Norwich City 0-0 Chelsea – Match Review

Chelsea’s suffered a dismal afternoon in East Anglia as their faint hopes of a title challenge took another hit after being held to a goalless draw by determined Norwich at Carrow Road.

Andre Villas-Boas’ side dominated much of the game but just couldn’t find a way past a resolute Canaries back four as Fernando Torres’ barren run continued in front of goal. The Spaniard cut a dejected figure throughout as Paul Lambert’s men kept their first clean sheet of the season after an inspired performance from goalkeeper John Ruddy in the second half. Chances came and went for the Blues as their aspirations of challenging for the Premier League trophy this year all but evaporated leaving Villas-Boas with only the Champions League and FA Cup as his best chance of winning some silverware in his debut season as manager at Stamford Bridge. Norwich, on the other hand, will be delighted with a point that leaves them firmly entrenched in the top half of the table and well clear of the relegation zone.

Defending hasn’t been the Canaries’ biggest strength this season and they were on the back foot almost immediately as the visitors roared into life during the early stages. Frank Lampard floated a few early balls into the box that were dealt with well by Zak Whitbread whilst Torres’ first touch let him down after being found by John Terry as the Blues continued to press without making any clear cut chances. In fact it was the hosts who went closest to breaking the deadlock after 10 minutes with Grant Holt flashing an effort just wide of Petr Cech’s post after easily shrugging aside David Luiz. Chelsea responded with Juan Mata acrobatically firing over from Lampards corner before sa brilliant effort ¬†from Torres with the outside of his was pushed wide by Ruddy.

The away side continued to press forward in numbers after the break to no avail as Ruddy, Whitbread and central defensive partner Daniel Ayala proved solid in the Norwich penalty area. When they were breached the Blues failed to take advantage with Torres woefully poking low ball into the box wide from just eight-yards before Mata was denied by a fine save from Ruddy at his near post. The Canaries keeper then did well to hold onto Ramires fierce strike after Raul Meireles then fizzed an effort just over the bar as Chelsea continued to attack the home side with vigour. Villas-Boas then through Romelu Lukaku into the mix in search of a winner withdrawing Torres with 13 minutes remaining as he made it 15-hours without a goal. The young Belgian failed to make the necessary impact as the West Londoners struggled to find an end product to their late pressure.