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Chelsea 1 Norwich City 0

16:59 21 November 2015

Chelsea

Chelsea's Diego Costa hit the winner in the Blues' 1-0 Premier League victory over Norwich City. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

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Battling Norwich City slipped to a 1-0 Premier League defeat at champions Chelsea.

The Canaries repelled Jose Mourinho’s side for long spells at Stamford Bridge but paid a heavy price for one lapse in concentration on a quickly-taken free kick when Diego Costa checked back inside Ryan Bennett to control Cesc Fabregas’ pass and curl a low finish past John Ruddy for a 64th minute match winner.

Ruddy had brilliantly denied Costa prior to the interval before Kurt Zouma volleyed against the bar in the aftermath of Costa’s finish. Norwich’s best chance saw Robbie Brady’s long shot pushed around the post by Asmir Begovic.

Alex Neil made three changes to the starting line up that beat Swansea City 1-0 prior to the international break. Youssouf Mulumbu came in for Alex Tettey who returned from Euro 2016 play-off duty with a thigh injury. Nathan Redmond was restored to the line-up after his precautionary absence against the Swans with a thigh concern in place of Wes Hoolahan. Dieumerci Mbokani was preferred to Cameron Jerome with Kyle Lafferty included on the substitutes’ bench.

Gary O’Neil retained the captaincy along with his place in central midfield with Russell Martin a notable absentee from the matchday squad after serving his one-match ban against the Swans. Neil confirmed after the defeat the Scottish international had been in the squad but was left out for ‘personal reasons’.

Jose Mourinho restored Branislav Ivanovic to his line up after missing the past seven games with a hamstring injury. Brazilian teenager Kenedy was deployed in an unfamiliar left-back role. Eden Hazard, Willian and Pedro formed a creative-looking three behind Diego Costa.

Redmond started as the chief link to Mbokani flanked by Brady and Jonny Howson. Mourinho opted to shift Hazard centrally.

Mbokani was beaten in the air by Kurt Zouma from Redmond’s sixth minute corner with City looking to profit from what has become an increasingly productive supply route.

Redmond then led the counter before feeding Brady who earned a second corner from Ivanovic which Pedro hacked clear at the far post in a confident start from the Canaries.

Hazard underlined his threat when he escaped the attentions of Andre Wisdom to pick out Costa who screwed his first time shot over with Seb Bassong and Ryan Bennett in close attendance.

Chelsea’s high tempo response threatened to pin Norwich inside their own third for a prolonged period before John Terry’s near post flick relieved the pressure when it brushed the side netting.

Redmond’s pace was proving a source of menace for the hosts and Begovic had to parried his angled shot in the 14th minute before play switched to the opposite end when Willian lined up Martin Olsson but Ruddy smothered his low strike.

Redmond squared up Terry before the ball was shovelled to Brady who cut it back, but Mbokani’s stabbed left-footed shot from just inside the Chelsea area cleared the bar. Spanish international Pedro’s 20-yard effort swerved wide as the open feel to the proceedings showed no signs of abating.

Chelsea should have gone in front in the 26th minute when Pedro, Cesc Fabregas and Hazard craved out space down the Norwich right before picking out the unmarked Costa who sidefooted over from 10 yards.

Bennett’s clearing header then denied Willian a chance to test Ruddy as Chelsea moved through the gears.

Willian earned a free kick after Olsson was adjudged to have held him back but Bassong’s positioning was sound only for Chelsea to swiftly re-cycle and test Ruddy again who smothered Fabregas’ shot.

Brady tumbled under the attentions of Willian a yard inside the Chelsea box but referee Pawson waved away appeals led by Neil as Chelsea counterpart Mourinho waved an accusing finger in the direction of the fourth official.

The impressive Hazard then drifted away from both Mulumbu and Olsson but there was no takers in blue for his cross rolled along the Norwich six yard box.

City broke out in the closing stages of the opening period and from a Redmond corner Bassong looked set to slot until Terry’s last-ditch far post block.

