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Mason Mount must prove Thomas Tuchel right to realise Mo Salah inspiration and Liverpool revenge

By Scott Trotter

Thomas Tuchel dropped to his knees and pounded the floor twice in frustration. Mason Mount had just missed his second gilt-edged chance having found himself in acres of space before curling around Caoimhin Kelleher to hit the post. A costly miss from the England international in a Carabao Cup final that went goalless until the penalty shootout at Wembley.

The exasperation in Mount's face was palpable as he looked to pick himself up from the ground at that moment, and having missed Chelsea's previous two matches through injury, the midfielder was substituted in the 73rd minute of the match. The final result was ultimately left out of his hands.

Social media was not very kind to Mount in the aftermath of the result. The margins between grief and glory are narrow and some days removed from the final, Tuchel was philosophical and the Cobham product's performance.

READ MORE: Mason Mount aims to use Liverpool to overcome two heartbreaking Chelsea experiences

Tuchel said: "Nobody deserves the blame for missing a chance. I am happy that I did not read any news about it. I can clearly understand that one person did not want to miss the chance the very most, and this was Mason. You can be sure about that. But this can happen.

"This is part of sports that not every chance is a goal. Mason had huge chances to decide the match for us, but he is fine. He did a strong match for us, he arrived in good timing in good positions, and that is exactly what we wanted. He missed a bit of luck."

Since that game, Mount has shown that he has the finishing ability to match that timing, netting six times since that final and producing nine assists in that time too. Liverpool will, of course, be among Mount's toughest tests of the season, and the 23-year-old has previously spoken of his appreciation for Mohamed Salah.

"There's a few, I think, that you can put out there, but I think the amount of goals he's scoring, the assists he's getting, I think Mo Salah would definitely be up there," he told Amazon Prime Sport.

"He's a big, big player who turns up in the big games and scores big goals. He's setting the bar very, very high, and I think as a player, you want to be able to do that. He's setting the bar very, very high at the moment."

Mount's numbers may not quite match the Liverpool star's, but he is Chelsea's top goalscorer in the Premier League, one of the people to break 20 goals and assists in the competition. In total, the former Derby loanee has racked up 29 goal contributions this season in all. No other Blues ace has passed 20 this term.

There is little doubt about the influence Mount has in this Chelsea team. Some question who these contributions come against, but he certainly helps set the bar for the Blues and his setting records on the way, becoming the youngest ever Chelsea player to have double-digits in goals and assists.

Can he turn up for Chelsea's showpiece in the final month of the season? Mount intends to.

"It's definitely time for us to win a final at Wembley," he said after the semi-final against Crystal Palace. "For me, it is five finals, so we have to put the pressure on us to step up. We remember those defeats, and now it is time to get payback."

If Mount can deliver against Jurgen Klopp's team, it will go a long way to put any FA Cup demons to bed and help prove the significance of his presence to his doubters. Hopefully, goals will follow if he can get in the right positions at Wembley once again.

The pressure doesn't seem to be impacting Mount, and he just knows it's time to win. He said: "It's all exciting, we're ready, and it's time for us to win a [Cup] final."

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