Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel praised “excellent” Mason Mount for taking his career to the next level with his stunning strike in Chelsea’s 2-0 Champions League quarter-final first-leg win over Porto on Wednesday night.
Goals from Mount and Ben Chilwell handed the Blues control of their last-eight battle as they close in on a semifinal place with a fine performance in Seville.
Thomas Tuchel singled out Mount’s maiden Champions League goal and insisted the 22-year-old had improved his career once again on a remarkable night in Spain.
Tuchel said: “The first goal was very important for us. We had been a bit too tense, not precise enough and we had lacked a bit of rhythm.
“The finish was clinical, it was excellent from Mason. He has the quality to do this, and in a quarter-final, it is a big step for him and a big, big help for the team.
“Mason has the right mentality and the right attitude towards training and games. And he has the right attitude towards success. He’s got both feet on the ground, and he’s open enough and hungry to learn.
“It’s very difficult for me to compare him to different players in different positions, and different players in the same position from different clubs. But Mason is a very important player for us. A key player for us.”
Chelsea bounced back from the 5-2 shocking home loss to West Brom in the Premier League to produce a fine performance against Sergio Conceicao team.
And that left Tuchel delighted with his squad’s reaction, especially on the back of Sunday’s training-ground bust-up between Antonio Rudiger and Kepa Arrizabalaga.
“It’s half-time in this tie, and we experienced what can happen in football last Saturday,” said Tuchel.
“I feel a good atmosphere in the dressing room now. Happy but not too happy, excited but not too excited.
“Overall we escaped with a very, very good result.
“But it’s the quarter-finals and we have to keep on going. It will be necessary for another top performance and top mentality next Tuesday.
” It was absolutely necessary to show this reaction. We had a lot of good results in a row but Saturday was a very bad result and it was our first loss.
“So this was the first chance to bounce back and to show a reaction.
“As coaches we said before the match that the best result would be to produce a clean sheet straight away, so this is the perfect result now.”