Chelsea 0-0 Norwich City: Match Reaction
If you needed a match to sum up Chelsea’s problems this season, this would be it: defensively resolute but offensively feeble, as Norwich managed to grind out an entertaining 0-0 draw with the Blues.
It was the result that was no good for either. Chelsea’s title challenge is all but over, so too Norwich’s stay in the Premier League.
With so much at stake today, it was understandable to see the tactics employed: Mourinho was desperately to attack and kill off Norwich early, whilst Norwich opted to sit back and hit in the last quarter of an hour. In the end, it was frustration for both.
The cries from the Chelsea manager for a striker will grow increasingly louder. 23 attempts, 72% possession but zero goals is a testament to Norwich’s determined defending as much as it is evidence Chelsea are desperate need for a big powerful centre-forward.
And for all Chelsea’s critics arguing they park the bus, at least it gets the job done because ball possession and high passing stats do not win matches.
It was all Chelsea for the first 70 minutes, and a match where the key highlights were the lack of penalties. Demba Ba was body-checked by Michael Turner, who was voted Barclays Man of the Match, Hazard was also cynically brought down and Schurrle too stopped in his tracks by Tettey. But, on all three separate occasions, Neil Swarbrick opted to ignore Chelsea’s very legitimate claim, just as he did avoid Norwich’s one penalty fair penalty claim when Terry clashed with Olsson.
In between those incidents was a match of Chelsea passing and Norwich sitting deep. Demba Ba had the ball played to his feet on many occasions but could not link on with Ashley Cole or anyone running beyond.
And with that draw, it pretty much cements Chelsea’s third-place position and condemns Norwich to the Championship next season.
Man of the Match
GARY CAHILL: No goals scored means no Chelsea attacker could be worthy of praise so it falls down to our defence again, and Gary Cahill continued his fantastic form throughout the entire season to deliver another big performance in his last home match of the season. A quiet game in truth but a huge block in the last 10 minutes to deny a Norwich winner. 7/10
Mourinho was resigned about his side’s title hopes: “I said the title chance had been gone for a few weeks. Today was question of pride and trying to give fans a victory at home. The team in the second half was much much better. David gave us more intensity as did Eden Hazard. We should have won, but football is about goals.”
Neil Adams was likewise concerned but proud: “We were so strong, so solid. What you don’t want to do is give the ball away because if we’d lost we would have been relegated. We’re watching results now, we’re watching other games. [But] the performance today was outstanding.”