Graham Potter hails Mason Mount and Kepa after they inspired the Blues to a 2-0 victory at Aston Vila.
Chelsea struggled to contain the home team in the first half as they struck the woodwork three times before the break. Mount scored twice, and Kepa, who has been promoted to first-choice goalie under Potter, made three outstanding saves to keep Villa out.
Following Tyrone Mings’ error after just six minutes, England midfielder Mason Mount scored, then midway in the second half, Mount extended his team’s lead with a beautiful free kick.
“In the end Mason has made the difference,” Potter said. “I thought we were better second half, more stable which is not easy for us given the amount of games we have played and come in from Milan to come here. “They have a lot of quality on the pitch which can cause you problems so I am delighted with the three points and the clean sheet and delighted for Mason and Kepa in particular.”
Chelsea’s victory marked their fourth straight clean sheet, but they didn’t look at ease until Potter overhauled his defense at halftime by bringing on Cesar Azpilicueta and Kalidou Koulibaly and switching Raheem Sterling from wing-back to attack.
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“It is a collective desire to do the ugly stuff in a game and to help each other and to be together,” Potter said. “If we have to suffer we have to suffer. Sometimes we have to have humility but at least we have players running and blocking shots. “That is an important part of the game because we have the quality elsewhere.”
However, a doubt for Wednesday’s derby against Brentford is Thiago Silva, who was outstanding at the center of the Chelsea defense.
“He has a bit of tightness around his hamstring and we will just have to see how he is,” stated Potter.