Norwich City 1-3 Chelsea: Jose's masterstroke wins it for Chelsea!
There is a reason Roman Abramovich decided to bring Jose Mourinho back to Stamford Bridge. Jose Mourinho is one of the best managers ther...
There is a reason Roman Abramovich decided to bring Jose Mourinho back to Stamford Bridge. Jose Mourinho is one of the best managers there is in the game and his record and reputation is there for all to see. At Carrow Road yesterday, Jose demonstrated a tactical masterclass to win an all important three points!
Lets be honest here, and I mean no disrespect to Norwich City or their supporters when I say this, yesterdays game on paper is a game should be winning based on the quality we have to call upon compared to theirs.
However, as I have said time and time again, it doesn't matter how good you appear to be, you need to get out on that pitch and perform and for 45 minutes, Chelsea were totally dominant, a goal up and more than comfortable.
Chelsea started with the same side that started in Bucharest in the Champions League last Tuesday with one change, Demba Ba was given a chance to impress in the place of the injured (and suspended) Fernando Torres.
We started brightly with Ba causing the Norwich defence and Goalkeeper John Ruddy all kinds of problems and it was a long ball over the top from Lampard to Demba Ba that lead to our opening goal. Ba had split the two defenders, brought the ball down, turned and played the ball into the path of Oscar and in turn, with the outside of his right boot, Oscar struck the ball into the far corner to give us an early lead.
With that, Chelsea settled into their football and probed Norwich on more than one occasion. Ba had another shot well saved and pushed wide by Ruddy from close range but for all our dominance, Ruddy was never forced into another save before half time.
As I said, Chelsea were more than comfortable and went in at half time a goal up and playing well. Norwich, for all their hard work in closing us down had begun to work their way into the game and forced Petr Cech into a save late in the half after some good work down their right hand side.
Now, I expected Chelsea to come out, get hold of the ball and knock it about to take the sting out of Norwich who you expect to be given encouragement by their manager to kick on and play their football in the second half. That never happened and the game turned into the kind of end to end game we get with Cup football!
Chelsea attacked the home side early in the second half down the wing and a cross was fired into the box for Demba Ba to flick wide from close range with his back to goal.
Norwich pressed forward and Pilkington appeared to be brought down by Ramires in the box but nothing was given which was a genuine surprise to all of us if we are honest as replays I have seen since, suggest it was a penalty.
They claimed another penalty as Terry denied V.Wolfswinkel in the box but Terry had won the ball and nothing was given.
Chelsea went up the other end and wasted a couple of chances with efforts hit high, wide and handsome or just by mucking up our final ball.
To their credit and you have to say it was well deserved, Norwich equalised as they punished Chelsea. As Chelsea lost the ball on half way, Norwich pressed forward and cross to the far post was headed back across goal for Pilkington to glance home from close range with Luiz and Cech beaten. It was 1-1!
With just over twenty minutes to go, Jose Mourinho sprung into action and to his credit made a tactical changes as he took an attacking approach with his three substitutions.
Demba Ba was replaced by Samuel Eto'o, off came Ashley Cole as we went to a back three of Ivanovic, Terry and Luiz and on came Eden Hazard. Then off came Juan Mata and Willian came on. Chelsea played with an attacking formation to go for the win. We had four in midfield of Schurrle, Lampard, Ramires and Willian. Eden Hazard and Oscar playing further forward supporting Samuel Eto'o up front.
Within minutes, Ivanovic had a shot saved low down by Ruddy from outside the box, Norwich themselves forced Cech into a save from a Redmond shot as it was still end to end.
With the amount of attacking players we had on the pitch now, Chelsea were set up to attack and we took the lead again on the counter attack from a Norwich corner. Pilkington hit a corner too deep and the ball swung across towards the edge of the box and was half cleared. Eden Hazard beat his man to the second ball in the air and flicked it forwards.
Willian then won a third header and followed it up by winning a fourth header and into the path of Oscar who had made a run down the right hand side.
As Oscar picked the ball up and brought it forwards over half way, Eden Hazard had spun away from winning his header near the edge of his own box and was away. He made a fantastic run forward and Oscar spotted him. Hazard was now one on one against his marker as the ball came over from right to left from Oscar.
As the Norwich defender tried to deflect the ball away, he was at full stretch and could only half clear the ball but, Hazard had read when he intended to do and the defender could only put the ball right into the path of Hazard who first time, shot hard and low towards goal. Ruddy tried to do what he could to block the shot but the power of the shot forced the ball under his body and literally trickled over the line to make it 2-1 Chelsea!
With that goal, Mourinho switched once again to our normal shape with Andre Schurrle moving back to left back.
At this point you think to yourselves "just see the game out now Chelsea!" and we expected us to once again dominate possession and slow the game down but Willian had other ideas.
Another Chelsea attack brought the ball forward and the ball found it's way out to the edge of the box on Chelsea's right wing. Willian came inside and hit a left foot shot that curled past Ruddy and into the far corner of the net to make it 3-1 Chelsea and finally take all three points for Chelsea! It was a fantastic strike it really was!
Chelsea saw the game out and took what proved to be a massive three points and you have to hold your hands up and give Jose Mourinho all the credit he deserves!
His tactical changes and substitutions won the game for Chelsea. How many times have we seen games like yesterday fizzle out and finish with us just taking a point?
With Tottenham being beat and Arsenal dropping points, we find ourselves just two points behind the leaders in third place.
What a great day it was for Mourinho and for Chelsea!
Carefree & KTBFFH!