Chelsea’s players ignored the uncertainty surrounding the club and serious allegations against its chairman, with goals from Trevoh Chalobah, Mason Mount and Kai Havertz cementing them in third place thanks to a 3-1 at Norwich City; their hosts remain rooted to the bottom and look certainties for relegation.
Chelsea dominated possession from the off, playing with tempo and imagination, and on three minutes Chalobah headed the opener from Mount’s corner. Then, on 14 minutes, Havertz found Mount, who finished superbly, high into the net.
Norwich did well to go in at half-time just 2-0 down and must’ve feared a significant beating. But they were much quicker to the ball after the break, while Chelsea stepped off, and the penalty that halved the deficit was not a total surprise, Chalobah handled in the box, and Teemu Pukki despatched the penalty. In the final minutes Havertz added the third after being played in by substitute N’Golo Kante.
But the result of the match was never in doubt, for all that it mattered. When people reflect upon this period in Chelsea’s history, events at Carrow Road will not be what they remember.
When Chelsea bought Kai Havertz, he wasn’t really a player they needed; it felt like they got him because he was brilliant, and if they waited another season he’d go elsewhere. So he came to England early and struggled to adjust, not given a run of games at the same time as not earning a run of games.
Havertz’s trajectory changed when Thomas Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard, and though it’s still taken him longer to get good than it should’ve done – and it’s not certain he’s there yet – the signs are there. He was always capable of doing something decent in a big match, but five goals in six games says he’s now finding some consistency. And if the player we’ve seen the last few weeks is the player he now is, he may soon be one of the best in the league.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Kai Havertz (Chelsea) Made one, scored one, and a constant threat.
Norwich City: Krul 6, Zimmerman 6, Hanley 5, Kabak 5, Aarons 6, Lees-Melou 5, McLean 5, Normann 6, Williams 6, Sargent 5, Pukki 5. Subs: Rupp 6, Rashica 7, Lowe 6.
Chelsea: Mendy 6, Christensen 7, Thiago Silva 6, Chalobah 6, Azpilicueta 7, Jorginho 6, Kovacic 6, Mount 8, Saul 6, Havertz 8, Werner 6. Subs: Loftus-Cheek 6, Lukaku 6, Kante 6.
No side with as few points as Norwich have at this stage of the season has ever stayed up.
3’ – GOAL! Norwich City 0-1 Chelsea (Chalobah) Mount’s corner serves nastily towards the near post – though someone should deal with it – but instead, Chalobah pulls off Sargent and flicks home.
14’ – GOAL! Norwich City 0-2 Chelsea (Mount) Chelsea are bang at it tonight, and again, Havertz jinks some space, down the left of the box; then he squares back inside for Mount, who feigns the shot, allows the ball across his body as Kabak buys the dummy, and bends a rising rasper in off the crossbar. Brilliant goal.
66’ – NORWICH CREATE A CHANCE!
They pump a ball over the top that Rudicka pursues to the by-line, whamming a cut-back from the by-line that his Chalobah on the arm! It wasn’t by his side, it wasn’t from close-range, and I think that’ll be a penalty!
68’ – PENALTY NORWICH!
That did not take long.
69’ – GOAL! Norwich City 1-2 Chelsea (Pukki pen) Mendy dives left and Pukki strokes right, right into the corner. Do we got ourselves a ball-game?
90’ – GOAL! Norwich City 1-3 Chelsea (Havertz) Five in six for Havertz, and this is a lovely finish! Mount finds Kante, who wriggles a yard, squares, and Havertz opens his body to force a left-footed shot high into the net with no backlift.