Frustrating afternoon for Torres as Chelsea are held by Norwich

Norwich 0 Chelsea 0

Fernando Torres fired another blank as battling Norwich held Chelsea to a goalless draw at Carrow Road.

The Spain striker, who has not scored since October, endured another frustrating afternoon, denied in the first half by John Ruddy before then stabbing wide in front of goal from eight yards.

Norwich created several chances themselves, mostly through busy captain Grant Holt and went on to record a first clean sheet of the season as they continued their progress under Paul Lambert.

Chelsea had started well as they looked to make up ground on the top three who all play tomorrow.

The Canaries, though, created the first opening on seven minutes as Wales striker Steve Morison got away down the right and fed Anthony Pilkington, whose shot was parried by Petr Cech before Morison's follow-up was blocked by Ramires.

Norwich carved Chelsea apart again on 10 minutes when Morison slipped a ball inside for Holt, who slide past David Luiz before dragging a low shot just wide from the edge of the area.

The hosts remained dangerous on the counter, with the lively Pilkington curling an effort into the area which was headed clear before Morison smashed a long, cross-field ball from Holt into the side netting as the rain lashed down at Carrow Road.

Juan Mata danced down the Norwich left and chipped the ball through the penalty area, but it was too high for Daniel Sturridge.

Torres collected the ball on the edge of the Norwich area and turned Zak Whitbread before stabbing a shot with the outside of his boot towards the bottom left corner, which Ruddy turned away at full stretch.

Pilkington sent a deep cross from the right towards the far post, which was headed back by Holt, but Cech collected it under the bar.

There was a stoppage when Frank Lampard needed treatment for a calf injury.

The England midfielder eventually was helped off and replaced by Florent Malouda on 36 minutes - just after Bradley Johnson's deflected effort had almost wrong-footed Cech.

Ruddy was out to make a brave take as Torres looked to connect with a right-wing cross into the Norwich six-yard box.

It was end-to-end stuff as suddenly Holt got in space on the right and fired in an angled shot which Cech palmed away.

Mata weaved into the Norwich penalty area in first-half stoppage time, only to then fire over the bar.

Norwich began the second half with some purpose, as Pilkington smashed a cross through the Chelsea box and high into the Barclay Stand.

Chelsea slowly probed, with Luiz curling over from 20 yards after positive play from Malouda down the left.

On 58 minutes, Torres made space on the edge of the penalty area, only to then blaze the ball over.

The Spaniard then somehow managed to stab wide from eight yards after being set up by Jose Bosingwa.

Chelsea continued to press, as Mata's angled shot was saved at the near post by Ruddy.

Referee Mark Clattenburg then missed what appeared a clear handball by Raul Meireles on the edge of the Chelsea area when he charged down Holt's flick.

With 14 minutes left, Chelsea made a change as Torres was replaced by 18-year-old Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku - much to the delight of the home crowd.

Norwich made a double substitution when Simeon Jackson came on for Morison and Wales midfielder Andrew Crofts for David Fox, with Chelsea sending on Michael Essien for Meireles.

Ashley Cole drove an angled drive across goal and wide from 25 yards as the match entered the closing stages.

Norwich dug in to see out three minutes of stoppage time to record their first clean sheet of an impressive Premier League campaign.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'