The Blues have been plagued by off the field issues in recent weeks and they went into this game under a cloud once again following the Football Association’s ruling that John Terry’s evidence was “improbable, implausible and contrived” in the hearing over his alleged racial abuse of Anton Ferdinand.
Further turmoil was generated by Ashley Cole after tweeting criticism towards the FA regarding his role in the case although both he and Terry were named in Roberto Di Matteo’s starting XI.
It was a distraction Chris Hughton and his side seemed to capitalise on as they sneaked in front after 11 minutes as Wes Hoolahan floated in a cross that Leon Barnett headed down for Grant Holt to smash home his second goal of the season. That lead didn’t last long for the Canaries as normal service was resumed three minutes later as Fernando Torres atoned for an earlier miss as the Spaniard headed in Branislav Ivanovic’s cross.
The hosts took control from then on and took the lead mid-way through the first half with Frank Lampard driving home after Torres’ acrobatic effort was blocked by Russell Martin. The attacking triumvirate of Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar was causing the visitors all sorts of distress and the former pair combined to make it 3-1 on the half hour.
Mata was the architect as Norwich allowed him to carry the ball almost the length of the field before slipping the ball through for Hazard to tuck the ball past John Ruddy. Victory was rounded off after the break, Ivanovic volleying home as Chelsea continued their unbeaten start and left Norwich looking over their shoulders at the bottom.