Norwich 0 Chelsea 1 - Match Report

Last updated : 26 December 2012 By Mark Burchett

A solitary goal from Juan Mata condemned the Canaries to their second successive defeat.

It's only the second time this season that Chris Hughton has suffered defeat at home. But having no doubt watched the eight goals that Chelsea put past Aston Villa on Saturday, the City boss can take pride in that his side not only restricted the Londoners to just one goal, but did enough to get what would have been a deserved equaliser.

Talisman Striker Grant Holt, who missed Saturday's defeat at West Brom with a hamstring strain was deemed fit and spearheaded the Canaries attack.

It was an even start to the game, with Branislav Ivanovic for the visitors the first to the force a save from Mark Bunn.

This was the green light for the Londoners to up their game and was helped unusually by careless passes from Hughton's side.

David Luiz had an effort that was only just wide of the right hand post before Mata went closer, seeing his strike hitting the post. Mata then turned provider for Victor Moses, but the resolute home defence in the shape of Michael Turner this time got a valuable block in.

Turner made another block to Mata's 37th minute effort, before the Spanish midfielder finally found a way through in the next minute. The influential Emboaba Oscar found Mata just outside the penalty area, who struck his shot beyond the reach of Bunn before and into the net off the right hand post.

HALF-TIME: City 0 Chelsea 1

After the break Norwich took the game to Chelsea much more and at the heart of their best moves was Irishman Wes Hoolahan.

Although he was industrious in midfield, the Canaries kept coming up against a Chelsea defence that has only conceded four goals in their last six Premiership games.

With 12 minutes left, Hughton opted to switch to a 4-4-2 formation, by bringing on Steve Morison to partner Holt up front, with Pilkington the player sacrificed.

But the closest the Canaries came to equalising was in extra time when Sebastian Bassong's shot was cleared by Ashley Cole and from the resulting corner the big City defender's text-book downward header bounced up but was just the wrong side of the bar!

Having come close to denying Chelsea all three points, the task on Saturday when Manchester City visit Carrow Road, will be no less of a challenge.

FULL-TIME: City 0 Chelsea 1

Norwich Chelsea

28 Bunn

1 Cech

2 R Martin

2 Ivanovic

5 Bassong

3 Cole

6 Turner

4 David Luiz
18 Garrido 24 Cahill

4 Johnson **

28 Azpilicueta

7 Snodgrass

10 Mata ***

12 Pilkington *

11 Oscar
14 Hoolahan *** 12 Mikel *

9 Holt

13 Moses **
27 Tettey 9 Torres

13 Rudd (GK)

22 Turnbull
17 E Bennett *** 87 19 Ferreira

20 Barnett

8 Lampard * 73
24 R Bennett 17 Hazard ** 78

8 Howson ** 82

21 Marin

10 Jackson

57 Ake *** 90+1

16 Morison * 78

35 Piazon


City: None
Chelsea: Mata (38)

City: Johnson (81)
Chelsea: Hazard (90+1)

Mr Moss