Chelsea surged down the other end where Costa was again left unmarked 10 yards out, but Ruddy brilliantly denied him with his right foot to divert a goalbound shot around the post.

Captain O’Neil was cautioned two minutes after the restart when Mulumbu was initially over-run in central midfield but Ruddy dropped to his knees to gather Willian’s free kick.

Zouma then pulled off his marked but volleyed Hazard’s corner over from eight yards with the hosts starting the second period in the same attacking vein.

Ruddy dived on Fabregas’ 25-yard effort that skipped off the turf in front of the City number one with Norwich unable to get any service to the increasingly isolated Mbokani.

Chelsea’ weight of possession and territory finally told in the 64th minute when Fabregas’ quick free kick, after Hazard was upended, picked out Costa who dived back inside Bennett to curl beyond Ruddy from 12 yards.

Zouma’s volley from Willian’s free kick thudded against the bar with City rocking but the visitors bravely carried the fight again with Brady’s swerving strike parried by Begovic at full stretch.

Neil responded with a triple change in the 72nd minute with Jerome, Hoolahan and Graham Dorrans replacing Mbokani, Howson and Mulumbu.

Chelsea continued to dictate with youngster Kenedy roaming forward on the overlap but Bennett clearing his lines at Norwich’s near post before Pedro’s looping strike from the corner dropped two yards wide.

Ruddy then denied Matic after the bustling midfielder was allowed to rumble into the Norwich area with the pragmatic hosts now clearly happy to run down the remaining minutes for a much-needed win.

• Chelsea: Begovic, Ivanovic, Zouma, Terry, Kenedy, Matic, Fabregas, Pedro (Oscar 83), Willian (Ramires 86), Hazard (Azpilicueta 90), Diego Costa. Subs (not used): Blackman, Cahill, Traore, Remy.

• Booking: Willian (ungentlemanly conduct, 35)

• Goal: Costa (64)

• Norwich City: Ruddy; Wisdom, Bennett, Bassong, Olsson, Howson (Hoolahan 72), Mulumbu (Dorrans 72), O’Neil, Brady, Redmond, Mbokani (Jerome 72). Subs (not used): Rudd, Whittaker, Lafferty, Odjidja.

• Bookings: Mulumbu (foul on Fabregas, 31); O’Neil (foul on Hazard, 47); Bassong (foul on Hazard, 61); Olsson (foul on Costa, 69)

• Added on time: 1 minute / 4 minutes

• Referee: Craig Pawson (South Yorks)

• Attendance: 41,582

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27 comments

  • I saw this all 2 season ago. Lines of 5 and 4 big defenders hanging around the penalty area, good at stopping the ball then hoofing it up the field, stolidly waiting for the opposition to bring it back. Their waiting for the final whistle and hopefully a draw. The longer they hang back, the less creative they become and finally the big slip, the goal of doom - no points. Up front one man, too small, marked by 2 or 3 blue shirts - deserted - not a chance. The brightness shown at the beginning of the season is slipping away as we line up not to lose. Chelsea, ripe for the picking - chase them - hassel them of the ball - we did it to Liverpool, Sunderland Swansea - I always know when we are going backwards - no Hoolahan. I'd rather see us lose 3:1, 4:2 as long as we are part of the action. Hoolahan to Whittaker, back heel, goal!! But to lay back is to lay down, is to lose. Wake up boys and get on the ball, be affirmative, get there first.

