The most unjust result of the season?
Saturday 27th August 2011
The most unjust result of the season, the majority of fans would agree that 3-1 was harsh on the Canaries and that they deserved a point out of the game at least.
They lined up to be defensive when they didn`t have the ball and to be attacking when they did in a 5-3-2/3-5-2 formation with Marc Tierney and Kyle Naughton attacking the flanks. It showed a sign of acknowledging Chelsea`s attacking prowess but not saying we were going to roll over and die because of who they are.
The first goal came on only six minutes when, given far too much on the edge of the area, Bosingwa let fly with a rifled shot straight into the corner giving Ruddy no chance.
Norwich pushed for an equaliser and efforts from Chris Martin, Kyle Naughton and Grant Holt. Martin had keeper Hilario parry a great strike and with the keeper scrambling and following him to the edge of his area he laid the ball off for Naughton who could quite find the net with the retreating keeper tipping it over.
After thirty minutes Zak Whitbread was brought off injured with Anthony Pilkington coming on with Norwich reverting to a 4-4-2.
End to end stuff meant an exciting end to the first half with both teams trying to get that next goal.
The second half started fairly evenly with both teams still pushing. As time went on though Norwich started to get on top again and were getting in behind the Chelsea defence numerous times.
Fernando Torres was booked for a kick on Leon Barnett, the only noticeable thing he did all afternoon apart from a foul later on which, if he hadn`t have already been booked he would`ve been cautioned for.
On 60 minutes, Lambert signalled his attacking intent by withdrawing Wes Hoolahan and throwing on another striker in the form of Steve Morison.
Only three minutes later and the visiting contingent went crazy when Grant Holt got the equaliser. Naughton`s cross from the right hand side and a lack of communication between Hilario and Branislav Ivanovic meant the ball set up for Holt to volley home from around 18 yards.
Straight after the restart Chelsea went for the lead again and Didier Drogba jumped with John Ruddy and got one of the 'keeper`s hands punching his face knocking him unconscious.
Morison could, and should, have given the Norfolk side the lead on 73 minutes with a one-on-one but he took one touch too many and John Terry got back and put the ball out for a corner.
On 80 minutes, disaster struck for the third game in a row for City. Ramires was adjudged to be fouled by Ruddy in the area though the Chelsea player appeared to have fallen over before he had even reached the 'keeper but the result was always going to be a penalty. The ball was heading away from goal and could have saved a red card but Mike Jones decided it was worthy of a sending off.
Chris Martin made way and Declan Rudd came on for his first Premier League appearance. His first call into action was facing a Frank Lampard penalty but was unable to stop the England midfielder`s strike, Chelsea taking the lead.
Romanu Lukaku had an attempt blocked by Rudd though he didn`t hold it and had to make a recovery save to stop the oncoming Lampard putting the ball in the net for Chelsea`s third.
With 11 minutes of time added on Chelsea pushed to put distance between themselves and Norwich. With nearly 10 minutes of added time gone they did so when a mistake from De Laet gave Mata a clear chance for a goal on his debut and the young midfielder didn`t disappoint, slotting it in the far corner.
A harsh result on Norwich and the turning point, yet again, was the penalty. It`s something they need to get used to; the players in this league will dive and cheat as much and as easily as they can to gain an advantage. The "top-team bias" from the referee was clear to see with many decisions too easily given for fouls on Chelsea but not given for definite fouls on City`s players.
Positives though are that Norwich did dominate many periods of the game and if they can play like that in every game they will have no problem staying in this league. Holt has his first goal of the season and it will spur him on to get more.
There is more to come from this Norwich side, we will see that first win very soon and it can only get better!