Brave Canaries lose penalty shootout after pulsating FA Cup third round replay at Chelsea finished 1-1 AET
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Battling Norwich City bowed out of the FA Cup in a penalty shootout after pushing nine-man Chelsea all the way at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.
Jamal Lewis' 94th header stunned Chelsea after Michy Batshuayi looked to have settled the tie for Antonio Conte's Premier League champions. Neither side could find a breakthrough in an extra-time period that brought red cards for both Pedro and Alvaro Morata as the tie went to penalties.
Chelsea struck a faultless five spot kicks but Nelson Oliveira's miss from 12 yards proved the difference, as the Blues booked a fourth round tie against Newcastle United.
Norwich proved again for long spells at Stamford Bridge more than adept at subduing Chelsea and causing the odd palpitation on the counter.
That cohesiveness we have seen since the New Year was evident in a side that showed only one change from the weekend league win at Bristol City.
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Alex Tettey was allowed to recuperate for Sheffield United's visit. That was a testament to Farke, who again in the build up had made it clear how much he values cup competitions.
The German head coach has been as good as his word this season. But after a testing start at the Bridge you could see that recent confidence and momentum come to the fore.
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There were inevitable moments of alarm in the opening quarter. Not solely from the malfunctioning London transport network which delayed the kick off by 15 minutes.
Danny Drinkwater lashed wide before Batshuayi glanced a header past the far post.
Willian then ran off the back of Christoph Zimmermann but he pulled his angled shot off target. Antonio Conte manically urged his troops to get on the front foot after three games with a goal and four without a win.
Chelsea's league defence has long since ended, given Manchester City's magnificence, and that realisation may have fuelled the hosts' early desperation for a breakthrough.
Angus Gunn was called upon in the 26th minute with a fingertip stop to divert Drinkwater's dipping effort onto the underside of his bar.
It was another to add to his growing repertoire. But it signalled a turning of the tide. City's players appeared to draw strength from surviving that opening burst.
Oliveira's half-volley clipped the top of the bar at the opposite end, from Batshuayi's wayward pass, before the Portuguese international clubbed a rising left-footed shot over.
The mood in the home ranks grew restless. Kenedy and Pedro exchanged knowing looks when another move broke down. It was Norwich voices that could be heard at the start of the second period.
The sight of Eden Hazard appearing for an impromptu warm up underlined the gulf in resources and perhaps City's relative success. It had the desired effect. Kenedy was afforded too much time to clip a low cross for Batshuayi to run off the back of Grant Hanley and slot at the near post.
It was a cheap concession. A reminder the higher you go the elevated premium on concentration; particularly with the sharp movement of expensively acquired forward talent. Batshuayi had looked distinctly average in two games against Norwich, but one intervention was all it took.
Norwich responded. Murphy's bouncing effort clipped the outside of Caballero's far post, before Davide Zappacosta took a huge risk and handful of Jamal Lewis' shirt inside the Chelsea penalty area. Referee Scott was unconvinced, despite Farke's animated protests towards his fourth official.
Caballero then thwarted Maddison with a stunning one-handed save in the 65th minute from 16 yards. Batshuayi's opener had appeared to merely sting Norwich into concerted action; fresh evidence should it be needed there is a resilience and a character within this group of players.
Conte sent for Alvaro Morata, who headed Drinkwater's cross just wide in the 84th minute. Farke turned to Todd Cantwell. A precocious young talent from Dereham making debut in one of the biggest stages in English football.
It was a pertinent reminder perhaps of what Chelsea are and what Norwich are striving to become. And it was another cast in the same mould who pegged the high rollers back. Lewis rose above Cesar Azpilicueta deep in stoppage time to loop Timm Klose's cross over Caballero. Farke's technical area was flooded with celebrating team mates and backroom staff as the teenager raced towards the away support.
Conte looked a broken man. City's squad huddled around Farke at the start of extra-time once calm had returned.
Willian tumbled under Klose's challenge inside the area but referee Scott waved play on. Even in real time it looked a huge let off for the Canaries. Gunn then denied Willian and Morata within seconds. The tempo was breathless.
Pedro was dismissed for a second booking as penalties loomed. Morata followed after his outburst following a booking for simulation. The unmarked Klose then headed at Caballero in the final act of extra-time.
• Chelsea: Caballero, Ampadu (Christensen 81), Luiz, Azpilicueta, Zappacosta, Drinkwater (Hazard 99), Bakayoko, Kenedy (Kante 86), Willian, Batshuayi (Morata 81), Pedro. Subs (not used): Eduardo (GK), Musonda, Sterling.
• Booking: Pedro (unsporting behaviour, 62); Morata (unsporting behaviour, 120)
• Sendings Off: Pedro (foul on Hoolahan, 117); Morata (dissent, 120)
• Goal: Batshuayi (55)
• Norwich City: Gunn, Pinto (Tettey 116), Zimmermann, Hanley (Cantwell 86 (Stiepermann 120)), Klose, Lewis, Vrancic, Reed (Hoolahan 82), Maddison, Murphy, Oliveira. Subs (not used): McGovern (GK), Husband, Raggett.
• Booking: Maddison (foul on Kante, 97)
• Goal: Lewis (90)
• Referee: Graham Scott (Oxon)
• Attendance: 39,684