Late goals give Chelsea victory at Norwich

Norwich City 1 Chelsea 3

Substitutes Eden Hazard and Willian scored late goals to earn Chelsea a barely deserved victory – their first Premier League away win of the season.

Oscar put the Blues ahead with a beautiful first-time strike and they dominated the opening 45 minutes.

But Norwich improved beyond recognition after the interval against an increasingly jaded and disjointed team and Anthony Pilkington’s header deservedly drew them level.

However, Hazard’s breakaway strike and Willian’s sumptuous curled effort clinched a first win in four away league games for Jose Mourinho’s side.

Chelsea started with all the confidence of a team which turned in a majestic display in the 4-0 midweek thumping of Steaua Bucharest.

Perhaps surprisingly, Demba Ba was selected ahead of Samuel Eto’o to replace the injured Fernando Torres in attack.

But the Senegalese fully justified his inclusion with a bustling first-half display that frustrated the home fans and flustered the City defence.

Ba had already shown his aerial threat and a fine touch by the time his impeccable control from Frank Lampard’s pass allowed him to tee up Oscar for the fourth-minute opener.

He also forced a brilliant fingertip save from John Ruddy, had a shot cleared off the line after a strong aerial challenge on the Canaries keeper, and went close after another tussle with Ruddy.

The lively Andre Shurrle – so impressive in midweek – also fired wide while the only noteworthy Norwich chances of the half saw Chelsea keeper Petr Cech forced to make a fine close-range reaction save and keep out a tame Sebastien Bassong shot.

An outrageous David Luiz strike from near the half-way line went just over in the final seconds of the first period.

Ba continued to cause problems after the break – and almost scored with a near-post flick.

But Norwich then seized control and were extremely unlucky not to be awarded a penalty when Ramires appeared to bundle over Anthony Pilkington in the box.

They deservedly equalised on 67 minutes when John Terry was out-jumped at the far post and Pilkington bundled the ball past Cech from close range.

The introduction of Hazard, Eto’o and Willian finally brought some urgency and Hazard restored the lead when his shot trickled off Ruddy and over the line.

And Willian sealed the win with his first goal for Chelsea – a wonderful curled effort from the edge of the box.

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech; Ivanovic, Terry, Luiz; Cole (Hazard 75), Ramires, Lampard; Oscar, Schurrle, Mata (Willian 81); Ba (Eto’o 73).
Subs not used: Schwarzer, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Essien.

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