Chelsea rips Norwich City, solidifies Premier League top spot
Stamford Bridge, England, United Kingdom (4E Sports) – Chelsea tightened its grip on the Barclays Premier League top spot, grabbing a clear four-point cushion with a convincing 4-1 victory over Norwich City Saturday at Stamford Bridge.
Norwich City shocked Chelsea with a goal in the 11th minute from Grant Holt but Fernando Torres, Frank Lampard, Eden Hazard and Branislav Ivanovic responded to give Chelsea its third straight victory.
In six games, Chelsea has five victories and one draw for 19 out of possible 21 points, its best start since 2006. The team is four points ahead of defending champion Manchester City and West Brom.
Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo said the convincing win showed that his side is relying on just one player for offense.
“At the moment, the team is a healthy form, we are creating lots of chances, we are scoring lots of goals, and with different goalscorers as well,” Di Matteo said. “We don’t rely on just one player, so it’s a team that is in good shape.
“We can only try to continue to keep this momentum and form going for ourselves and I think that will help everybody involved going forward,” he added.
For his part, Norwich manager Chris Hughton lamented his team’s inability to hold on to the lead.
“I was probably more annoyed and disappointed at halftime than I was at the end of the game because, after taking the lead, we certainly needed to be in the game for longer,” he said. “When you come here, particularly with the quality that they have got you know it’s going to be a tough ask.”
After Holt gave Norwich the lead, Torres responded three minutes later with a header off Ivanovic’s cross to tie the game.
Torres then set up Chelsea’s second goal after Norwich failed to clear its lines in the 22nd minute. The Spain striker’s overhead kick rebounded straight to the feet of Lampard who scored from 18 yards.
Hazard gave Chelsea its third goal in the 31st minute from an assist by Juan Mata, who assisted Ivanovic’s goal with 14 minutes left in the game.
Meawhile, Manchester City defeated Sunderland, 3-0, behind goals from Aleksandar Kolarov, Sergio Aguero and James Milner, to move to a second-place tie with West Brom.
In other games, West Bromwich Albion defeated Queens Park Rangers, 3 – 2; Arsenal beat West Ham United, 3-2; Wigan Athletic and Everton ended in a 2-2 draw; while Swansea City and Reading battled to a 2-2 deadlock.