Mount: It feels like a defeat

Mason Mount has explained why it was so disappointing for the Chelsea players to concede a late equaliser against Brighton & Hove Albion, but took some consolation from the continued return of Romelu Lukaku.

Those two players had combined to give us the opening goal at Stamford Bridge as Lukaku headed in Mount’s corner. We led from the 28th minute until the 90th, but an injury-time header from Danny Welbeck levelled the scores at 1-1 and meant we had to share the points with Brighton.

Having gone so close to withstanding the Seagulls’ second-half fight-back and taking the win, it was clearly a bitter pill for Mount and his team-mates to swallow.

‘When we draw late on like that it definitely does feel like a defeat,’ admitted the 22-year-old. ‘It’s two points dropped from being in a winning position for most of the game.

‘I know that they made it very difficult and in the second half they were pushing and had more chances, but we still felt like we controlled it and we had chances of our own that we should have done better with. When they scored late on it was gutting.

‘It’s a massive disappointment to lead the game so late on and then to concede at the worst time after putting so much into the game. It probably wasn’t our best performance but we were 1-0 up in the 90th minute, so we obviously felt like we could win the game and get through it, but they scored late on and it’s devastating for us after putting so much into it.’

The disappointment was made worse for Mount as he feels we had the chances to win the game when we were on top, particularly during the first half, and concedes that when you don’t make them count there is always a risk at 1-0.

‘They had a lot of possession and dangerous opportunities. Especially in the second half, they pushed,’ he said. ‘I still thought we defended well.

‘They had a couple of chances but not very clear, we had a couple that we didn’t make the most of and at the end of the day they get a goal right at the end, so I think it’s down to us to finish the game off earlier. You must take those chances if you want to win.’

That result leaves us eight points behind leaders Manchester City in the Premier League table, with the Blues sat in second, one point ahead of Liverpool, having played a game more. With the Reds our next opponents at the Bridge on Sunday, that upcoming game now looks even bigger, and is quickly followed by two more tough league fixtures against Tottenham and Man City in January.

‘We were winning and we feel like we should have won the game, but we have to move on to the next one. To work so hard and let two points slip away when you know how big an affect it can have on the table is tough, so the next game has gotten even more important.

‘Every game’s pressure when you want to be up there pushing for the title, so we have to keep working hard, keep pushing to get through this little period. You take very game as it comes, that’s the most important thing. Next is Liverpool, we need to deal with that first.’

However, despite the disappointment of not getting all three points against Brighton, one of the biggest positives to come from last night’s game was Lukaku finding the net on his first Premier League start for more than two months, having also got on the scoresheet as a substitute at Aston Villa on Boxing Day.

Following a frustrating spell for the Belgian as he suffered from an ankle injury and Covid-19, Mount feels it is clear what a positive it is for Chelsea to have him back in the team.

‘Having Rom back is a big plus for us,’ added Mount. 'You can see how good he is and the impact he has. He’s important, we know what he brings to the team. He’s a top player and a top guy, so it’s a big boost for us.

‘He’s a big target man and he holds the ball up. He makes it so easy for us to work off him and run off him. He’s so dominant and he’s scoring, which is what we want from him. Hopefully that continues because there’s obviously a massive game coming up next.’

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