Premier League • England

Graham Potter waxes lyrical over ‘world class’ Chelsea man; ‘delighted’ with fifth straight victory

Graham Potter manages Chelsea

Graham Potter has lauded Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga for his ‘world-class performance’ against Aston Villa, while also heaping praise on goalscorer Mason Mount.

Chelsea were looking to continue their fine form and make it five wins on the bounce in all competitions. And that is exactly what they did at Villa Park, with Mount scoring both goals in a 2-0 win.

The England star put Chelsea in front in the sixth minute by pouncing on a Tyrone Mings error. The Villa defender failed to clear with his head, instead putting the ball straight up into the air, and Mount then sent a cushioned volley into the bottom corner.

Mount secured his brace in the second half by whipping a free-kick past Emi Martinez and into the net from 25 to 30 yards out.

Chelsea saw out the win to reach 19 points from nine games in the Premier League. Villa, meanwhile, are now on five league defeats and their manager Steven Gerrard is under severe pressure.

In a post-match interview with Sky Sports (via BBC Sport), Potter said: “It was a tough game. Aston Villa made us suffer, especially in the first half even though we took the lead. They put us under pressure and our goalkeeper made some good saves.

“It’s important coming back from the Champions League game to respond. I’m delighted for the players and it’s a big three points for us. They have good players, the crowd gets involved in the game.

“Results are important and it’s relentless, that’s how we have to manage the players and the squad.”

Graham Potter praises Mount and ‘world class’ Kepa

Potter then praised Chelsea match winner Mount. “We believe in Mason Mount a lot. We love him as a player and he is a great guy,” Potter said.

“You can see the influence he has on the team and he works really hard for us.”

Potter then hailed Chelsea keeper Arrizabalaga after he pulled off several great saves and registered a clean sheet.

“It was a world-class performance, especially in the first half. I’m really pleased for him, he has had a tough period for us at times but he contributed to the game,” Potter added.

Mount admits Chelsea performance ‘not the best’

During a post-match interview with Sky Sports, Blues midfielder Mason Mount said: “These are the games you have to win and we stuck it out – we needed a big game today.

“We have to keep pushing and keep winning games – that’s our goal to finish as high as we can. Today was not the best performance and we’re not happy with it but [we have] come away with a 2-0 win.

“Kepa was on fire and his quick saves kept us in the game. He has been brilliant over the last couple of weeks.”

When asked about scoring twice in front of England manager Gareth Southgate, Mount added: “I have to just keep focused on doing well for the club.

“We know there’s a massive World Cup around the corner and you want to play as well as you can going into it and hopefully get picked.”

Meanwhile, Chelsea could have a new opening in their quest to sign Anthony Gordon with the reason why his Everton contract extension talks have stalled emerging.