Alan Shearer praised Kai Havertz, Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount, as well as Thomas Tuchel for selecting them, after Chelsea’s 4-1 thrashing of Crystal Palace on Saturday.
With no recognised striker in the starting XI at Selhurt Park, Havertz played as a false nine with Pulisic and Mount either side of him as the Blues earned a valuable victory to push them back into the top-four places.
Germany international Havertz scored the first with a fine finish on his left foot and set up Pulisic to lash home from close range before Mount’s free-kick found the head of Kurt Zouma to make it 3-0 inside 30 minutes.
Christian Benteke pulled one back for the hosts shortly after the hour mark but Pulisic found the back of the net for the second time when he converted substitute Reece James’ cross.
And speaking on BBC’s Match of the Day, Shearer admitted the attacking threat of Chelsea’s front three was too much for Palace and praised Tuchel’s decision to field them.
He said: ‘I thought it was a very clever team selection to not play Giroud or Abraham but instead play Havertz, Pulisic and Mount, who like to drop deep whereas the two big centre-forwards might want to go up and scrap against the two big centre-halves [Cheikhou] Kouyate and [Gary] Cahill.
‘And those three today were just too good for those two because they didn’t want to come out, they didn’t want to go and mark one of them because if they had of then they leave the space in behind and that caused them problems.
‘They created chance after chance. ‘Havertz, who played very well today scored one, had an assist, probably should’ve scored another couple of goals.
‘As I said it was a constant, a defender just didn’t want to come out and close them down. Pulisic gets his first goal. ‘He [Mount] was clever in everything he did as well.
‘Second half it didn’t change… it’s all from those players dropping deep and getting the ball and as I said they were just too good for them.
‘It was a superb performance from Chelsea, particularly going forward.’