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Played
October 6, 2012 3:00 PM BST
Stamford Bridge — London
Referee:‬ A. Taylor‎
Attendance:‬ 41784‎
 
Grant Holt 11′
 
31′ Eden Hazard
 
 
Top of the Match
Juan Mata
Juan Mata
Chelsea FC
Juan Mata
Juan Mata
Chelsea FC
Flop of the Match
Leon Barnett
Leon Barnett
Norwich City
S. Bassong
S. Bassong
Norwich City

Chelsea 4-1 Norwich: Torres and Hazard in the goals as Di Matteo’s men go four points clear

The Blues cemented their position atop the Premier League with a convincing win against Chris Hughton's side, despite the visitors opening the scoring through Grant Holt

By David Lynch

EPL - Chelsea v Norwich City, Fernando Torres, Javier Garrido and Leon Barnett
Getty Images
Chelsea maintained their position at the top of the Premier League with a comfortable 4-1 win over Norwich on Saturday afternoon.

The visitors opened the scoring against the run of play through Grant Holt but were pegged back minutes later by Fernando Torres’ header, before the hosts quickly capitalised with Frank Lampard and Eden Hazard getting on the scoresheet before half-time.

The Blues dominated the second period in similar fashion but were forced to wait until the 75th minute for their fourth goal, as Branislav Ivanovic volleyed emphatically home.

MARVELLOUS MATA

HOW MATA RATED VS NORWICH
Once again the conductor of the Chelsea orchestra. His genius enabled three of his side's four goals and he was at the centre of everything the home side did well.
Despite both being at the centre of controversy this week, Chelsea duo Ashley Cole and John Terry started the game, as Roberto Di Matteo made just three changes from his side’s midweek Champions League win over Nordsjaelland.

Meanwhile, after seeing his Norwich side beaten 5-2 in their last Premier League outing, Chris Hughton understandably made five changes, including handing Alexander Tettey his first Premier League start.

Given their last game ended in a 4-0 win, it was unsurprising to see Chelsea begin the encounter in confident mood, stroking the ball around a nervous-looking Norwich. And the hosts almost had reward for their early domination but saw Torres dither after beating the offside trap, allowing Leon Barnett back in to snuff out the danger.

That let off seemed to spark Norwich to life, but few inside Stamford Bridge would have expected the Canaries to go up the other end and grab the first goal with 11 minutes on the clock. Wes Hoolahan’s floated ball into the far post found Barnett, who had remained forward from a set-piece, and the defender coolly nodded down for Holt to finish with aplomb.

That goal had doubtless come against the run of play, even at such an early stage, but the Blues wasted little time in amending the injustice. Just four minutes later a clever Juan Mata backheel allowed Ivanovic to cross from the right and Torres made no mistake this time, directing his header into the corner after getting a run on Barnett.

The fragile nature of Norwich’s confidence ensured that it would not take long for the league leaders to get another golden chance, and so it proved as Lampard doubled his side’s lead in the 22nd minute. Torres saw his athletic bicycle kick attempt repelled by Russell Martin but the ball fell straight to the 34-year-old midfielder, who smashed home from his customary position on the edge of the box.

ANOTHER CHELSEA WIN?
12/1 Chelsea are 12/1 to beat Spurs 2-1 with Paddy Power
The visitors made a valiant attempt to muster a way back into the game but saw their opponents evidence their superior cutting edge just seconds after defending a corner at the other end. The Blues cleared their lines as far as Mata, who led the charge up the pitch before intelligently sliding the ball into Hazard for the Belgian to slot past John Ruddy.

Despite some occasional defensive lapses, Di Matteo’s men were well worth their half-time lead and came out for the second period in similar mood. However, the visitors had clearly been rebuked by their manager and showed a defensive steel that had been sorely lacking in the first 45 minutes.

Regardless, the west London side got apt reward for their patience with 15 minutes remaining as Mata brilliantly controlled an over-hit cross in the box, teeing up Ivanovic to strike first-time beyond Ruddy.

The hosts engaged in some exhibition football from that point onwards but failed to add to their lead as Norwich desperately hung on.


Chelsea FC

1
Petr Cech
Goalkeeper
2.50
2
3.00
3
Ashley Cole
Defender
2.50
4
David Luiz
Defender
2.50
26
John Terry
Defender
2.50
8
Frank Lampard
Midfielder
22′ 67′
3.50
11
Oscar
Midfielder
3.00
12
John Obi Mikel
Midfielder
82′
3.00
17
Eden Hazard
Midfielder
31′
4.00
9
3.00
8
Juan Mata
Midfielder
31′ 76′
4.50

Norwich City

2.50
1
John Ruddy
Goalkeeper
2.00
2
2.00
5
S. Bassong
Defender
78′
2.50
18
1.50
20
2.50
4
2.50
8
Jonny Howson
Midfielder
2.50
14
2.00
17
2.00
27
3.50
29
Grant Holt
Striker
11′ 77′

Substitutes

21
Ross Turnbull
Goalkeeper
 - 
24
Gary Cahill
Defender
 - 
28
0.00
23
 - 
6
Oriol Romeu
Midfielder
82′
0.00
7
Ramires
Midfielder
67′
2.50
12
Victor Moses
Midfielder
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
13
Mark Bunn
Goalkeeper
 - 
6
2.50
24
 - 
7
2.50
12
 - 
10
K. Jackson
Striker
2.50
20

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
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  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
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Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
Striker
Liverpool
30 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
Striker
Liverpool
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Midfielder
Manchester City
18 6
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Manchester City
16 0
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Manchester United
15 2