Oct 6, 2013, 10:30 AM EST
Norwich fought back in the second half to level the score, but Chelsea win the day as substitutes Eden Hazard and Willian score quickfire goals late to give Jose Mourinho his first away win of the season at Carrow Road on Sunday.
Chelsea fans will be breathing a sigh of relief after it looked they’d be once again held in check away from Stamford Bridge.
The visitors struck early to stun Norwich and set the tone. The third minute saw a fantastic long ball from behind the mid line find the feet of Ba in the box. The striker brilliantly pirouetted and laid off to Oscar who couldn’t miss the far corner.
The Brazilian’s hot start to the season continues as he picked up his fourth goal of the season in all competitions.
Ba nearly grabbed Chelsea’s second in the 13th minute from a very tight angle but Norwich keeper John Ruddy made a diving save to deny. The English netminder is seeking to impress his international boss Roy Hodgson in order to take advantage of fellow countryman Joe Hart‘s poor form and see a chance in the upcoming qualifiers.
The Senegalese striker proved an imposing physical presence early, something Chelsea has been missing up front to start the year. His strength and skill on the ball will certainly have impressed Jose Mourinho, who is looking for consistency up front.
Norwich, however, slowly worked to press back into the game, and finished the first half strong in the attacking half.
They continued their good play into the second half, and it nearly paid dividends early. In the 59th minute, the ball came in from the midfield to Robert Snodgrass at the top of the box, whose first touch popped over to van Wolfswinkel in the middle. The Dutch striker attempted to get to the ball, but John Terry‘s physical challenge prevented him from doing so. Van Wolfswinkel appealed for a penalty, but referee Neil Swarbrick waved off the shouts.
They would be vindicated in the 68th minute when Anthony Pilkington brought them level. The ball came into the right side of the box, and with the flick of his head van Wolfswinkel did well to direct it into a dangerous area. Pilkington was there waiting, and beat David Luiz in the air – not a small task – to head home past Cech.
The goal opened things up a bit, but the Norwich defense clamped down and held as Chelsea could muster few serious chances to go back ahead. Things were looking bleak until the 85th minute, when the Canaries did eventually break to the fresh legs off the Chelsea bench.
First, Eden Hazard came on for an injured Ashley Cole after the equalizer, and it proved dividends. Again, a long ball on the counter did the trick, this time in the 85th minute. Oscar, playing on the wing much of the night as he rotated with Juan Mata, played in Hazard who beat Alexander Tettey back and got the ball to trickle over the line after Ruddy got a touch.
The lead was solidified just a single minute later, when Willian opened his Premier League account with a stunning curling effort from outside the box, leaving Ruddy with no chance and Chelsea with a 3-1 lead.
The win propels Chelsea up into third place for the time being, with Arsenal and Tottenham still to play. For Norwich, they will be ruing not maintaining a hold on the point it took them much of the match to recover, and they remain in 17th place with seven points.
Norwich City – Pilkington 68′
Chelsea – Oscar 4′, Hazard 85′, Willian 86′
Norwich City – Ruddy; Martin, Bassong, Turner, Olsson; Howson, Tetty, Fer; Pilkington, Snodgrass (Redmond, 81′); van Wolfswinkel (Hooper, 73′).
Chelsea – Cech; Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole (Hazard, 75′); Ramires, Lampard; Oscar, Mata (Willian, 81′), Schurrle; Ba (Eto’o, 73′).
Nov 23, 2014, 4:50 PM EST
The Spurs manager wouldn’t be drawn into talk about the winner from Christian Eriksen or the red card to Gaston Ramirez, instead discussing how he was just delighted to get three points any way he can.
Lineups, MLS Cup Playoffs: LA Galaxy host Seattle Sounders in Western Conference Championship, leg 1
Nov 23, 2014, 4:25 PM EST
Lineups are in for the Galaxy and Sounders’ Western Conference Championship first leg matchup. Two massive omissions leave Seattle shorthanded.
Nov 23, 2014, 4:07 PM EST
The Eastern Conference Championship first leg finished Red Bulls 1-2 Revolution, putting Jay Heaps’ side in full control of the series.
Nov 23, 2014, 3:10 PM EST
Steve Bruce challenged the decision to give Gaston Ramirez a straight red card, and criticized Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen for going down too easily.
Halftime, MLS Cup Playoffs: New York Red Bulls 1-1 New England Revolution after thrilling first half
Nov 23, 2014, 2:52 PM EST
The first 45 at Red Bull Arena was wild. Take a deep breath and relive the thrilling actions, goals and all.
Nov 23, 2014, 2:00 PM EST
New England is undefeated in 11 straight matches with Jermaine Jones in the lineup.
Nov 23, 2014, 1:29 PM EST
Brendan Rodgers was quite downtrodden following Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat at Crystal Palace, the club’s third defeat in a row.
Nov 23, 2014, 12:55 PM EST
Hull led inside 10 minutes and looked solid on both ends, but a straight red to Gaston Ramirez for a kick at Jan Vertonghen, and Christian Eriksen completes the Spurs comeback a minute before full time.
Nov 23, 2014, 11:50 AM EST
Fastest ever red card? It certainly has a shout after Australian completes an ugly tackle straight after coming on.
Nov 23, 2014, 10:48 AM EST
Mauricio Pochettino has called on Ben Davies and five others to fix things for Spurs, as both sides make a whopping six changes to their lineups from last weekend.
Nov 23, 2014, 10:26 AM EST
Yannick Bolasie was a force down both flanks as Neil Warnock’s Crystal Palace pulls out of the relegation zone.
Nov 23, 2014, 10:01 AM EST
David Moyes began his tenure in Spain with a 0-0 draw, but there was more to it than that.
Nov 23, 2014, 8:19 AM EST
After missing the World Cup while rehabbing a serious ankle injury, Marco Reus is faced with yet another long road back.
Nov 23, 2014, 7:48 AM EST
With Daniel Sturridge shelved for weeks and Mario Balotelli unable to get past a groin knock, Liverpool turns to Rickie Lambert to produce goals at Selhurst Park.
Nov 22, 2014, 11:59 PM EST
On Sunday, AC Milan will play host to rivals Inter Milan in “derby della Madonnina”, and Roberto Mancini is back.
Premier League Saturday highlights: Manchester United skirts by Arsenal, Newcastle gets fifth straight win
Nov 22, 2014, 10:41 PM EST
Watch Premier League highlights from all of Saturday’s Round 12 games.
Nov 22, 2014, 9:47 PM EST
New York Red Bulls’ Designated Player Tim Cahill is far from doubting his team’s capabilities against the New England Revolution in the Eastern Conference Championship on Sunday.
Nov 22, 2014, 7:56 PM EST
La Liga weekend roundup, as it stands now.
Nov 22, 2014, 7:12 PM EST
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho apologized to supporters for criticizing the stadium atmosphere, while praising his team’s play in a 2-0 blanking of West Brom.
Nov 22, 2014, 6:45 PM EST
Rooney: “We weathered the storm” in 2-1 victory over Arsenal.
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- Video: Brendan Rodgers says Liverpool needs to “become a team” 0
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- Report: Marco Reus is out for rest of 2014 with torn ankle ligament 3
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- Premier League roundup: Wins for Manchester United, Chelsea, Burnley (video) 0