Chelsea 4 - 1 Norwich - Match Report

Chelsea maintained their lead at the top of the Barclay's Premier League heading in to the international break with an emphatic victory ...

Chelsea maintained their lead at the top of the Barclay's Premier League heading in to the international break with an emphatic victory over Norwich City.

Grant Holt had put the visitors ahead only for Fernando Torres to head the Blues level just three minutes later.

Frank Lampard then fired Chelsea ahead with a powerful finish before Juan Mata's neat pass was calmly converted by the returning Eden Hazard.

Branislav Ivanovic completed the rout with a fine volley that took his goal tally to three for the season.

Roberto Di Matteo's side were always expected to win this game and win it in style and they did just that. Coming straight off the back of a comfortable 4-0 win over FC Nordsjaelland in midweek, the Blues brought their good form home with them and set about destroying Chris Hughton's team.

It was the home side who started the livelier of the two, the forward four of Torres, Oscar, Mata and Hazard all combining intricate passes to worry the Canaries defence.

However for all their artistry up front the Blues were undone on 11 minutes when an unmarked Grant Holt was allowed to smash home a volley from close range to give Norwich a surprise lead. It was only the skipper's second goal of the campaign having been the second highest scoring English player last season in the league.

Their lead did not last long however, just three minutes to be precise. Ivanovic sent an inviting cross into the penalty area where Torres was waiting to rise highest and glance home a delightful header. The Spaniard now has six goals in all competitions this season and continued his good run of form here with another hard working display.

Alexander Tettey then wasted a great chance to restore Norwich's lead but he fluffed his lines.

Buoyed by Tettey's miss and Torres's leveller, the Blues then found themselves in front when Lampard scored his first goal of the season from open play. The veteran midfielder smashed home a half volley from the edge of the box which left John Ruddy with no chance. It was his 189th goal for the club and he now trails Kerry Dixon by only four goals in the all time goalscoring list. A truly remarkable return for a midfielder who has enjoyed a glittering career with Chelsea.

Chelsea's attacking quartet pushed for a third as Norwich could do little to suppress the talent that was on show at Stamford Bridge. Ashley Cole missed a good opportunity to head a third for the hosts but his effort was a weak one.

They needn't have worried though as a third was always on the agenda. The in form Mata embarked on a surging run that carved open Norwich's team before delivering a defence splitting pass to Hazard who, like Lampard, coolly converted his first goal from open play this season. Chelsea were firmly in the driving seat now and it looked highly unlikely that the Canaries would reply. They were lucky to head in at the break still only two goals behind.

Petr Cech spent most of the second half as a spectator as Norwich were unable to get any real grip on the game. Chelsea's dominance was overpowering and they could do little to prevent a plethora of chances for the Blues.

The hosts could have quite easily been given three penalties as well, as Hazard went down twice and John Terry appeared to be hauled down in the area also.

Nevertheless, Di Matteo's side eventually got the final goal of the game when Branislav Ivanovic slammed home a sweet volley. Ruddy managed to get a hand to the Serbian's effort but the sheer force of the strike was too much for the Norwich goalkeeper.

The hosts saw the game out in comfortable fashion, having a lion's share of possession and spending the remainder of the game camped in their opponents half.

The emphatic win demonstrates Chelsea's strength and sends a clear message to the rest of the league that they are genuine title contenders now as they continue their unbeaten season. After the international break the Blues travel to White Hart Lane where former boss Andre Villas Boas's Tottenham will be their next challenge.


Okay, so with all due respect to Norwich, this was a game we should have won comfortably and I'm glad we did. Our visitors never really posed much threat apart from Holt's opener but I'm pleased with the manner in which we responded to get ourselves back in the lead and really go on and suffocate Norwich for the rest of the game.

I think RDM got his team selection spot on, as this was a game that allowed Frank to remind us all of just how capable he is of putting in sterling performances. I thought he was exceptional today and a massive congratulations to him for scoring his 189th goal for us. Truly outstanding.

Once again, Fernando Torres and Juan Mata looked very impressive and I think their bond is only going to get stronger. Mata's delightful link up play with Oscar and Hazard also looks to be blossoming.

I don't want to get carried away and I'm aware that Norwich weren't the toughest of opponents but I really, genuinely believe that this is a team that can win the title.

I have to remain impartial in match reports but I'm saying it now, I think that if the team carries on in this rich vain of form, we can bring the title back to Stamford Bridge. Yes, there will of course be off days, but we had an off half season last term and we ended up winning the Champions League and the FA Cup. I have faith in Di Matteo.

This is an extremely exciting time to be a Chelsea supporter and it's almost as if the international break has come at the wrong time!

What did you think fellow Blues? Do you share my optimism? Or perhaps feel that we are not yet good enough to reclaim the championship? Be sure to comment or leave me a tweet!


follow me on twitter @sebbudd

Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic (Azpilicueta), Luiz, Terry, Cole, Lampard (Ramires), Mikel (Romeu), Hazard, Oscar, Mata, Torres
Subs: Turnbull, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Romeu, Ramires, Moses, Bertrand
Scorers: Torres, Lampard, Hazard, Ivanovic
Norwich: Ruddy, Martin, Bassong, Garrido, Barnett, Johnson, Howson, Hoolahan, E Bennett, Tettey, Holt

Ref: Lee Probert
Venue: Stamford Bridge

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Post a Comment

  1. They can win d title but we need our depth very well.this particular first eleven can't continue every match as fatigue,injury and burnout and suspension will set in in d course of d we need to make all players gel not just d first eleven but all d same dis squad can claim d championship.

  2. i am impressed by d way we played, no doubt, but still thought we gave d ball away too cheaply at times
    i wud like to see marin on the pitch soon. He impressed me during the pre-season and the only reason for him not playing would have to be his fitness
    anyway, its.just the the beginning and i truely believe hat our game would no doubt only improve game after game

  3. I am very happy with all of our performances this season. But i hear people saying that we haven't yet faced the toughest of teams. And that we will struggle when we face them. Hope we prove them wrong by the end of this month. Tottenham and man united twice.




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