Another victory that was wonderfully easy on the eye put Di Matteo’s Blues four points clear at the top of the table and looking supreme challengers blessed with panache as well as power. It was four goals yesterday, but it might have been many more. And they have played much better already this season.
Perhaps the only sign of those woes yesterday was a surprisingly shaky start by the back four. Norwich ran at the Chelsea rearguard with clever angles and energetic purpose, and were rewarded with the opening goal after 11 minutes.
Lampard scored his 129th Premier League goal, putting him equal as Chelsea’s top scorer in the top flight with another Chelsea legend Bobby Tambling.
Wes Hoolahan crossed from the left, the ball was deftly headed down by Leon Barnett and striker Grant Holt steered home an excellent low shot from 15 yards. Terry flung himself at the ball, but was far too late arriving, and was left flat on his back as the net bulged.
Chelsea were stung into a swift reply, Fernando Torres heading home a cross by Branislav Ivanovic for an equaliser three minutes later. Torres had already wasted one golden chance as he tried to trick the defender, but failed. Torres was involved once more as Chelsea took the lead midway through the first half. When he tried an overhead kick, the ball was deflected into the path of Frank Lampard, who drilled home a coolly taken goal.
And just after the half-hour Chelsea were 3-1 up with a thrilling goal that began with a powerful headed clearance by Terry. Within moments Mata was sprinting forward on the counter-attack and his clinical pass put Hazard free in the penalty area and his calm sidefooted pass into the goal was precise and inevitable.
Holt was a continuing threat for Norwich, twice coming close with headers as he foxed Terry with his sharp movement in the box. He may not be international standard, but there is old-fashioned quality to admire in this chirpy Canary. Oscar forced a fine stop from John Ruddy, who then excelled himself with another save at the feet of Mata.
Ruddy will not contest Joe Hart from the England team, but he produced another classy save to keep out a shot from Torres as he ran clear on goal. It was only a matter of time before Chelsea scored again and it was defender Branislav Ivanovic who obliged with a ferocious volley that burst through the hands of Ruddy with quarter of an hour remaining.
By the finish Chelsea had four Spaniards and three Brazilians on the field. No wonder they are beginning to become a side eager to dazzle and entertain!
- Chelsea 4-1 Norwich City: Blues go four points clear after putting four past the Canaries (mirror.co.uk)
- Chelsea 4-1 Norwich City – Match Review (footballfancast.com)
- Chelsea cruise to remain top (fifa.com)
- PREMIER LEAGUE: Chelsea thrash Norwich to stay top (tribalfootball.com)
- Chelsea 4-1 Norwich: Match report, pictures and video highlights (thesun.co.uk)