Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel hailed midfielder Mason Mount for his superb hat-trick in Saturday's 7-0 Premier League victory over Norwich City and stressed the importance of the England international to the team's style of play.
Chelsea showed no lack of firepower https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-soccer-england-che-nor-report/soccer-leaders-chelsea-hammer-norwich-7-0-in-premier-league-idUKKBN2HD09S despite the absence of injured forwards Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner as they ran riot against the league's bottom side, with Mount scoring his third in added time to cap off a memorable display.
The Chelsea academy graduate's maiden treble for the club helped them stay above Manchester City at the top of the table, with 22 points from nine matches, and also quash talk of a striker crisis https://www.reuters.com/article/soccer-england-che-nor-report/soccer-chelseas-rout-of-norwich-quashes-talk-of-striker-crisis-idINL8N2RJ07B.
"We play in most games with three strikers and Mason is one of them," Tuchel told reporters. "You can say he's maybe between an eight and a 10, so not a real striker, so in that way we really depend on him. He plays a key role.
"The wing backs play with more freedom to help our strikers really in the last line and they feel more and more confident. It's a complex game. There's very rarely one reason why things happen like this - but we depend on Mason and we want to.
"We like his style, where he comes from, his personality and he's a top guy. So we're very happy for him."
Mount said he was delighted to make an impression with England manager Gareth Southgate in the stands.
"I just got told he was watching. It's brilliant for me and obviously to get my first goals of the season and an assist, it was a good day," Mount said.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by William Mallard)