Six things you might have missed during City's capitulation at Chelsea
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
After a damaging 7-0 capitulation at Chelsea, David Freezer takes a look at six things you might have missed during Norwich City's shocking loss that continued a winless start to the Premier League season.
1 – Resistance was feeble
Chelsea had a quite ridiculous 13 shots on target as they slaughtered City, a total only beaten once by an opposition team during Daniel Farke’s 206 games in charge.
Strangely, that was in the Championship, during a chaotic 4-3 defeat at Hull in March 2018, when the Tigers peppered Angus Gunn’s goal with 15 on target.
Two seasons ago that tally was allowed to reach double figures during just one match in the top flight, the 5-1 home humbling against Aston Villa (10).
Chelsea enjoyed total dominance, as the Canaries’ wait for a Premier League win in London extended to a 23rd game since the 2-1 success at Tottenham in April 2012.
Milot Rashica was credited with the one of City’s three shots that was on target but that was generous, with Edouard Mendy rushing out to the edge of his box to make an immediate block.
- 1 Mumba on target as City youngsters thrash Wolves
- 2 'I could hear my new song' - Rashica loving life at City
- 3 Smith joins Lambert, O'Neill and Howson at anniversary lunch for City owners and Foulger
- 4 City midfielder needs surgery
- 5 PRESSER: Newcastle v City - Normann ruled out
- 6 'I would have no fears playing Lukas' - Smith on Rupp call
- 7 City trading in a different currency to Magpies
- 8 We meet again... Ex-City stars poised to face Canaries as Newcastle players
- 9 Terri Westgate: City could make those hasty predictions look very silly
- 10 Who replaces Normann? The key decisions Dean Smith faces ahead of Newcastle
2 - How to bounce back
The class of 2021-22 equalled City’s worst ever defeat as they conceded their seventh goal in injury-time at Stamford Bridge.
Since joining the Football League in 1920, the Canaries had only suffered a seven-goal losing margin three times, including at Walsall in Division Three South and at Sheffield Wednesday in the second tier in the 1930s.
The third was being hammered 7-0 at Manchester City in November 2013 as Chris Hughton’s reign started to fray at the edges, just a few days after a 4-0 flop at Manchester United in the League Cup.
Five months later and Hughton would be gone with relegation on the way but after that awful defeat he actually got a response from his team.
City came from behind to beat West Ham 3-1 at Carrow Road thanks to goals from Gary Hooper, Robert Snodgrass and Leroy Fer – with wins over Palace and West Brom during the next four Premier League games as well.
3 - Level playing field?
“Champions of Europe, we know what we are,” was the dominant Chelsea chant as the hosts romped with class befitting the Premier League leaders.
Norwich had all week to prepare but Thomas Tuchel had gone full strength as Malmo were beaten 4-0 in West London on Wednesday night.
Despite losing strikers Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner to injury, with Christian Pulisic already out, they were able to ruthlessly exploit the sloppy and low-energy display from the visitors.
The billionaire-owned Blues were part of the attempted European Super League breakaway this year and can boast five of the current Ballon d’Or nominees in their squad, with Jorginho and Mason Mount starting, N’Golo Kante and Cesar Azpilicueta on the bench but Lukaku missing.
That the Canaries were outclassed is hardly surprising but they didn’t do much to knock the big boys out of their stride either, despite a season-high of 16 fouls and four bookings.
4 - Unrewarded faith
After Mount had completed his hat-trick during injury-time, the chant of the home faithful had turned to “we want eight”.
VAR had correctly ruled that Ruben Loftus-Cheek was onside in the build-up to that goal, as it had with the award of the late penalty and subsequent retake after Tim Krul’s save. Cruel, yes, but correct.
Thankfully the eighth didn’t arrive and allowed City to retreat, as Farke embarked on his forlorn and embarrassed explanations to the media.
City’s head coach had stuck with the same XI for a third game on the spin but his faith went unrewarded as a team that had kept back-to-back clean sheets completely lost its way – exemplified by Teemu Pukki’s poor pass and Josh Sargent’s meek effort to retrieve the ball ahead of the second goal.
The closest City came to threatening Mendy’s goal was when Ozan Kabak surged forward and struck a 25-yard effort that deflected over, with the score already at 3-0.
5 - As one door closes...
There was already plenty of City fans that felt Andrew Omobamidele was unfortunate to have lost his place after the 1-0 defeat at Arsenal, although it is always easy to point to players not in the team when things aren’t going well.
Ben Gibson appears to have handed the 19-year-old another opportunity, with the clumsy second yellow that saw him sent off in the 65th minute with the score already 5-0.
The 28-year-old punched the sign above the tunnel as he walked off wondering how he’d been so careless, after the seventh sending off of his career – only one of which has been a straight red.
Kabak was chosen ahead of Omobamidele for the 3-1 loss to Watford and the Irishman came in for the 3-0 cup loss to Liverpool that followed, alongside Hanley and Gibson.
Successive clean sheets vindicated Kabak’s return but now Omobamidele gets another chance, unless Farke moves back to a four-man defence.
6 - Painful comparison
As if Saturday hadn’t already been painful enough, Watford came along with a load of salt to be poured into the wounds as they roared to a superb 5-2 win at Everton.
Just four weeks after City had huffed and puffed but blown nothing down as they lost 2-0 at Goodison Park, Rafa Benitez’s team endured an implosion of their own, chucking away a 2-1 lead.
The impact of appointing Claudio Ranieri was already clear to see with the way the Hornets swarmed over the Toffees with hunger and passion.
As recently as May, the Canaries finished six points clear of Watford at the top of the Championship and 10 clear of eventual play-off winners Brentford.
To see both in mid-table with three wins from nine games and with double figures in the goals-scored column is damning in the extreme for a Norwich team that has managed just one goal from open play and two points.
- You can listen to the Pink Un Podcast review of the game above and watch David Freezer's post-match verdict in the video below
NCFC EXTRA: Pundits batter City for awful effort at Chelsea