- Football fixtures for 2013-14 announced
- Brazil 2-0 Mexico
- Italy v Japan
- Violent protests mar Brazil match
- Striker Carroll signs for West Ham
- Hearts placed into administration
- Neville expects exciting campaign
- FA Cup final moves to end of season
- Mourinho ready for 'emotional' start
- Newcastle fans need more 'clarity'
City Left Sore as Chelsea Score Four…
It was another miserable outing for Norwich this afternoon as they were well beaten by Chelsea. Holt gave the Canaries an early lead, though Torres, Lampard, Hazard and Ivanovic replied for the hosts who came out on top by four goals to one.
After last weekend’s 2-5 drubbing against Liverpool, Hughton rightly switched things around with 5 changes. Out went Turner, Surman, Snodgrass, Jackson and Morison whilst in came Holt, Hoolahan, Bassong, Elliott Bennett and Tettey. That meant John Ruddy started in goal behind a back four of Javier Garrido, Sebastien Bassong, Leon Barnett and Russell Martin. The midfield was Elliott Bennett, Bradley Johnson, Alexander Tettey, Jonny Howson and Wes Hoolahan – whilst up front was Grant Holt.
The threat of being an early goal down was averted well by Leon Barnett. Torres was set clear despite hints of offside, though the former West Brom defender made that vital challenge.
It proved important with the Canaries going on to take a shock early lead!
Hoolahan recycled a cleared free-kick, flew in a ball from the left which Barnett nodded down. It came to Holt who brilliantly lashed home past Cech!
Who saw that coming?!
Well it spurred Chelsea into life and they equalised near immediately, such is the way of the world at the minute.
Ivanovic floated in a cross, Torres rose highest amongst City defenders to nod into the bottom corner. 1-1.
Norwich and Tettey should have regained the lead a couple of minutes later. After Russell Martin and Hoolahan combined, the Norwegian international somehow fluffed his diving header from close range – finding the corner flag! The attack was recycled though Johnson’s poke was saved by Cech.
And summing up City’s season thus far, a golden opportunity missed soon led to the opposition scoring.
After Torres’ acrobatic effort was blocked, Lampard rammed home on the rebound.
In the space of ten minutes the European champions had turned it around.
And ten minutes later 2-1 became 3-1, improbable hope for a point or three became hope that City weren’t on course for another mauling.
Chelsea broke from a City corner, Mata picked his pass and found Hazard. The defending was very suspect though Hazard cared little, finding the net and finding a third for Chelsea.
Ruddy made a smart stop from Oscar before Holt headed high and wide, with the first period drawing to a close.
Bright start, chances not taken, poor defending… Seemed to sum up a lot of Norwich this season the first half did. Considering the context of the game, they were playing the champions of Europe though the goals conceded had been far too easy.
Norwich started the second-half brightly, though Holt’s glancing header from Johnson’s excellent cross flew wide. It perhaps should have hit the target and at the very least drew Cech into action.
Up the other end their shaky backline were called into question through Barnett. He clumsily collided with Hazard though no penalty was awarded.
Ruddy had to be at his best first saving well from Oscar, before bravely blocking a Mata effort as Chelsea searched for more.
Holt was doing his all to try spark his team into life, though it was proving a hard task for the skipper.
Hughton sought to draw new life into his men as Johnson was subbed and Pilkington arrived.
Though Ruddy was in the firing line once more, saving superbly one-on-one with Torres.
Harshly the City stopper was picking the ball out of his net a minute later.
The ball fell for Ivanovic, he fired a volley at goal it was too much for Ruddy to stop – it found the net.
Morison replaced Holt, Ryan Bennett replaced Bassong though City offered little in the closing stages, slumping to another defeat.
Chelsea 4-1 Norwich, in context it’s expected. European champions, at home playing little old Norwich. But in terms of our season, past results – it’s another source of frustration. At times we could probably slide a plank of wood on our 18 yard line and it’d do an equal job to our defence at the minute. It’s just not good enough. The goals that Chelsea and Liverpool have scored have genuinely been far too easy. They were going to be hard games, so you’ve got to make it difficult for them! So the international break has now arrived and Hughton and his staff have a lot of work to do, there were sparks today but only that. The fact is City are in the relegation zone, without a win and staring a long, hard season in the face.
And how about a song with an optimistic lyric or two?
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