Free-kicks, fourth place and a fantastic finale were on Mason Mount’s mind as he assessed our victory over Wolves and the prize of Champions League football that accompanied it.
Nobody has made more appearances for Chelsea in the Premier League this season than Mount, who marked his 37th game with a crucial opening goal against Wolves that paved the way for a final-day victory that secured top-level European football for next season.
‘We knew a draw would get us in, but we wanted to win,’ he said after the 2-0 success.
‘We know how good Wolves are, they have a lot of threats. The first goal was key. Until the free-kick it was even, not many chances, maybe a bit of nerves on our side because of how much the game meant to us. The free-kick released the pressure a bit, and I was very happy to score.
‘I’ve been waiting the whole season to put a free-kick in! It’s about time one went in. I’m very happy with it. I’m always trying to get it on target. And then the second goal just before half-time, it really helped us going into the second half.
‘We work on free-kicks quite a lot,’ added Mount of his special set-piece. ‘If you want to score goals, want to score free-kicks, you have got to practice. We were doing them the day before the game, and I didn’t score one! I had a terrible day, and I was saying to Tammy I would save it for tomorrow.
‘Willian was in the stands and we had a little laugh to each other, because I’m always saying to him ‘let me take the first one’, but we know what quality he has on free-kicks. But I said I’ll take the first one next time!’
The Blues had held a Champions League position since October, but defeat to Wolves coupled with a Leicester victory against Man United would have moved us down to fifth.
‘We knew at the beginning of the season there were a lot of doubters, and nobody thought we would be pushing up to top four,’ analysed Mount as he reflected on the team’s progress.
‘But with the squad we have we had good enough players to keep winning games. There have been ups and downs, but we have stayed strong, the mentality has been brilliant, and we have kept going.
‘You’ve always got teams around you who are pushing and want your position. That’s the reality of the league. We’ve seen in the last couple of weeks there are three teams who have been very, very close to the top four, and it came down to the final day.
‘I thought we stepped up, and we’ve done that throughout the whole season in big games. We have got big players, we have had a strong mentality throughout and we finished it off well.’