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    Pritch

    Sunday, November 22, 2015

  • I hate to say it but " nice one " Old Rodney ,( Last posting )

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    iMac

    Sunday, November 22, 2015

  • Have to agree Custard, if we play like that all season, we won,t be far away. Thought from where we stood it was a definite penalty, but hey we are little old Norwich. Good day all in all though, bring on Watford in a fortnight. OTBC

    Report this comment

    Bald Canary

    Sunday, November 22, 2015

  • ♥Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ♥ Had a bit of a late one last night. ☆.´ `. ☽¸.☆Terrific day tho'. It's not all about the result. Saw Pedro leaving Bumpkin. Thought he's be into more continental. Hey iMac, I'll take [̲̲̅̅O̲̲̅̅l̲̲̅̅d̲̲̅̅ ̲̲̅̅R̲̲̅̅o̲̲̅̅d̲̲̅̅n̲̲̅̅e̲̲̅̅y̲̲̅̅] any day. My Grandpops' name was Rodney. Served in the forces, sadly not all good. Survived to tell the tale. Old Rodney Buster Custard from now on then. Doesn't really follow the OTBC reference though. Still . . . ORBC will do. OAUW `'¹li¡|¡|¡il¹´ м ω α н

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    Ole Tommy Buster Custard

    Sunday, November 22, 2015

  • With the goal the problem seemed to be we didn't play to the whistle, Bennett in particular stopping to chat instead of just getting back and asking questions later... that aside he had a great game and I am sure he will learn from it. Encouraging news is our use of the squad expanding our options, O'Neil, Mulumbu, Wisdom, Bennett all new additions that are worth persisitin with. For me major disappointment yesterday was not seeing Lafferty given a run out, he is hungry, AN says he won't let him go on loan and he has the pace and presence to trouble the Chelsea backline if he is on form.... that bit of variation up front is still lacking from our overall play, replacing Mbokani for Jerome is clearly not enough, going narrower as a 4-3-1-2 with Dorrans, O'Neil and Brady as the 3 and then Hoolahan linking to Lafferty and MbokaniJerome may well have been a better option just to change the game up for the last 15 or 20 minutes

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    jops

    Sunday, November 22, 2015

  • Well done Norwich City. The boys almost managed to pinch a draw from the mighty Blues. Had the referee been a bit more braver in front of the Stamford Bridge crowd, we might well have come away with a deserved point. The big question is, can McNally entice a 'name' striker to Carra Rd in the January transfer window? I have no doubt that the wheels are in motion even as I write this. Everything is always done in secret regarding our transfer targets so I won't be holding my breath waiting for news of inbound players coming to Norwich City but one thing that is certain is that we do need a striker that can fire us to Premier league safety. The stakes are so high this season that the board simply HAVE to break the bank. Come on Delia, 'lets'be havin you' COYY

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    canarytrev

    Sunday, November 22, 2015

  • I'm pleased AN kept with the same defence. This was NCFC's best defensive performance of the the season. Even the 'switching off' for Chelsea's goal was more a credit to their rapidly taken free kick, than a major blip by Norwich. A shame though, because that slip aside, we looked like keeping out some of the world's best attacking players. My MOTM was between Ruddy and Ryan B, with Wisdom doing far better than either RM or SW might have done. I guess Mulumbu isn't fully match fit yet, but to me he falls well short of Tettey. Redmond was disappointing after the first 20 minutes. Those niggles aside, I think we did enough to believe we will get some points from the big boys this season.

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    Reg Breeze

    Sunday, November 22, 2015

  • Teams who have beaten Chelsea this season have done so by utilising their pace. Terry is well past his best and does not handle players running at him nowadays. Brady aside we lack that drive into the box. We miss Jarvis who also has pace and directness. Redmond flatters to deceive too often and still fails to use his pace, stopping the ball and cutting inside. It is no surprise to me that Leicester lead the table tonight. They break at such speed and with such precision. Yes they have a gem in Vardy but he needs support and Leicester have numerous players able to release the ball quickly and accurately. I am certain AN is acutely aware where our failings are and will want to bring in better players in key positions if he is able to for one reason or a lot of others! In the meantime he has to make the best of what he has. We may be getting better but we remain a long way short of what is required at this level in every department. Sorry if this sounds negative but objectively that is how I see it.

