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.
3 Winners and 3 Losers from PL gameweek 5 including Tottenham and Arsenal
3 Winners and 3 Losers from Premier League gameweek 5
Premier League action returned with a bang after the end of the first international break of the season and Round 5 of the 2019-20 campaign produced some mesmerizing football for all sets of fans to savour and admire.
Man City’s shock 3-2 defeat away at Norwich City was arguably the hottest talking point from this weekend, while a few of the other big-six clubs, including Man United, Liverpool, Spurs and Chelsea should also be happy with how things panned out for them in Round 5.
Arsenal blew away a two-goal lead at Vicarage Road to share the spoils in a 2-2 draw against Watford, while top-six hopefuls Everton were beaten 3-1 away at Bournemouth.
Watford and Wolves once again finished the week as the only two sides in the Premier League who are yet to register a single victory thus far.
Without further ado, let us take a look at 3 winners and 3 losers from Round 5 of the Premier League:
Jurgen Klopp’s side stretched their lead over defending champions Man City to five points at the top of the table, as a first-half brace from Sadio Mane followed by a third goal from Mo Salah in the second half guided the Reds to a comfortable 3-1 comeback victory over Newcastle United.
Jetro Willems put the Magpies in the driver’s seat early in the game with his pile driver from the edge of the box but heroics from Mane, and Roberto Firminio who came on as a substitute for Divock Origi midway through the first half ensured that Liverpool stretched their winning run in the Premier League to 14 games in a row, becoming only the fourth team to achieve such a feat.
While it was more of a regulation victory for Liverpool, the fans at Anfield have every reason to hope that Man City’s stumble at Carrow Road proves to be one of the title-defining moments later on in the season.
Nevertheless, for the time being, Liverpool have a lot of breathing space with a five-point lead at the top of the standings.
It was a treat to watch how Chelsea’s young guns completely whitewashed an underwhelming Wolves side 2-5 away from home on Saturday, with Tammy Abraham’s hat-trick making him the youngest Blues player to achieve such a feat in the Premier League.
Frank Lampard’s side had come under criticism for blowing away a two-goal lead at home against Sheffield United prior to the international break but the Blues absolutely demolished Wolves in ruthless fashion to get back to winning ways and finished the week placed 6th in the standings.
While Abraham stole much of the limelight with his hat-trick, fellow academy graduate Fikayo Tomori also got the crowd off its feet with an absolute stunner from 35 yards out, as did Mason Mount, who bagged his third goal of the league season.
3. Tottenham Hotspur
Having lost 1-0 to Newcastle United and drawn 2-2 away at Arsenal prior to the international break, Spurs came into the game against Crystal Palace with only a solitary victory in their first four games.
However, the home fans will be relieved after the Lilywhites produced arguably their best display of the season thus far and cruised to a comfortable 4-0 victory over Roy Hodgson’s side, who dropped down to 12th place in the standings after that defeat.
An own goal from Patrick van Aanholt, sandwiched by Heung-min Son’s brace and Erik Lamela’s strike made the score 4-0 before the interval and though Spurs moved up to 3rd place in the standings this week, they still have plenty of catch-up to do if they are to get back in the title race.
1. Man City
It was always going to be interesting to see how Man City would cope with the opposition in the Premier League following Aymeric Laporte’s injury and the defensive blunders against Norwich City are sure to have Pep Guardiola scratching his head to find a solution for the upcoming fixtures.
Some poor marking allowed Kenny McLean to head home the opener for the Canaries early in the first-half before Teemu Pukki took advantage of some ineffective coordination at the back to set up Todd Cantwell for the second.
Sergio Aguero pulled one back just at the stroke of the interval but a horrible error from Nicolas Otamendi allowed Pukki to make it 3-1 in favour of the hosts. It stayed that way until Rodrigo found a late goal. City struggled to hit great heights against a Norwich side that ran them ragged with their never-say-die mentality on the pitch.
Undoubtedly, Man City’s defeat comes as the first big twist in the title race and Guardiola will be aware that his team cannot afford such slip-ups if they are to keep themselves within striking distance of Liverpool at the top of the table.
Arsenal didn’t have the worst of results in Round 5 but Unai Emery is likely to be disappointed to have come away with just a draw from the trip to Watford, with the Gunners blowing away a two-goal lead in the second half to somehow salvage a point.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s brace in the first half was cancelled out by goals from Tom Cleverly and Roberto Pereyra after the interval, the latter coming from the penalty spot after the Argentine was tripped by David Luiz inside the box.
A victory over Watford would have propelled the Gunners to 3rd place in the standings, ahead of Spurs, who currently hold that position, but some poor defending and lack of resilience at the back cost Arsenal heavily once again.
A victory over Bournemouth would have seen Everton finish the week in the top four but instead, the Toffees currently find themselves outside the top-ten, languishing at 11th place in the standings after suffering a 3-1 defeat to the Cherries away on the south coast.
