Norwich City 1 Chelsea 3 match report: Late goals from Eden Hazard and Willian secure win for Jose Mourinho's Blues

Portuguese manager's gamble pays off at Carrow Road

So Jose Mourinho is still waiting for the first Premier League goal of the season by a Chelsea striker – apart from those scored by Romelu Lukaku on loan at Everton. Not that the Chelsea manager will mind too much if his midfielders go on punishing opponents as thoroughly as they punished Norwich yesterday for the temerity of believing they could beat his side.

After finally neutralising an early Chelsea lead, Norwich were going all out for victory when they were stung by two late goals by players, Eden Hazard and Willian, who had only just taken the field. It was, admitted Mourinho, a gamble. “Substitutes are important if they come in well – if they come in and change the game the manager did very well.”

With Fernando Torres both injured and suspended and Samuel Eto’o relegated to bench duty, Mourinho placed a heavy striking responsibility on Demba Ba. And he delivered within four minutes, not by scoring but by creating the opening from which Oscar steered a first-time shot with the outside of his right boot inside keeper John Ruddy’s far post.

Norwich manager Chris Hughton’s decision to pack the midfield went some way towards stifling Chelsea, but left the lightweight Ricky van Wolfswinkel too often isolated up front. Despite decent shots from Jonny Howson and Leroy Fer (both saved) and Robert Snodgrass (over the bar), the home side’s dogged attempts to pass their way through seldom looked more likely to succeed than Chelsea’s favoured ploy of hitting long high balls up to Ba, which had achieved the desired effect once and repeatedly left Ruddy and his defenders with the sun in their eyes.

The most ambitious shot of the game came moments before half-time, a swipe by David Luiz from the halfway line that dropped inches beyond the Norwich crossbar.

The second half began with Ba glancing Ramires’s low cross past the far post when a clean connection would have put the game beyond Norwich. Mourinho confessed: “When he missed the easy goal I smelt that they [Norwich] would score one.”

They did, but not as soon as they might have. After 49 minutes Ramires went unpunished for felling Anthony Pilkington with a challenge that should have been a penalty and might have been a red card too as the Norwich man was clear and about to shoot. Hughton said: “Generally that’s a penalty,” but added generously, “I wasn’t sure at the time.” His view was not as clear as that of the referee, Neil Swarbrick, whose laissez-faire attitude was inexplicable.

Pilkington’s consolation came in the 68th minute when he scored a well-deserved equaliser, beating Luiz to the ball close in after Van Wolfswinkel had outjumped John Terry to head back a cross from Martin Olsson.

Nathan Redmond, sent into the fray by Hughton with nine minutes remaining, almost made an instant impact with a splendid run and a shot that stung Petr Cech’s palms. But it was the Chelsea substitutes who turned the game in the final five minutes.

From a Norwich corner, Chelsea broke rapidly for Hazard to get the better of Alexander Tettey and score with a shot that Ruddy slowed but could not prevent from crossing the line. In the next attack, Willian left Ruddy flailing with a superb shot into the far corner from just inside the right-hand side of the penalty area.

Mourinho’s gamble had paid off. “At 1-1 we could win or lose; we lost a bit of balance [bringing on Hazard for Ashley Cole] to try to create. We are trying to be top so one point would be a bad result for us,” he said.

No points was a disappointing outcome for Hughton, who said: “When you bring the quality of players they did off the bench it’s very difficult. But there were good phases when we were the better team. We deserved more.”

To see how all of the Premier League action unfolded on Sunday CLICK HERE

Suggested Topics
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
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future