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    malaga flier

    Saturday, November 21, 2015

  • Danger I an not having a tete a Tete as you say , i just find his childish writing and un-reable comments grinding , no consistence like most . I haven't been to a match for years but wont try and fool people.I have to resort to tele or the local pub Any way a good result considering the hammering Newcastle gave us , pick up a point or more next week then we stand a chance , but time is slipping away we must start knocking them in , the good thing is the defence seems a bit better now , I don't think my ticker would stand another season like 1314, we can't rely on those below us , sign a proven Goal scorer and get another cdefender . OTBC , OAUW

    Report this comment

    iMac

    Saturday, November 21, 2015

  • What was particularly frustrating about this was that we only lost one nil, and that due to a bit of dreadful silliness, forward slash, siesta that let in Costa for the sucker punch. John Ruddy deserved better. Homer Simpson and I both went 'DOH' at the end of the match, both of us left with the feeling that we'd let ourselves down a bit. Chelsea were a higggledy piggeldy patchwork quilt in the first half, a team bereft of confidence and ability, supported by a manager with grandiose delusions. We, on the other hand, had we been just a tad more confident, could have exploited this malaise. The difference was the half time team talk. In the second half, Chelsea produced the full pallette whereas we kept giving the ball away and hoofing it up to Mbokani. I know we are better than this. Today we lost it in the midfield. Had we gone for the jugular, we might have come back with something. As it was, we were lucky not to lose three nil. I was pleased to see Mulumbu and Mbokani starting, a bit of beef to ruffle some feathers. I know what your thinking, we tried that one at Newcastle and look what happened. Agreed, but we shouldn't let that put us off. If Leicester can do it, why can't we? Bring on MOTD. I was twenty five yards from that stonewall penalty, and like Shilock, I want my pound of flesh. On the ball City, with some bone warming stew, a glass of Malbec and the last verse of La Marsilleuse, which I have deliberately spelt wrongly.

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    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Saturday, November 21, 2015

  • iMac, I'm afraid ole tommy does go to all the games. He used to post details on tickets which were pretty evidential he went. Or he has a mate at the ticket office. Good advice not to seek a private tete a tete with him. You'll be singled out as many of us were last time he graced these pages. Keep to all the topic and he'll soon disappear OTBC

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    nevermindthedanger

    Saturday, November 21, 2015

  • Switched off for one second and how costly was that. Very good team performance...yet again for no points. How many times do we keep saying that. Bennett magnificent alongside Bassong. And if Chelsea had defended like Manchester City tonight, then we might of picked up an equaliser.

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    Erpingham Tractor

    Saturday, November 21, 2015

  • Good result considering we lost, fancy our chances against the Gunners . Jacob scored a hattrick I know its only Coventry but why are we not busing him , we still haven't got a PL goal scorer , think alley big names will go to bigger clubs and for silly money in Jan we need to be looking for another GH , there must be one out there somewhere , come on you scouts get out and about at some of the lower leagues you must be able to spot bone . I see old Tommy is making out he went to the match , he is going down west afterwards ???, reminds me of OFAH when Rodney is trying to convince Del he has loads of friends and is well known in the London scene clubs , I think I will rename him Old Rodney

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    iMac

    Saturday, November 21, 2015

  • Defence played well apart from the goal we conceded,but all that pressure we were under we had to concede in the end.Mulumbu was bit of a disappointment for me,he gave the ball away too much,(not the only one)o'neil showed his experience with his fouls etc and Redmond didn't really do much at all.Thought mbokani came out second best with Terry and when Jerome came on he feared worse,infact no subs made any difference whatsoever!Ruddy did keep the scoreline down and Bass and Bennett played well.Brady motm for me.If only we had kept the ball longer and passed better then our defence would not have been under the cosh as much.Not a bad result though considering the strength of chelski.Players will be needed in January to avoid a relegation battle.

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    tonyb

    Saturday, November 21, 2015

  • Good effort guys. Disappointing but hardly the end of the world and something to build on. Nice to see that young Jacob got himself a hat trick. OTBC

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    baguio

    Saturday, November 21, 2015

  • Watched it on internet and thought first half we almost matched Chelsea. Second half they went up a gear and we went to sleep. Still thing we look too weak of ideas to say up, hope Im wrong. OTBC.

