Chelsea made a huge statement in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
Lining up against La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid looked like a difficult prospect on paper, especially when you consider Los Rojiblancos’ dramatic victory over Liverpool last season.
But truth be told, it was the Premier League outfit who had the most joy when they locked horns in Bucharest with Thomas Tuchel’s men eventually emerging 1-0 winners.
Atletico Madrid 0-1 Chelsea
Given the respective managers, it should come as little surprise that great swathes of the game resembled a chess match with Atletico mustering just one shot on target in the first-half.
However, for all of Diego Simeone’s negative tactics, it was a moment of brilliance that eventually settled the first leg with Olivier Giroud adding another spectacular goal to his collection.
And eagle-eyed viewers will have noticed that, just as Giroud levitated into his devastating bicycle kick, a certain Mason Mount already had his arms up in celebration a split-second in advance.
Mount silencing the haters
It was a minute detail on the night, it must be said, but an all-too apt one when you consider the young Englishman was arguably Chelsea’s best performer on the night.
It’s taken Mount longer than usual to become accepted by his fan-base given the skewed perception that he only ever earned his chance because of some faux nepotism from Frank Lampard.
But for all the memes of a father-son partnership between the two, Mount’s performances this season have been so phenomenal that even his most ardent of doubters have started to go quiet.
Lionel Messi impression
Besides, Tuchel will be more than aware of Mount’s brilliance without Lampard after his stunning performance against Atletico – and frankly, we want to celebrate each and every aspect of it.
And before we go nosediving into his incredible individual highlights, there was one moment in particular that went viral with Mount essentially turning into Lionel Messi for ten seconds.
That might sound dramatic, but try telling us that Mount’s insane dribbling, which left two Atletico players on their backs, followed by a deft through-ball doesn’t remind you of the Barcelona icon.
Superb individual highlights
Pretty impressive, huh? But even in a world where you roll your eyes at Mount’s brilliance as though it was an anomaly, there’s no getting away from the fact that his overall display was simply superb.
And courtesy of Twitter user @LSComps, we can appreciate that fact by checking out 100 seconds of Mount running circles around one of the best teams in European football. Check it out below:
So, it’s fair to say that Mount is a little more than Lampard’s little sidekick…
And with Euro 2020 fast approaching, performances like that will do Mount no harm in standing out amongst England’s glut of talent in attacking midfield from Jack Grealish to James Maddison.
Besides, for all of Atletico’s faults on the night, you’re doing something right if you’re making a Simeone side look like eleven training cones. Fair play to you, Mason, fair play.
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