[Player Ratings] Norwich 1-3 Chelsea: Subs Have Their Say In Thrilling Blues Win
Chelsea claimed their first away win of the Premier League season against Norwich after a thrilling game of football ended in late drama. Here’s player ratings
Chelsea claimed their first away win of the Premier League season after a thrilling game of football ended in late drama.
The Blues took an early lead at Carrow Road through the Brazilian Oscar who finished beautifully after Demba Ba’s lay off. Anthony Pilkington grabbed a deserved equaliser in the second half and Norwich could have taken all three points as pressure built. But two late goals from substitutes Eden Hazard and Willian stunned the Canaries and sent the travelling band of Blues and Jose Mourinho into raptures.
Chelsea got off to the perfect start when a hopeful punt up-field was brought down by Ba. There were appeals of offside from the Norwich players but replays showed the Senegalese striker to be just on and Oscar found the bottom corner with the outside of his left boot.
Both sides enjoyed an equal share of possession but the half was lacking in goal-scoring chances, although Norwich did go close from Lee Howson on 22 minutes. Ba was terrorising for 45 minutes, causing the Norwich defence all sorts of problems and even causing keeper John Ruddy to spill the ball in an aerial duel.
There was a strong claim for a penalty minutes into the second half when Pilkington tumbled under the attentions of Ramires in the box. What looked innocuous in real time looked more and more like a penalty in replay, but the referee saw no infringement as Norwich sought an equaliser.
Norwich were much the livelier team in the second period but Oscar wasted a good chance to double his sides lead after going into the book. Ashley Cole and Juan Mata had linked up well to tee the Brazilian up but he lashed his shot high and wide. But Norwich took advantage at the other end on 67 minutes when Pilkington headed the equaliser past Cech from close range after a Ricky van Wolfswinkel knock-down.
The game quickly became stretched with Chelsea going close through Branislav Ivanovic and sub Eden Hazard. Norwich looked the more likely to complete their comeback with the introduction of Nathan Redmond who’s pace caused Chelsea real problems. But two goals in two minutes late on saw the Blues snatch victory. Hazard benefited from some poor defending to slide the ball beneath Ruddy and then moments later another substitute, Willian, notched his first Chelsea goal in spectacular style with a rasping curler from the edge of the area.
Cech- 7- made a couple of vital saves, especially in the first half to deny Howson from 5 yards.
Cole- 6- a solid display before being replaced through injury on 74 minutes.
Terry- 7- strong defensive display from the skipper.
Luiz- 6- had a decent game but didn’t do anything to stand out.
Ivanovic- 7– showed versatility to settle into the back three when Cole limped off. Great shot on 79 minutes which forced a good save from Ruddy.
Lampard- 6- passed well but didn’t over-impress.
Ramires- 6– had a solid game, was consistent in his pressing and harried Norwich when the Blues didn’t have the ball.
Oscar- 7- showed his class with a beautifully taken goal within four minutes. Lost control somewhat in the second half, lunging in wildly and earning a booking.
Mata- 6- made his second start in the space of five days but was not the influential figure we were used to seeing last season. Subbed in the second half for Willian.
Schurrle- 6– a positive performance after a brilliant showing in Romania in mid-week. Started well but influence waned as the game went on.
Ba- 7- probably his best performance this season. The striker hasn’t enjoyed much game time so far but he dominated the Norwich defence in the first half and helped set up Oscar’s goal.
Hazard- 8– was positive when he came on and took centre stage for the second goal, helping clear a Norwich corner before racing the length of the pitch to slot home.
Eto’o- 6- showed some nice touches but never really got himself involved in the game.
Willian- 8- what a way to announce yourself in English football- a superb left footed strike that put the game to bed late on.
Man of the Match- Hazard- the Belgian wasn’t on for long but his impact was game-changing. Positive when on the ball, the winger did well to clear in his own box before sprinting the length of the pitch to score the decisive goal.
What did you make of the game? Do you enjoy watching end-to-end football through your fingers, or is it much better to see Chelsea winning comfortably? The subs clearly changed the game in the Blues’ favour. Do you think Mourinho should take credit for the subs? Would you play Hazard in the next game?… please leave your comments below…
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