Chelsea vs Norwich: Five things we learned as fluid Blues batter woeful Canaries

Thomas Tuchel’s men lead the Premier League by four points while Daniel Farke’s outfit remain rock bottom

Dan Austin
Saturday 23 October 2021 14:32
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Chelsea extended their lead at the top of the Premier League table to four points as they demolished a dreadful Norwich City 7-0 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon.

The Blues took the lead after just eight minutes with Mason Mount arrowing a shot in off the far post from the edge of the penalty area, before Callum Hudson-Odoi doubled the advantage after losing marker Ozan Kabak and slipping a smart finish across Tim Krul and into the net.

Reece James made it three shortly before half-time as he lifted a gorgeous clipped shot over the on-rushing Krul, with Ben Chilwell driving in a powerful shot just over 10 minutes into the second-half.

A Hudson-Odoi cross then deflected in off the elbow of Norwich defender Max Aarons for five, before Ben Gibson was sent-off as the awful visitors capitulated further. Mount then missed a penalty for the home side but Krul had left his line too early, meaning Mount could fire home the re-take to make it six.

The England midfielder then finished off a slick counter to take Chelsea’s tally to seven and condemn Norwich to another painful loss.

Mount’s Lampard impression is getting even better

The hat-trick Mount scored today, a cleanly hit powerful half-volley on the turn from the edge of the penalty area, a spot-kick drilled down the middle with power, and an easy finish after arriving into the box to finish off a quick counter-attack, were all straight out of the Frank Lampard goalscoring playbook.

With the likes of Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante unlikely to add many from midfield Mount can ease the burden on the likes of Romelu Lukaku throughout the season as he becomes an increasingly strong character in Tuchel’s side.

Hudson-Odoi’s renaissance underway

Back in February, less then a month after Thomas Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard in the Chelsea dugout, Hudson-Odoi was taken off before full-time away at Southampton despite only coming as on as substitute at half-time.

Explaining his decision, Tuchel told media afterwards: “No injury. In a game that it is hard to create chances, you need to rely on counter-pressing to maybe force errors. You need to be totally on and totally sharp. I didn’t feel this from Callum today. He missed chances to counter-press, lost some easy balls. I had the feeling he was never really into the game.”

The England international was heavily linked with a transfer away in the summer and has only featured in three of Tuchel’s Premier League starting 11s this season, but was electric here and offered a combination of threat around the penalty area and graft working backwards that the German will be extremely pleased with.

The 20-year-old’s career has stalled somewhat since he burst onto the scene three years ago but performances like this, albeit against extremely poor opposition, will do his good confidence and first-team opportunities the world of good.

Wing-backs most crucial players in Blues’ attack

The goals scored by James and Chilwell exemplified the very best of Chelsea’s display from an attacking point-of-view as they dragged Norwich defenders from one side to other before the final man in space finished the move off well.

The wing-backs in Tuchel’s system are vital in a number of different ways including pressing high up the pitch and crossing accurately into the penalty area, but using their pace to stretch the opponents’ defensive shape and create space either for themselves or others is most important.

Norwich might not win all season

Yes, they were facing the league leaders and yes, any newly promoted team is likely to struggle early doors in the Premier League, but this was an absolutely atrocious Norwich performance in every regard and they simply have nothing going for them at the moment.

They offer zero threat in attack, their midfield is walked through by every opponent and their defenders play as though they have never met each other before prior to kick-off.

On the evidence so far, they are one of the weakest teams the Premier League has seen since its inception and the idea of them winning a single game in the competition this season feels like a total pipe dream right now.

Canaries’ lack of physicality is enormous problem

The most evident weakness when watching Norwich is their physical deficiency against whichever side they are facing.

The Canaries have plenty of footballers with decent technical quality and skill on the ball, but there is a complete and utter lack of pace and strength in the team which means they simply cannot compete against proper top-flight teams.

Daniel Farke and his recruitment team have built a side that is slight, slow and will unquestionably finish bottom of the Premier League.

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