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    Tone the moan

    Saturday, November 21, 2015

  • Thought the lads gave a good account of themselves today and were unlucky not to salvage at least a point. You could see what the result meant to Chelsea - they were hugely relieved to get the points and they knew that they had been through a tough examination. If City can keep up this level and performance then they have nothing to worry about........... OTBC !!

    Report this comment

    Dubai Canary

    Saturday, November 21, 2015

  • These were the easy games now we have tough games against Arsenal and Watford Town. Chumpionship board Chumpionship team. Maybe we should have brought some players. Oh dear NCFC another embarrassing outing. Looking forward to winning some games next year in the lower leagues hope to God we never get promoted again! As I said before you get promoted and we sell all our decent players and buy one!! Well deserve to get relegated - at least Delia doesn't have to invest in a stand Sad old Norwich City

    Report this comment

    Vampire Jon

    Saturday, November 21, 2015

  • #OTBC first half ok , end to end. 2nd half mostly one way traffic toward our goal. After the triple sub on 71 mins we did not have a shot on target. Overall one switch off defensively , but the best we were was a draw, saw the game on ontario sports.

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    wivenhoebudgie

    Saturday, November 21, 2015

  • Don't be too quick condem. The cheapest team in the league defied the 2nd most expensive, and only the one goal separated them. OK we defended in depth, but with the exception of one mandatory lack of concentration, we held them. They were 40 percent more effective than us in midfield, and that is where they had us under the cosh. They were crisper, harder and fought harder. Class told in the midfield. Our defence did well, Ruddy deserves our man of the match. There was virtually no attack except that which came through Brady. Redmond looked like a lost boy most of the time as he was muscled out by the Chealsea defence. But let's be sensible Chelsea's women's team probably costs more than our first team, and unless McNally and co loosen off the purse strings, this will be as good as it gets. Our team played well within the financial limits that roots them to the bargain basement. I was proud of what they did. We lost, yes, but with pride.

    Report this comment

    Algarve Canary

    Saturday, November 21, 2015

  • Maybe today was a game where we should have given Lafferty a run out in the second half as he has the pace to hit clubs on the break. It sounds as though Bennett had yet another good game at centre half.

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    TrevorKeith

    Saturday, November 21, 2015

  • Good performance today I thought. It is good to see some solidity in defense just need to be a bit more inventive up front and my confidence in Alex is rising.

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    Cyprus Canary

    Saturday, November 21, 2015

  • No Martin and no Whittaker, still the defence goes to sleep, hmmmmmmmmm. Perhaps they weren't quite as much to blame for all the world's evils as some posters were saying?

    Report this comment

    PaulWho

    Saturday, November 21, 2015

  • Losing 1-0 to Chelsea is no disgrace. However we must get on track and take points from some of the lesser teams in the coming months. Therein lies the difference between success and failure as regards our Prem League status.

    Report this comment

    malaga flier

    Saturday, November 21, 2015

  • Bottom 3 by Christmas and no higher in May.

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    KeithS

    Saturday, November 21, 2015

  • Only listened to the radio but it would appear that the lads gave their all and perhaps missed Tettey who was my man of the match against Swansea. It sounds as though we maybe should have had a penalty but smaller teams usually do not get such rewards. I never expected to get anything from this game but we certainly came close to grabbing a point. Roll on the Gooners next week, come on you Yellows get behind the team.

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    TrevorKeith

    Saturday, November 21, 2015

  • Travelling fans done us proud. Great atmosphere. Fantastic end to end match. I dare say those back in Norfolk are ready to moan and groan as per. Standard. I'm off up West to celebrate being a Norwich fan. Laterz !

    Report this comment

    Ole Tommy Buster Custard

    Saturday, November 21, 2015

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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