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Played
December 26, 2012 3:00 PM GMT
Carrow Road — Norwich, Norfolk
Referee:‬ J. Moss‎
Attendance:‬ 26831‎
 
 
Juan Mata 38′
Top of the Match
David Luiz
David Luiz
Chelsea FC
Juan Mata
Juan Mata
Chelsea FC
Flop of the Match
Michael Turner
Michael Turner
Norwich City
Michael Turner
Michael Turner
Norwich City

Norwich City 0-1 Chelsea: Mata strike enough for buoyant Blues

In a match where chances were rare commodities, Rafa Benitez's side were worth all three points and closed the gap on on second-placed Manchester City against the poor Canaries

By Ryan Benson at Carrow Road

EPL; Juan Mata; Alex Tettey; Norwich City Vs Chelsea
Getty Images

Chelsea maintained their recent run of good form thanks to a fairly comfortable 1-0 win at Norwich City on Boxing Day, gaining ground on Manchester City in the process.

The hosts started the game well, enjoying lots of possession, but their inability to carve open chances saw them pay as Juan Mata gave Rafa Benitez’s side the lead just before half-time.

Chelsea’s control continued after the break, forcing Norwich to play on the counterattack but, with neither side creating too many opportunities, a host of goals never looked likely.

Despite the rather hectic Christmas period, both sides made just two changes. For Norwich, Steven Whittaker and Steve Morison dropped out for Russell Martin and Grant Holt while, on the back of their 8-0 hammering of Aston Villa at the weekend, John Obi Mikel and Oscar replaced Frank Lampard and Eden Hazard for Chelsea.

The first half was a very tightly contested affair, but Norwich certainly began the more promising, stringing together a good number of passes in the Chelsea half, but the visitors’ defence remained solid.

Norwich looked to have been played in when Chelsea poorly cleared a Javier Garrido cross, but Alex Tettey’s half-volley tumbled out for a throw in.

Around the half-hour mark, Chelsea began to take control as Mata started to see more of the ball but they were still struggling to create chances with Norwich defending well.

However, in the 38th minute, Oscar did well to retain possession in the centre before finding Mata on the edge of the box, and the Spaniard smashed an effort into the far side of the net to open the scoring.

Bradley Johnson flashed a near-post header just over a few minutes later, but Chelsea went into half-time with a deserved 1-0 lead.

The second half started were the opening 45 minutes left off as Chelsea controlled possession and looked comfortable, knocking the ball around in a confident manner, while Norwich attempted to spring counterattacks.

Hoolahan seemed Norwich’s best bet of getting back into the game, but often the only pass on was forward to Grant Holt, but either the Chelsea defence would halt the striker, or he strayed offside.

The visitors continued to control the match, but for all their possession they could not get past the Norwich defence, much like their hosts in the first period.

Benitez’s decision to introduce Lampard and Hazard helped create a bit more dynamism in the final third and Mata could have got his second as he headed just wide from an Azpilicueta cross.

But, come the full-time whistle, Chris Hughton's charges could not assert themselves enough on the dominating Chelsea to carve out a valuable equalier, and slump to their second defeat on the trot after going 10 games unbeaten.

 



Norwich City

13
Mark Bunn
Goalkeeper
3.00
2
Russell Martin
Defender
2.50
5
S. Bassong
Defender
2.50
6
Michael Turner
Defender
1.50
18
Javier Garrido
Defender
3.00
4
Bradley Johnson
Midfielder
81′ 82′
2.00
7
Robert Snodgrass
Midfielder
1.50
12
Anthony Pilkington
Midfielder
79′
1.50
14
Wesley Hoolahan
Midfielder
89′
3.50
27
Alexander Tettey
Midfielder
1.50
29
Grant Holt
Striker
1.50

Chelsea FC

3.00
1
Petr Cech
Goalkeeper
4.00
2
3.50
3
Ashley Cole
Defender
4.00
4
David Luiz
Defender
4.00
24
Gary Cahill
Defender
3.50
28
3.00
11
Oscar
Midfielder
38′
2.50
12
John Obi Mikel
Midfielder
74′
3.00
12
Victor Moses
Midfielder
79′
2.50
9
4.00
8
Juan Mata
Midfielder
38′ 91′

Substitutes

13
Declan Rudd
Goalkeeper
 - 
20
 - 
24
 - 
8
Jonny Howson
Midfielder
82′
 - 
17
 - 
10
K. Jackson
Striker
 - 
20
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
21
Ross Turnbull
Goalkeeper
 - 
20
 - 
27
Nathan Ake
Defender
91′
2.50
8
Frank Lampard
Midfielder
74′
2.50
17
Eden Hazard
Midfielder
79′ 91′
 - 
21
Marko Marin
Midfielder
 - 
-

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
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  • Own Goal
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  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
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  • Goal.com Rating
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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
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Man Utd.
15 2
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Manchester City
15 0