Chelsea 3, Norwich City 1

Goalkeeper John Ruddy was sent off as Norwich City suffered their first Premier League defeat of the season.

Ruddy was shown the red card when he brought down Chelsea midfielder Ramires with 11 minutes of normal time remaining and the score at 1-1.

Frank Lampard beat substitute keeper Declan Rudd from the spot to restore Chelsea's lead, and with the game extended to 11 minutes of stoppage time because of a serious injury to Didier Drogba, substitute Juan Mata made it 3-1 close to the final whistle.

It was the third penalty City had conceded in three games but rough luck after they had fought back splendidly from going behind to a Jose Bosingwa goal in the sixth minute.

Grant Holt levelled with a superb finish after 63 minutes and they looked set to gain at least a point from their trip to Stamford Bridge until the penalty incident.


You may also want to watch:


City boss Paul Lambert made two changes from the team that drew 1-1 with Stoke at Carrow Road six days earlier.

Wingers Elliott Bennett and Anthony Pilkington were relegated to the bench, with an extra central defender, Zak Whitbread, brought into the side and Wes Hoolahan shaking off a hamstring injury to make the starting eleven after his Carling Cup outing in midweek.

Most Read

Chris Martin retained his place in attack, so the fit-again Steve Morison had to settle for a place on the bench.

Chelsea made three changes to the starting line-up from the 2-1 home win over West Bromwich Albion, with Branislav Ivanovic, Florent Malouda and Didier Drogba all recalled, while defender Alex and striker Nicolas Anelka were named among the substitutes. There was no place for Saloman Kalou.

There were two new signings on the bench in Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku and Spanish forward Juan Mata, costing a combined total of �43m.

City were given a noisy reception by 3,000 travelling fans, and there were not too many gaps in home sections of the stadium as the home crowd gave their side a warm welcome.

City 'keeper Ruddy produced a vital save as early as the second minute, diving to his right to push away a powerful drive from Ramires at the expense of a corner.

There was a moment of alarm for Chelsea as Holt pursued De Laet's through-ball and Terry stumbled over goalkeeper Hilario, who took a knock on the head in the process, but Holt was penalised for a push.

It took just six minutes for Chelsea to move ahead, however, and there was no chance for Ruddy this time as Bosingwa advanced unchallenged into shooting range and powered a 25-yard drive low to the keeper's right.

The Canaries forced their first corner in the 11th minute but Chris Martin's kick was a poor one and did not beat the first man.

Johnson wasted another dead-ball opportunity from just inside the Chelsea half by floating a free-kick straight into Hilario's hands.

City made some headway as Holt was just unable to get on the end of a Hoolahan ball into the Chelsea area, and a neat passing move ended with Hilario cutting out Chris Martin's low cross from the right.

Chelsea almost had another opening as Malouda and Torres combined well but Ruddy dashed out to collect the striker's through-ball before Drogba could pounce.

A foul by Naughton gave Drogba a free-kick opportunity some 30 yards out but his effort earned derision from the travelling fans as it sailed into the top tier of the stand behind Ruddy's goal.

A low drive by Naughton was deflected wide to give City a second corner, Drogba heading away from Martin's kick.

With 27 minutes gone the Canaries went the closest yet to equalising when Hoolahan picked out Chris Martin on the right side of the area and his low shot was parried was Hilario. Martin retrieved and eventually fed the ball back to Naughton, whose powerful effort was tipped over by the 'keeper.

One minute later, Hilario was forced into action again as he dived to smother Holt's header from a cross by Naughton.

After half an hour, Whitbread, hobbling from an earlier knock, was replaced by Pilkington – the first change of the afternoon and another central defensive worry for Lambert.

Hilario was the busier goalkeeper at this stage and Hoolahan tested him again with a well-struck effort from more than 30 yards after Holt won the initial challenge.

Bosingwa earned the first yellow card for a late challenge on Tierney.

De Laet was looking impressive and robbed Torres on the edge of the Norwich area as the striker tried to control Lampard's pass.

Four minutes before the break, Crofts was booked for bringing down Drogba and this time the striker curled the resulting free-kick narrowly over the bar.

At the other end, Johnson's curling free-kick from more than 25 yards was comfortably dealt with by Hilario.

