In what was sure to be a tricky away fixture on Boxing Day, Chelsea managed to grind out a result on a cold, wet day. The 0-1 win was far from convincing but it’s another 3 points.
Chelsea started the game well enough in the sense that the players were able to keep possession but did little else. Norwich, despite being the home team looked like they were playing for the draw, parking the bus and allowing Chelsea to play their game. Despite that, the Canaries looked decent going forward and Gary Cahilll had to put in a good block to stop a goal-bound effort at one point. Luiz, playing in midfield again, had two shots on goal in quick succession but managed to shoot into the crowd instead of on target. First real chance fell to Mata when he was put through by Luiz but the Spaniard’s shot rippled the side netting. Mikel (not known for being a prolific goal-scorer) also had a shot from distance which was well-struck but off-target. Chelsea’s goal came when the first half was nearly over. Oscar passed to Mata, who took a touch and set himself up for the shot. His shot was well-struck and beat the keeper. 0-1 to Chelsea at half-time.
The second half was similar to the first: Chelsea on the attack while Norwich sat back. Mikel had another shot on goal that was blocked, making it the first time that he has ever taken 2 shots in a match in a period of 6 years. Chelsea won a free-kick on the edge of the box which was quickly taken by Mata in an attempt to catch the ‘keeper out, but Bunn reacted well. Snodgrass went down in the penalty area looking for the penalty after Ivanovic had caught him but the referee waved play on. As the half went on, Norwich looked to grow in confidence and in an attempt to kill off the game, 2 substitutions were made by Benitez in quick succession: Lampard for Mikel and Hazard for Moses. Chelsea pressed, looking for a second goal that would kill the game. Norwich came close from a corner but Chelsea survived. In the final minutes, Juan Mata was withdrawn and Nathan Ake was given his Premier League debut. The match ended 1-0.
Check out Andre Saad’s video review of the game ! –