Norwich City 2-3 Chelsea: Canaries slip to first Premier League home defeat of the season
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City hit back twice but slipped to a first Premier League home defeat of the season in a pulsating 3-2 loss to Chelsea on Saturday afternoon.
Frank Lampard was the last visiting manager to win at Carrow Road in December 2018 and this was another goal-laden affair against Daniel Farke's newly-promoted club
Tammy Abraham scored inside the opening five minutes only for Todd Cantwell to reply three minutes later. Mason Mount's finish was cancelled out by another top flight entry from Teemu Pukki.
But Abraham cashed to notch a 68th minute winner, although Ben Godfrey rattled the bar with a thumping header in the final quarter.
Farke named an unchanged starting line up from the side that beat Newcastle United 3-1 at Carrow Road the previous weekend. Timm Klose did return to the bench after a hip problem ruled him out of the opening two Premier League games.
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Patrick Roberts and Ibrahim Amadou were not in the matchday squad. Chelsea were forced into an change before kick-off when Pedro was injured after being named in the original line up. Ross Barkley got the nod in midfield for Frank Lampard's side.
Abraham fired Chelsea in front in the third minute, starting and finishing a slick counter involving Christian Pulisic and Cesar Azpilicueta down the visitors' right flank.
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But City roared back three minutes later. Emi Buendia drove powerfully into the Chelsea box before slipping it wide to Pukki who squared for Cantwell to nutmeg Kepa Arrizabalaga at his near post.
Tim Krul went down sharply to gather from Pulisic as the game continued at a frenetic pace. Marco Stiepermann's aerial presence proved vital in the 16th to head away Mason Mount's free kick at his far post, with Kurt Zouma lurking.
But it was Mount who fired Lampard's men back in front after Chelsea's ferocious high pressing forced another cheap turnover. Max Aarons' pass inside was pounced on and recycled for Mount to collect and veer back inside Hanley before rifling past Krul from 16 yards.
Hanley and Ben Godfrey then thwarted Mount following another slick passing move with City's harassed midfield struggling to stop the runners.
Krul brilliantly foiled Andreas Christensen in the 26th minute with a one-handed parry after the Dane proved too strong for Stiepermann with a flying far post header.
Moritz Leitner was then caught in possession in a dangerous area of the pitch by Jorginho but Godfrey timed his saving tackle superbly.
Norwich's defiance in a rough spell since Mount's finish paid off when Pukki made it five Premier League goals in three games in the 31st minute after collecting Buendia's gorgeous pass to slot at the near post.
Arrizabalaga got a big hand to the low strike but was unable to deny the Finn.
The Spaniard did foil both Buendia and Hanley in the aftermath from a slick City free kick routine, although Hanley's scuffed follow up was straight at the grounded keeper.
But it was Norwich's defensive defence tested again in the final stages of the opening period when Pulisic's goalbound hit was blocked before Barkley skied over from 20 yards.
Mount dragged a shot wide on the restart, with Chelsea's press again forcing an error from Tom Trybull on this occasion.
Pulisic then thumped an effort into the side netting with Godfrey surging across to fill the space vacated by Jamal Lewis.
Jorginho pulled a shot wide from Stiepermann's rushed clearance with Norwich firmly on the back foot in the early exchanges after the interval.
Krul held onto Emerson's left-footed effort in the 61st minute with the Canaries' shape without the ball coming under severe examination in the sweltering temperatures.
Barkley tested the Dutchman in the 66th minute from long range but his positioning was sound.
But Chelsea's pressure eventually brought Abraham a second with Hanley caught out positionally he gathered Mateo Kovacic's pass and darted infield before a low strike past Krul.
Godfrey took matters into his own hands with a storming run to earn a corner and then a towering leap but his header seven yards out cannoned off the bar and Arrizabalaga gathered.
The City defender was back at his usual station to block Barkley's effort in the 78th minute.
Referee Atkinson appeared to signal a VAR check when Kurt Zouma scored from point blank range after Krul dropped a high ball under pressure from new arrival Olivier Giroud but the decision was a goal kick.
Farke opted for a triple change that saw Mario Vrancic, Kenny McLean and Dennis Srbeny introduced for Trybull, Leitner and Stiepermann. But it was Chelsea who continued to press with Willian hammering wide in stoppage time.
- Norwich City (4-2-3-1): Krul, Aarons, Godfrey, Hanley (C), Lewis, Trybull (Vrancic 81), Leitner (McLean 81), Cantwell, Stiepermann (Srbeny 81) Buendia, Pukki. Subs (not used): Fahrmann, Byram, Klose, Tettey.
- Booking: Stiepermann (foul on Jorginho, 44)
- Goals: Cantwell (6), Pukki (30)
- Chelsea: (4-2-3-1): Arrizabalaga, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Zouma, Emerson, Jorginho, Kovacic, Barkley, Mount (Alonso 90+1), Pulisic (Willian 84), Abraham (Giroud 75). Subs (not used): Caballero, Batshuayi, Tomori.
- Booking: Jorginho (foul on Buendia, 33)
- Goals: Abraham (3, 68), Mount (17)
- Added on time: 2 minutes / 5 minutes
- Referee: Martin Atkinson
- Attendance: 27,032