Graeme Souness singled out ‘top-class’ Mason Mount for praise after Chelsea’s emphatic victory over Premier League relegation-battlers Leeds United.
England international Mount scored and assisted as Chelsea beat Leeds 3-0 at Elland Road on Wednesday night.
The win has all-but secured Chelsea’s place in the top-four with two games remaining, while Leeds remain in serious trouble in the relegation zone.
‘What a boy this is. I think he’s top-class,’ Sky Sports pundit Souness said of Mount after Chelsea’s comfortable victory.
‘I remember Chelsea fans doubting him a couple of years ago, there’s nothing to doubt about him. He’s energetic, he’s a workaholic, he’s got great skill, an eye for a pass.
‘He’s just a top player at such a young age. Mason Mount and Reece James, two young lads, were the two best players on the pitch tonight.’
Chelsea were able to dampen Leeds’ spirits from the off this evening, with Mount whipping an effort past Illan Meslier after just four minutes.
The hosts were reduced to ten men midway through the first half after Daniel James was shown a straight red card for a dangerous high tackle on Mateo Kovacic.
Chelsea made their numerical advantage count after the break and goals from Christian Pulisic and Romelu Lukaku put the game to bed.
‘We needed a performance like that,’ Blues boss Thomas Tuchel said. ‘We deserved to win.
‘That’s the best message. We were excellent right from the start and kept our focus and high intensity.
‘We cleared the air after the late equaliser against Wolves. We knew what was waiting. We had a lot of reason to trust ourselves. The players delivered. Full credit to them.
‘We arrive [to the FA Cup final] with a clear mindset because we did what we needed to do this week. Good news.’
While Chelsea returned to winning ways to enhance their top-four hopes, a home defeat means Leeds’ hopes of staying up are now out of their hands.
Jesse Marsch’s side are behind 17th-placed Burnley on goal difference and two points off Everton, having played a game more than both of their relegation rivals.
‘I’m gutted,’ Marsch said. ‘We give up an early goal and go down a man again – deja vu from the Arsenal game – against a real big opponent.
‘We don’t get a chance to stay in the game and see if we can test ourselves and come away with more. Our focus is totally on recovering and preparing for Sunday.’