Chelsea did not miss Romelu Lukaku or Timo Werner as the Premier League leaders made light work of 10-man Norwich City in a 7-0 rout, with Mason Mount scoring a hat-trick.
A side starting the day bottom of the league has not beaten the team at the top since February 2011, and Norwich never looked likely to halt that run at Stamford Bridge as Thomas Tuchel’s side cruised to their biggest win of the season with ease.
Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi got things started with their first league goals of the campaign, with Ben Chilwell scoring for a fourth successive top-flight match after fellow wing-back Reece James got in on the act.
Max Aarons’ own goal and Ben Gibson’s red card made life even more miserable for Norwich, with Mount doubling his tally from the spot before rounding off his hat-trick in stoppage time.
It took Chelsea just eight minutes to take the lead, as Mount allowed Jorginho’s lay-off to run across him before planting a firm strike into the bottom-left corner.
Mateo Kovacic’s weighted throughball teed up Hudson-Odoi for a cool finish across Tim Krul 10 minutes later, with Mount turning provider for Chelsea’s third, sliding a perfect ball through to James, who chipped in with aplomb.
After making an error that allowed Milot Rashica to test Edouard Mendy, Chilwell quickly atoned at the other end, drilling in a low finish to continue his brilliant scoring form.
Aarons’ deflection on Hudson-Odoi’s cross-shot did for Krul, who spilled over his own line, before Gibson – only 10 minutes after he had first been cautioned – dived in late on James.
Mathias Normann’s handball handed Chelsea a spot-kick and, though Krul initially saved Mount’s effort, the goalkeeper had come off his line, and was unable to keep out the second attempt.
There was time for one more, Ruben Loftus-Cheek beating the offside trap and cutting back for Mount to slot in his third.
What does it mean? Rampant league leaders on top form
It is the 18th time the Blues have scored six or more in a Premier League game, more than any other team, as they moved four points clear at the top.
Though it is early in the season, it would be a surprise if Norwich are not in the bottom three come the end of the campaign. Indeed, excluding matchday one games, they have spent the last 39 weeks in the relegation zone (only Swindon Town have endured a longer run – 40, in 1993-94).
No strikers, no problem
Chelsea have had 14 different goalscorers in their opening nine Premier League games this season – the earliest in a campaign a team has ever had as many players to score for them in the competition.
Mount is the 20th different player to score a Premier League hat-trick for Chelsea, with only Arsenal (21) having more different hat-trick scorers in the competition.
20 – Mason Mount is the 20th different player to score a Premier League hat-trick for Chelsea, with only Arsenal (21) having more different hat-trick scorers in the competition. Rabbits. #CHENOR pic.twitter.com/vsCA6ITtq9 OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 23, 2021
Gibson sums up hapless Norwich
Daniel Farke’s team had managed to tighten things up at the back in recent weeks, keeping clean sheets in successive draws, but they were carved open time and time again on Saturday, and matters were made worse when Gibson, seemingly forgetting he had already been booked, lunged in on James. Both of the tackles the defender attempted resulted in bookings.
Key Opta Facts
This was the fourth time Chelsea have won a Premier League game by 7+ goals and the first time since December 2012 vs Aston Villa (8-0), with Manchester United netting 7+ goals in more Premier League games.
Norwich suffered their joint-heaviest defeat in Premier League history, also losing 7-0 to Manchester City in November 2013.
Chelsea have conceded just 16 goals and kept 17 clean sheets in the Premier League since Tuchel’s first game on January 27th, both league-best figures in that time (for teams to feature in both seasons).
Norwich’s haul of just two goals after nine league games this season is the joint-lowest tally ever at this stage of an English league campaign and just the third time a team has registered such a low return at this stage in the Premier League (Crystal Palace in 2017-18 and Everton in 2005-06).
Chilwell became the first Englishman to score in four consecutive Premier League appearances for Chelsea since Frank Lampard in February 2013, after scoring just twice in his first 26 appearances for the club in the competition.
Chelsea will once again be without Lukaku and Werner when they face Southampton in the EFL Cup on Tuesday. Norwich are next in action against Leeds United in the league.
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