Juan Manuel Mata scored on his Chelsea debut to make the long added time worthwhile, but Chelsea produces another disappointing match and display, getting the win mostly thanks to a penalty given to them in the 82nd minute, which Frank Lampard, as usual, struck with the usual success. Bottom line – 3-1 over a very weak Norwich side, but Chelsea look nothing like a title bound team.
Jose Bosingwa was the one who opened the scoring with a fantastic long range goal. On the other end, Grant Holt was too much for the Blue defense to handle, testing Hilario quite often. A complete blunder by Hilario in the second half gave Holt and Norwich, still looking for their first win this season, a deserved goal and equalizer. Ruddy knocked Drogba out cold and later on finished the game for Norwich, tripping Ramires (after a brilliant Mata pass) in the box and getting sent off.
Chelsea did suffer from scary moments during the match, and I’m not just talking about the Drogba scare – he was taken to a hospital after being carried off the pitch. The midfield without Essien and with Mikel just has no bite to it. Ramires, despite rewarding Chelsea with the penalty, lacks the physical presence to impose himself in the midfield as we’re used to from Chelsea midfielders. Frank Lampard? He’s getting old. Mata? A ray of light, but only shone late in the match.
Norwich? A decent performance, but like the rest of the newly promoted sides – I really don’t see them surviving this season. Not enough quality, as the Premier League continues it slow and steady decline top to bottom. Still the best league in Europe, but not as good as it was two seasons ago. They peaked in 2008.