Mason Mount scored his first Chelsea hat-trick as the Premier League leaders ran riot in a 7-0 romp against 10-man Norwich.
The England midfielder had not scored for his club yet this season before Saturday, but helped himself to a maiden senior treble at Stamford Bridge as Thomas Tuchel’s dominant side went four points clear at the summit in the early weekend kick-off.
Callum Hudson-Odoi also netted for the first time in 2021/22 with Chelsea not lacking goals in the absence of injured strikers Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner, while Ben Chilwell continued his prolific recent run and fellow defender Reece James also notched a stylish effort, with Ben Gibson sent off for rock-bottom Norwich.
It is Chelsea’s biggest win of the Tuchel era so far and their most emphatic scoreline since putting eight past Aston Villa without reply back in 2012.
With Kai Havertz leading the line as one of five changes from the 4-0 Champions League drubbing of Malmo, Chelsea were rampant from the outset as the likes of Jorginho – wearing the captain’s armband with Cesar Azpilicueta on the bench – and Antonio Rudiger asked early questions before Mount put them ahead after only eight minutes.
Hudson-Odoi charged down the left flank and his initial cross was headed away by Gibson as far as Jorginho, who teed up his midfield colleague for a fizzing low drive from 20 yards that left Tim Krul with no chance.
It was his first goal of the season at last and Hudson-Odoi soon matched that feat, collecting a brilliant, defence-splitting pass from Mateo Kovacic and keeping cool to beat Krul with a confident low finish.
Norwich could not get close to Chelsea or keep a foot on the ball to relieve the pressure, with Mount testing Krul again and the ambitious Rudiger seeing a shot blocked.
Ex-Liverpool loanee Ozan Kabak lashed over at the other end after Hudson-Odoi had been caught in possession, but that was a very rare blip for the Blues, who added a third before the interval.
The fit-again James was played in behind perfectly by Mount and proceeded to expertly dink the ball over Krul to pile on more misery.
Mount then curled an effort agonisingly over the top as Chelsea almost made it four on the stroke of half-time.
Norwich made two half-time changes and initially improved after the break, with one of those substitutes – Kosovan forward Milot Rashica – forcing Edouard Mendy into a fine block after a rogue Chilwell backpass.
But a familiar pattern quickly returned as Chilwell – who also netted for England over the international break – scored for the fourth top-flight game running, cutting across the ball expertly and picking out the bottom corner.
A fifth goal arrived quickly on the heels of the fourth, with Hudson-Odoi’s cross from the left deflected beyond a scrambling Krul by Max Aarons.
Things went from terrible to even worse for Norwich when a frustrated Gibson collected his second yellow card in the span of nine minutes, wiping out James and duly receiving his marching orders.
Norwich were 5-0 down and playing with 10 men with 25 minutes still to go and the match quickly resembled pure Chelsea target practice.
Krul worked overtime and made terrific saves to deny the likes of subs Ross Barkley, Hakim Ziyech and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, even keeping out Mount’s poor spot-kick after a VAR check led to a penalty being given against Mathias Normann, who clearly blocked Rudiger’s shot with his arm.
However, Krul was found to have encroached and a re-take was quickly ordered, with Mount’s second unconvincing effort squirming in off the goalkeeper’s shin.
Mount wrapped up his hat-trick and a memorable day for Chelsea in stoppage time after Ziyech and Loftus-Cheek combined to great effect.