Roy Keane lambasts Chelsea star Mason Mount for Man City display but Souness disagrees
Chelsea v Man City: Match in pictures
Roy Keane was brutally honest in his assessment of Mason Mount for Man City’s opening goal at Stamford Bridge and the Sky Sports pundit was adamant the midfielder’s performance epitomised a concerning afternoon for the Blues. While 3-1 does not look bad on paper, Frank Lampard’s men were totally outclassed and embarrassed from minute one on home soil.
First-half goals from Ilkay Gundogan, Phil Foden and Kevin De Bruyne saw the visitors race into a three-goal lead in the first half before Callum Hudson-Odoi pulled back an injury-time consolation.
The below-par performance increases the pressure on Lampard’s shoulders following a testing festive period which saw the Blues lose against Everton, Wolves and Arsenal.
When analysing the display after the game, Keane picked up on one clip of Chelsea midfielder Mount and his failure to close down Gundogan for the opening goal, questioning the mentality of Lampard’s team.
He told Sky Sports: “Look at the first goal there. Mason Mount is standing there as a midfielder getting back.
“A centre-half has got to do better but Mason Mount is watching. He’s got to put a challenge in.
“Frank will be scratching his head after the game and I’m looking forward to his interview.
“You’d like your midfielders coming back, I know Mount is more of an attacking player, he’s got to put his foot in and make a sacrifice. Tackle!
“It’s all lovely play from City, nice and tidy, no tackling anybody.
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“You give players time and space and Mount’s just come into the picture there.
“I’m looking at him and he’s got to slide in, stick his foot in. Look at Mount. Put your foot in!
“Tackle somebody. When you are out of possession, football is, you’ve got to be aggressive.
“To be fair, I think that reflected Chelsea’s whole team performance.”
Graeme Souness then jumped to the defence of the England international, claiming VAR has changed the way players try and defend: “I think he’s thinking that if he goes there he’s going to give a penalty away.
“I’m with you, I think we are quite similar. I’m thinking ‘go on then, make some sort of effort’.
“After the same period last year there is twice as many penalties this year. Players are frightened to death to go near players in the box.
“I like Mason Mount, but I think he is worried about giving a penalty away, like they all are today.”
Keane couldn’t resist doubling down on his initial claims, adding: “I think he was just frightened today, no matter where he was on the pitch.”
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