Major Four things learned as Chelsea prove Steven Gerrard wrong and Mason Mount fulfills Potter plan

Graham Potter continued his excellent run in the Premier League as Chelsea boss, with the Blues recording a 2-0 win away to Aston Villa. However, it was not a match that came without test.

Things couldn’t have started much better for Chelsea than when Tyrone Mings’ wayward header fell in the lap of Mason Mount. The England international was full of composure to slot the ball around Emiliano Martinez and handed the Blues a lead with his first goal of the season.

When it seemed as if Chelsea would be able to exert control on the match, Villa proved they had come to play. Steven Gerrard’s side repeatedly put pressure on Chelsea’s flanks and threatened to come out of the first half with a lead if not for Kepa Arrizabalaga’s heroics. The Spaniard defied belief again and again during the opening period to ensure Chelsea held on until the midway point.

Potter’s side struggled to implement their authority on the game in the second period too but Mount came up trumps once again. Chelsea’s academy star first won a free kick before dispatching it expertly from more than 20-yards to double the visitor’s lead. football.london looks at a few things we learned during the game.

How Chelsea are going to cope without Reece James?

With Chelsea having confirmed the news that James is set to be out for eight weeks and unlikely to make the World Cup, the question quickly came ‘how would the Blues fare without him?’. Potter acknowledged before the match that it would be no easy task.

He said: “It’s a big miss for us. We’re disappointed he’s out. We are going to have to deal with that and help him get back fit as quickly as we can. I spoke to him yesterday. He is disappointed to be out.”

Raheem Sterling was tasked with a role on the right first, in a move that looked to mirror his outing against Red Bull Salzburg in Potter’s first game in charge. The home side looked to attack Chelsea’s flanks and left Sterling in a position where he needed to be disciplined defensively. John McGinn ensured the winger had problems as he located himself between Sterling and Trevoh Chalobah, while Ben Chilwell and Marcu Cucurella struggled to provide solidity on the opposite side. The Blues boss had to change things before the half was out.

Sterling was moved up the pitch, with Mount sent in to partner Mateo Kovacic in the centre and Ruben Loftus-Cheek filled in at wing-back. At half-time the cavalry arrived with Kalidou Koulibaly and Cesar Azpilicueta tasked with shoring up the defence.

Chelsea’s captain is the closest thing the Blues have to a Reece James’ replacement and with so many games to come before the break for the World Cup, Potter is sure to want to figure out an alternative to ensure he can rotate his team.

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