Search

Chelsea prove too good for lowly Canaries

17:35 06 October 2012

Chelsea

Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic (centre) celebrates scoring his side's fourth goal against Norwich with Fernando Torres and Juan Mata. Photo credit: Andrew Matthews/PA wire

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Premier League: Chelsea 4 Norwich 1

Chelsea remain top of the Premier League after a regulation 4-1 win at Stamford Bridge against a very poor Norwich City side.

The visitors, who haven’t won a league game all season, had the audacity to actually take the lead through hitman Grant Holt. But Chelsea responded with clinical efficiency with three first half strikes from Fernando Torres, Frank Lampard and Eden Hazard.

The second half was very much a display of the mercurial talents of Oscar, Juan Mata and Hazard and the fourth goal came from the boot of Serbian defender Branislav Ivanovic.

Torres had an excellent chance to open the scoring on three minutes when he beat the City offside trap and raced into the penalty area following a long pass by Lampard.

However the Spain striker could not deliver the finish, instead checking back and allowing Leon Barnett to close him down.

Despite almost total possession by the home side, Norwich failed to read the script and opened the scoring.

A left-footed cross by Wesley Hoolahan to Petr Cech’s far post saw the ball headed back to the edge of the Chelsea area by Elliot Bennett and up popped skipper Holt to arrow a perfect drive under the lunging John Terry and Cech.

But normal service was resumed three minutes later when a back heel by Mata on the right edge of the visitors’ penalty area fed in-running Ivanovic. The full-back sent in the perfect cross to Torres, who made up for his earlier fluff by dispatching a powerful header past John Ruddy from 10 yards out.

The Canaries almost restored the lead on 18 minutes when yet again impressive Hoolahan curled a cross on to the head of unmarked Alexander Tettey, but the midfielder, instead of heading home from close range, screwed the effort wide.

Stalwart Lampard decided to take the untidy game by the scruff of the neck, and dispatched a trademark right-footer on 22 minutes past Ruddy – his 189th Chelsea career goal - after an attempted overhead kick by Torres was blocked.

This Chelsea side is an emerging one, with a distinct counter-attacking flair.

Nowhere was this more evident than on 31 minutes, when Mata collected the ball midway in his own half.

The livewire Spain midfielder raced 40 yards forward, deep into enemy territory, all the time looking for support.

That came in the form of Hazard who accelerated clear on the left. Mata produced an inch-perfect ball, bisecting the Norwich defence which Hazard latched onto, just inside their penalty area and coolly dispatched a low shot past the hapless Ruddy to extend the home side’s lead.

Whenever the ball came close to Holt - which wasn’t often - he still posed a threat. Two minutes before the break he almost headed his side back into the game from eight yards out, but the ball inched the wrong side of Cech’s upright.

An early second half shout from the majority of the 41,784 crowd for a penalty for a foul on Hazard by Barnett was turned down by referee Anthony Taylor as Chelsea turned the screw again. Ruddy then produced a fine diving save from an Oscar long-range effort just after the hour mark.

The Blues decided to change Lampard for Ramires on 67 minutes, with Norwich responding by replacing Bradley Johnson for Anthony Pilkington in their desperate search of goals.

Torres should have punished Norwich’s sloppy defending with 15 minutes remaining, when he latched onto a fine Hazard through ball. But Ruddy was quick to spot the chance and managed to snuff out his shot.

But the inevitable happened two minutes later. A deep cross-field ball from the left by Oscar was somewhat fortunately back heeled on by Mata and Ivanovic dispatched with consummate ease, leaving Ruddy with no chance.

Ivanovic was then promptly replaced by Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo for Spain right-back Cesar Azpilicueta for his league debut.

Another Spain player, Oriol Romeu, entered the fray on 82 minutes with Mikel, on his 250th appearance for Chelsea, making way.

Romeu was quickly in the action and saw a 25-yarder zip past the Norwich goal.

And then, two minutes later, his snap header flashed wide of the same right post.

The game fizzled out with the points decided. Chelsea go into the international break safe in the knowledge they are the team to topple, while Norwich will be looking to use the time productively as their season hurtles towards a battle against relegation.

Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Cole, Luiz, Lampard, Torres, Mata,Oscar, Mikel, Hazard, Terry

Subs-Turnbull, Romeu, Ramires, Moses, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Bertrand

Norwich City: Ruddy, Martin, Johnson, Bassong, Howson, Holt, Hoolahan, Bennett, Garrido, Barnett, Tettey

Subs - Bunn, Turner, Snodgrass, Jackson, Pilkington, Morison, Bennett

Related articles

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

09:14
Sean Cronin leaps to win a header during Monday's victory over Maidenhead. Pic: Martin Addison

Sean Cronin is hoping his experience at the back can enable Wingate & Finchley to challenge for the Ryman League Premier Division play-offs this season.

07:06
Nathan Sowter has become a regular member of Middlesex's T20 side. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Leg-spinner Nathan Sowter is seeking to play his part in a rare Twenty20 double for Middlesex this season.

Tue, 18:52
Spurs Ladies forward Bianca Baptiste (right). Pic: Clive Jones

Spurs Ladies won a cup double last season and forward Bianca Baptiste would love to go one better and secure a treble this term – but she believes the focus should be on the league and a top-three finish.

Tue, 18:35
Lyon's Alexandre Lacazette

Lyon have refuted reports that they have received a second bid from Arsenal for star striker Alexandre Lacazette.

Tue, 15:14
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino has shown his willingness to put his faith in Tottenham’s youngsters on plenty of occasions, and they will usually thank him for it.

Tue, 07:30
North London players celebrate a wicket from Jordan Gregory in their five-run win against Brentham. Pic: Max Flego

Captain Sam Bardon has urged North London to maintain the impetus of their seven-match unbeaten run as they prepare to face the top two sides in Middlesex County League Division Three.

Mon, 17:06
Joel Hughes has taken 100 wickets for North Middlesex in the Premier Division. Pic: Paolo Minoli

North Middlesex secured their fourth straight Premier Division victory after beating second-placed Teddington by two runs – and captain Tom Nicoll believes the strength of his side’s bowling attack means they have a shot at the title.

Mon, 15:24
Brondesbury captain Adam Wilson (centre), pictured against Hornsey. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Brondesbury slipped out of the promotion spots after a four-wicket defeat at Harrow St Mary’s – and Hornsey were unable to capitalise as they drew with Indian Gymkhana.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now