3 Positives Norwich City should take from Chelsea defeat
Having claimed their first three points of the season with a clinical 3-1 victory over Newcastle United in Round 2, Norwich came into the game against Chelsea at home brimming with confidence.
Although hardly anybody would have given the Canaries a realistic chance of coming away with anything from the fixture, Daniel Farke’s side certainly pushed Chelsea to the limit on their home turf and they were probably a bit unlucky to not have picked up a point on Saturday.
Indeed, that is what the majority of the fans at Carrow Road would be thinking after that defeat and quite rightly so because Norwich gave Chelsea a real run for their money.
However, their efforts were eclipsed by the Blues’ academy duo of Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount, both of whom were the key architects of Lampard’s first victory as a manager at Stamford Bridge.
Norwich, though, should take heart from the goals scored by Teemu Pukki and homegrown sensation Todd Cantwell, whilst Farke is likely to be pleased with another solid team performance.
Surely, the Canaries have made a bright start to their Premier League campaign and with that in mind, here are 3 reasons why the fans at Carrow Road can look forward to better things over the next few weeks.
1. Norwich played the way they intended to
Noted for his bravery and fearless approach as a manager, Daniel Farke has never been a big fan of parking the bus to deal with stronger opposition, and Norwich City hardly seemed to have been overwhelmed by Chelsea’s quality and reputation.
The Canaries opted to continue with their playing-out-from-the-back philosophy and pressed Chelsea higher up the pitch in an attempt to take the game to Lampard’s side and impose their authority.
And while Chelsea’s counter-press caused them some problems and ultimately contributed to Mount’s goal, Norwich should be happy that their tactics worked to a considerable extent.
In the midfield and the attacking third, Norwich adopted a short passing game and relied on the likes of Todd Cantwell, Emi Buendia and Teemu Pukki to link up and find the openings in a bid to break down the opposition.
Thanks to Chelsea’s vulnerable backline, Norwich’s ploy worked to perfection and both the goals came from some fantastic as well as aesthetic build-up play.
Looking at the numbers, Norwich had 46% of the possession and registered a total of 481 passes at an accuracy of 81%.
Well, it is not very often that we see promoted teams showing the audacity to play out from the back and register so many passes against Chelsea, which, inherently, is a big accomplishment by Norwich City.
2. High rate of chance conversion
Chelsea enjoyed 56% of the possession and managed as many as 23 attempts although only 8 of those were on target. Norwich, on the contrary, managed 5 shots on goal from only 6 attempts.
Hence, it probably doesn’t require a rocket scientist to figure out that the Canaries made the most of their chances and found the net more often than not whenever opportunities presented themselves. That is some achievement against a big-six side.
3. Star trio Teemu Pukki, Todd Cantwell and Emi Buendia continued their fine run of form
Pukki came into the game surrounding a lot of media hype following his match-winning hat-trick against Newcastle United and the Finnish international was once again one of the standout performers for his team in the 3-2 defeat, taking his goal tally to 5 for the season, whilst also assisting Todd Cantwell’s opener.
One of Norwich’s own, Cantwell, scored his first Premier League goal against the Blues, having registered a couple of assists in Pukki’s hat-trick against Newcastle in the previous fixture.
The 21-year-old impressed with his energy, composure and ability to exploit the spaces, however, Buendia was perhaps the best creative player for the Canaries on Saturday.
The Argentine’s twisting and turning in the final third got the better of Jorginho and ultimately led to Cantwell’s opener before he played Pukki in behind the backline with a delightful through ball for the second goal.
If these three players, particularly Pukki, continue to deliver the goods over the entirety of the campaign, Norwich can be quite hopeful of beating the drop comfortably.