It was end-to-end stuff and a swift Chelsea attack ended with Ruddy clutching a swerving drive from Malouda to his chest.

In first half stoppage time, Mikel's long-range effort sailed into the crowd behind Ruddy's goal.

• Half-time: Chelsea 1, Norwich City 0

De Laet cut out a cross from Cole as Chelsea gained the first corner of the second half, but Barnett was up well to head clear from Malouda's kick.

In fact Chelsea forced three corners in quick succession early in the second period, but City held firm and Drogba missed one opportunity when he failed to connect with Malouda's cross.

There was another corner as Johnson blocked Lampard's shot, and Ivanovic got on the end of Lampard's corner but headed wide.

The Canaries forced a corner of their own when Drogba headed clear from a Pilkington free-kick. Johnson took the kick, an inswinger from the right, but it was easily cleared.

Torres became Chelsea's second booking when he caught Barnett in the groin with his foot too high.

Naughton was then shown the yellow card when he slipped and tried to grab Drogba's shirt as the striker broke away.

Lambert made a second change on the hour as Morison was sent on for Hoolahan.

The travelling fans went wild in the 63rd minute, however, as Holt levelled the scores with his first Premier League goal.

Naughton's cross from the right caused the problem for Chelsea as Ivanovic jumped with keeper Hilario, but the defender succeeded only in heading the ball straight into the air, and as it dropped Holt hooked it expertly into the empty net with a well-judged volley.

There was a long delay soon after the equaliser as Drogba needed lengthy treatment after landing badly as he jumped with Ruddy.

Chelsea made a double change as Mata first replaced Malouda, but there was a considerable delay before Drogba departed on a stretcher with a team of medics in attendance.

Morison could have given City the lead in the 73rd minute when Holt hooked the ball forward and he raced clear, but he delayed his shot just long enough for Terry to get back and force a corner. Pilkington's kick was just too strong for Holt to make clean contact with his header.

Torres, who had had a quiet afternoon, got in a header from Mata's cross but Ruddy was right behind it.

Torres was lucky to escape a second yellow card when he tripped Johnson from behind.

City continued to threaten and Mikel's poor header set up Morison for a cross that Ivanovic dived full length to head clear.

With just over 10 minutes left, however, disaster struck for City when Ramires went clean through and appeared to be brought down by Ruddy.

Referee Jones pointed to the spot and produced the red card for Ruddy.

The decision sparked a row between the two dug-outs as Lampard exchanged words with the Chelsea bench but after another long delay, Rudd was sent on with Chris Martin sacrificed, and his first act was to pick the ball out of the net as Lampard blasted home the penalty.

Lukaku replaced Torres for Chelsea, but Morison lobbed one chance over the top as City's 10 men continued to battle for a point.

Lukaku headed wide from Anelka's cross with two minutes of normal time remaining, but still City persevered and a foul by Mikel on Holt gave them a free-kick, but Johnson's kick was a poor one.

Ivanovic then headed a golden opportunity wide from Mata's cross.

No fewer than 11 additional minutes were signalled by the fourth official after the delay for Drogba's injury and the penalty incident.

Heavy rain fell as the game entered stoppage time and Rudd had to save from Lukaku to prevent further damage.

Nearly 10 minutes of stoppage time had been played when a mistake by De Laet, trying to play the ball back into his own area, presented Mata with his first goal for Chelsea.

• Chelsea: Hilario; Bosingwa, Terry, Ivanovic, Cole; Ramires, Mikel, Lampard, Malouda (Mata, 68); Torres (Lukaku, 83), Drogba (Anelka, 71). Subs (not used): Turnbull, Ferreira, McEachran, Alex.

• Norwich City: Ruddy; Naughton, De Laet, Barnett, Whitbread (Pilkington, 30), Tierney; Crofts, Bradley Johnson; Hoolahan (Morison, 60); Holt, Chris Martin (Rudd, 81). Subs (not used): Russell Martin, Fox, Bennett, Jackson.

• Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire)

• Attendance: 41,765

• Goals: Chelsea: Bosingwa (6), Lampard pen (82), Mata (90). City: Holt (63).

• Bookings: Chelsea: Bosingwa (36), Torres (56). City: Crofts (41), Naughton (58).

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus