly ever waded into the Chelsea box let alone trouble Mendy. Kept Teemu Pukki quiet all throughout, winning all but one duel that he contested. And as was the case with every other Chelsea player on the day, he was precise with the ball at his feet, completing 92 percent of his attempted passes.
Antonio Rudiger: 7/10
One of the easiest outings of his career for Rudiger, who hardly broke a sweat on the day. The nature of the game also allowed him the opportunity to make his way into the opposition half regularly and also found himself around the Norwich box at times, all while completing just about every pass that he attempted.
Reece James: 8/10
Reece James has been directly involved in 4 league goals this season:
🅰️⚽️ vs. Arsenal
🅰️ vs. Liverpool
⚽️ vs. Norwich
Cool finish. 👏 pic.twitter.com/kEKnCkUc3A
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) October 23, 2021
Drafted into the starting lineup in place of Cesar Azpilicueta, James had a game to remember, as he scored Chelsea’s third goal with a fine dinked effort after being put through on goal by Mason Mount. Put in the hard yards defensively to ensure the centre-backs were never troubled while also being a constant outlet down the right flank, and even starting the move for the fourth goal.
Donning the armband for Chelsea in the absence of Azpilicueta, Jorginho worked around the space in the midfield smartly all through the game. Involved in one way or another in just about every goal scored by the hosts, and in each of those moments he was the one finding teammates in pockets of space. Taken off after an hour of midfield masterclass.
Mateo Kovacic: 8/10
Starting in place of N’Golo Kante, Kovacic was a bundle of energy in the middle of the park. And in what was a commanding display from the Croat, the cherry on top was the vision he showed in picking Callum Hudson-Odoi out for the second Chelsea goal. The assist for Ben Chilwell’s goal was more straightforward, as he found the wing-back in acres of space. What an asset for Tuchel.
Ben Chilwell: 8/10
⚽️ Ben Chilwell is the first player to score in 4 successive PL appearances for Chelsea since Eden Hazard in October – November 2016 pic.twitter.com/umfNIWn6bm
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) October 23, 2021
Like most of the Chelsea players, Chilwell was in fine form even if he was not directly involved in a goal in the first half. In fact, his movement was key in dragging Mathias Normann out of position and creating the space for Mount to score. Early in the second half, though, Chilwell was finally in business, producing a fine finish to make it 4-0. Oozing confidence right now.
Mason Mount: 10/10
Back in the starting lineup in a Premier League game, Mount was hot off the gates, producing a brilliant half volley that beat Tim Krul all ends up, as he became Chelsea’s 16th different goalscorer this season. Then, closer to half-time, he set James up for his side’s third with a brilliant through ball.
Continued to pull the strings for Chelsea all through the game and showed just why he is their talisman. Had some fun late on, as he scored a penalty on the second time of asking after having his initial effort saved by Tim Krul. Then went on to complete an unthinkable hat-trick with the simplest of tap-ins from point-blank range.
Mason Mount has scored his first ever Premier League hat-trick for Chelsea. pic.twitter.com/FvNkoP7oXc
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) October 23, 2021
Kai Havertz: 8/10
Handed a chance to impress as the central striker in the absence of Romelu Lukaku, Havertz, who was the Player to Watch in our preview, ran his socks off to create space in and around the Norwich box, which was key in almost every goal that Chelsea scored. Never really got into a decent scoring position, but still did enough to help his teammates out in key moments.
Callum Hudson-Odoi: 8/10
With Timo Werner also sidelined along with Lukaku, Hudson-Odoi was handed a rare start. And the English forward made a strong start to the game, making a fine run that opened up the space around the Norwich box in the build-up to Mount’s goal.
Shortly after, he was on the scoresheet himself, as Kovacic sent him through on goal before he produced a composed finish. Thereafter, he continued to showcase a lot of energy down the left flank and almost got a goal for those efforts as well, only for the strike to be credited as an own goal after it took a heavy deflection off Max Aarons. Job well done, nonetheless.
Callum Hudson-Odoi becomes Chelsea’s 17th different scorer on the season 😳🔥 pic.twitter.com/GHNRjwlP56
— B/R Football (@brfootball) October 23, 2021
Ruben Loftus-Cheek: 7/10
On for Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek was once again a lively presence in the middle of the park. Nearly scored twice as well, only to be denied by Krul. However, he did set Mount up for the final goal of the game after being released into the Norwich box.
Hakim Ziyech: 6/10
On for Hudson-Odoi, Ziyech made his first appearance in the Premier League since September 11. And the Moroccan playmaker nearly scored as well with a long range curler, but Krul intervened.
Ross Barkley: 6/10
Making a rare appearance, Barkley, who replaced Havertz, was eager to make an impression. And the Englishman almost found the back of the net from close range, only to be thwarted by a fine stop from Krul.