Rio Ferdinand felt that Chelsea badly missed Mason Mount’s ‘energy’ and ability to link up the play during their 1-0 defeat to Manchester City on Saturday.
Gabriel Jesus broke the deadlock with a deflected strike in the 53rd minute at Stamford Bridge. And the reigning Premier League champions held on fairly comfortably to bring an end to Chelsea’s impressive unbeaten league start this season.
Mount was ruled out of the clash after suffering a minor injury in the Blues’ Carabao Cup win over Aston Villa. N’Golo Kante came back into the midfield after starting on the bench against Tottenham last weekend.
Thomas Tuchel opted for a fairly conservative approach in Mount’s absence and that gave City the impetus they needed. Pep Guardiola’s men took control, enjoying 60 per cent of the possession and having 15 shots on target. That was 10 more than the below-par Blues.
City leapfrogged Chelsea to go second in the table with the victory and Ferdinand believes Tuchel will be praying Mount makes a speedy recovery. The Blues have a huge month ahead of them both domestically and in Europe.
“Manchester City have beaten a contender for the title,” Ferdinand told BT Sport shortly after the final whistle.
“This was a statement performance. It was a 1-0 beating today. Chelsea weren’t part of the game. City dominated in all areas.
“It was really convincing and just what City needed. Chelsea weren’t up to speed today, the intensity wasn’t there. They were beaten by a better side on the day.
“Chelsea missed Mason Mount today, the way he connects the team and his energy.
“I think Tuchel will want him back as soon as possible.”
Tuchel admits Chelsea failings
In his post-match interview with BT Sport, Tuchel admitted Chelsea failed to reach their ‘very best level’.
“We lost the game and City deserved to win. For 60 minutes, or until the goal, we were very strong until the last 20 meters of the field but only there,’ the Blues boss said.
“We were not good enough today to escape the pressure to have ball possession. Not only to breathe but also to switch play and to hurt them and to grow in confidence.
“It never happened in the first half and also in the second half. Until the goal we defended very well the box and the goal, it was excellent, but this was only part of the match.
“The performance was not complex enough. It was not on our very best level and you need to be on your very best level to poach a game like this.”