Gary Lineker has leapt to the defence of Mason Mount following what the pundit claims is “weird” criticism of the Chelsea midfielder.
Chelsea put one foot into the semi-final stages of the Champions League after securing a 2-0 victory over FC Porto. Porto looked dangerous throughout, but Edouard Mendy produced a number of fine stops to frustrate the Portuguese outfit. It was the perfect response to reports that he was set to be replaced by the Blues this summer.
Chances at the other end were in relative short supply. However, when Porto’s defensive line was eventually breached, it was Mount who has on hand to notch his first Champions League goal and put Chelsea ahead.
The England star turned impeccably on the edge of the area before drilling a low shot across Porto goalkeeper Marchesin.
Mount has been a regular this season under Frank Lampard and Thomas Tuchel. Yet, despite also now looking nailed on for England’s Euros squad, the player regularly comes in for criticism.
However, Lineker showed how much he rates Mount by launching a fierce defence of his talents.
Speaking at half-time with the scoreline still 0-0, Lineker sent critics of Mount a firm message.
“Social media as we know is full of people who know everything about football.
“But the Mount misunderstanding is weird. He’s really good isn’t he. It was brilliant.”
That assessment was agreed with by pundit Joe Cole, who insists criticism of Mount is misplaced.
“Jorginho was poor at the weekend but he plays this ball on the side of Mason Mount where the defender can’t get, he has a nibble,” Cole said.
“But it’s all about the turn. He takes it on his weak foot, he knows where he’s going, perfect. And the composure to strike it lovely across the keeper.
“This kid, for the life of me, it’s not an argument.”
Glenn Hoddle also heaped praise on Mount following his goal against Porto.
Hoddle commented: “He’s a top player, a top, top player and that turn was sensational.
“But it was a great ball as you say, Jorginho, protected side, you’re being marked on one side and the pass actually beat him but the skill was excellent.”
Mount reveals extra Chelsea training paid off
Mount spoke to the press after his heroics, telling BT Sport: “We knew it would be a tough game. We kept going, we got the goal in the first half and the second secured a good win.
“It’s only half the tie, there’s a second leg to go.
“It’s about time it [his first Champions League goal] came. I’ve been waiting patiently. It was a good time for it to come. A good pass by Jorginho, I had space and I hit it.
“I’m always working on it [finishing]. I don’t think you can work on it enough. I think I can improve on it and score more goals.
“He [Ben Chilwell] showed great composure. I thought he’d shoot in front of goal but he took it past the keeper. He’ll be buzzing with that.
“After the West Brom game we put it behind us. We looked briefly at it the next day and moved on. We came into this game with full focus, 100% commitment that we’d win.
“The job’s not done. They’ll fight for the next leg and we’ll have to give it our all. We’ll be ready.”