Chris Hughton admits Norwich City’s soft centre was exposed again by Premier League leaders Chelsea

Chris Hughton was left to rue fresh evidence of Norwich's soft centre ruthlessly exposed by Premier League leaders Chelsea in Saturday's 4-1 home cruise at Stamford Bridge.

Grant Holt's 11th minute opener stunned the Blues, who roared back with Fernando Torres, Frank Lampard and Eden Hazard burying Hughton's side under a first half barrage. Branislav Ivanovic's late half-volley in the closing stages put the seal on another emphatic defeat for the Canaries.

Hughton insisted his men had performed better than last weekend's Liverpool humbling, but the end result underlined the gulf between the two clubs.

'I've just tried to remind the players where we are at the moment and to reflect on the season to this point,' he said. 'I was probably more annoyed and disappointed at half-time than I was at the end of the game. To take the lead we certainly needed to be in the game for longer. When you come here, and particularly with the offensive quality these have here now, you know it is going to be a tough ask. You know they will dominate possession and create chances so you have to stay in the game longer.

'I felt all three goals showed we are not defending well enough as a team at the moment. That is the disappointment. The pluses are that against a top, top team we got ourselves in some excellent positions and managed to be a little bit of a threat. That is the balance and the result is probably a reflection of where both clubs are at the minute.'