Norwich 0 Chelsea 1
Chelsea eased to a narrow win at Carrow Road this afternoon courtesy of a strike from Juan Mata.
Team News - After the 8-0 demolition of Aston Villa, Rafa Benitez made a couple of changes to his starting eleven for this fixture with Mikel, having served his three match suspension, coming in for Lampard and Oscar coming in for Hazard. Both of those omitted were on the bench.
First Half - It`s fair to say that it took a while for this game to really get started. Early on Chelsea were happy to keep possession but without creating any decent chances. Norwich, in the middle of the par, were a little physical and Snodgrass was lucky not to receive a yellow card for one poor tackle on Oscar.
As the game settled, Norwich started to have a greater share of the game but a shot from Tettey was unfortunate enough to slip off his boot and go for a corner. The first real chance likely to break the deadlock came when Luiz found Mata with a pass but his shot skipped the wrong side of the post.
Luiz was looking the most likely to assist in breaking the deadlock but nothing was to come of a couple of long range shots. Mikel, still searching for that elusive first Premier League goal, fired over the bar, before, with 38 minutes gone Chelsea went ahead.
Some good work from Oscar saw the ball fall to Mata and despite the attention of several yellow shirted player`s, Mata unleashed a low shot that went in adjacent to the post, his shot past Bunn in the Norwich goal.
Second Half - Looking to double the lead, Chelsea could have done so early in the half but Norwich managed to scramble away a corner, from Mata that had been flicked on at the near post.
Norwich trying to get back on level terms engineered a half chance when Holt and Hoolahan combined but the final ball was delayed too long and when Holt drilled his shot wide the offside flag was up.
Luiz, trying to replicate the marvellous free kick against Aston Villa, failed to do so from thirty yards and when Snodgrass reverted to a theatrical tumble, in the area, you began to believe that Norwich wouldn`t get back on level terms.
Although Norwich were pushing forward, Chelsea were looking to strike on the break and one surge forward saw Azpilicueta deliver a great ball that saw Moses hit a shot wide.
Benitez introduced Lampard and Hazard for Moses and Mikel, to add some stability with the latter almost doubling the lead after exchanging passes with Torres but being thwarted by Bunn, in the Norwich goal.
With time running out Norwich saw one last half chance come their way but Bassong, heading the ball downwards, saw it fly back up and over the br.
Three points in the bag but not quite as entertaining as last Sunday, but three points nevertheless.
Chelsea - Cech, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Ivanovic, Cole, Mikel (Lampard-73), Luiz, Mata (Ake-90), Oscar, Moses (Hazard-78) Torres
Unused Subs - Turnbull, Ferreira, Marin, Hazard,
Chelsea Scorers - Mata (38)
Chelsea Yellow Cards - Hazard
Chelsea Red Cards - Nil