Callum Wilson’s opener was cancelled out by Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s header just at the stroke of the interval before Ryan Fraser made it 2-1 with a free-kick and Wilson put the game to bed with his second goal midway through the second half.
The Toffees failed to capitalise on their chances and this defeat definitely comes as a big blow to their hopes of challenging for a top-six place.
[Image] Premier League Team of the Week for gameweek 5 featuring Chelsea duo and Norwich star
2019-20 Premier League: Team of the Week Round 5
Premier League returned to action with a bang this weekend after the end of the international break and Round 5 witnessed plenty of turnarounds in fortunes for some of the big-six clubs.
Wolves continued their losing habits and Everton stumbled against Bournemouth, while newcomers Norwich City grabbed the headlines with a shock 3-2 victory over Man City at Carrow Road.
There were plenty of individual performances that got the crowd off their seats and it is now time to assemble the standout performers from Round 5 in our Team of the Week.
Premier League Team of the Week
Tim Krul (GK)
The Dutchman showed a tremendous level of calmness and composure between the sticks against a world-class Man City attack and made several key saves to propel his team to an upset victory.
Serge Aurier (RB)
Perhaps a rather surprise inclusion in the list, the Ivorian announced his return to Spurs’ starting eleven in an emphatic manner and stole the show against Crystal Palace with a superb all-round display.
Harry Maguire (CB)
The England international returned to face his former club Leicester City and did ever so well to keep Jamie Vardy at bay in the Red Devils’ 1-0 victory at Old Trafford.
Fikayo Tomori (CB)
He might not have done an awful lot defensively in Chelsea’s 5-2 victory over Wolves but his 35-yeard screamer is likely to be one of the top contenders for the Goal of the Season award.
Andrew Robertson (LB)
The Scotsman assisted Sadio Mane’s equaliser in the 3-1 triumph over Newcastle and put in yet another lion-hearted performance down the left-hand side of the pitch.
Scott McTominay (CDM)
The youngster was one of the brightest sparks in United’s victory over Leicester this weekend, thwarting the Foxes with numerous interventions in the middle of the park.
Emiliano Buendia (LM)
Norwich City, as a unit, completely outplayed Man City in the 3-1 win at home and the Argentinian was one of the standout performers with his creativity and uncompromised work rate.
Heung-min Son (RM)
The Korean hasn’t had the best start to the season but he finally rose to the occasion and bagged a brace in the 4-0 drubbing of Crystal Palace, including a stunning volley that rattled the net.
Roberto Firmino (CAM)
The only inclusion in the elite eleven who came on as a substitute, the Brazilian changed the whole complexion of the game in favour of Liverpool and completely bamboozled the Magpies with his guile, craft and work rate.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ST)
One of the sure contenders for the Golden Boot this season, the Gabonese international took his tally up to 5 goals with a well-taken brace against Watford.
Tammy Abraham (ST)
The Chelsea academy graduate just can’t stop scoring at the moment. The youngster bagged a hat-trick in the Blues’ 5-2 triumph over Wolves and took his tally up to 7, becoming Chelsea youngest-ever player to score a Premier League hat-trick.
Chelsea vs Valencia: Preview, Team News, Prediction and more
Chelsea vs Valencia: Preview, Team News, Predicted XI and Score Prediction
With the international break finally over, Chelsea made a wonderful return to the Premier League with an emphatic 5-2 victory over Wolves away from home, thanks to a hat-trick from Tammy Abraham.
Having managed to steady the boat in the league after a series of lacklustre results, Frank Lampard is now set to turn his attention to the UEFA Champions League for the first time in his managerial career, with the Blues preparing to play host to Valencia on Matchday 1 at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues have been drawn together with Valencia, last year’s semi-finalists Ajax and previous season’s Ligue 1 runners-up LOSC Lille in Group H and the home fixture on Matchday 1 could be crucial in helping the Blues pick up the early momentum.
Chelsea enjoyed an unbeaten run en route to their Europa League glory under Maurizio Sarri last season and they will be hoping to make an impact on Europe’s elite stage this time around.
Intriguingly, all the 11 goals that Chelsea have scored in the Premier League this season have been delivered by English players, with Abraham currently the top-scorer with 7, followed by Mason Mount with 3.
Both the youngsters are currently enjoying their first full season at Stamford Bridge and despite a bright start to life on the domestic front under Lampard, it will be interesting to see how they respond to their first exposure on the biggest stage of it all – the UEFA Champions League.
Valencia, on the other hand, suffered a damaging 5-2 defeat at the hands of Barcelona in the La Liga this weekend and new manager Albert Celades will have his work cut out when his team makes the trip to West London to face a new-looking resurgent Chelsea unit on Tuesday night.
Turning the pages of the record books in the build-up to this Matchday 1 fixture, Chelsea have faced Valencia on 6 occasions in European competitions without suffering a defeat in any of those games, with the Blues winning three and drawing the rest.
More importantly, Valencia have won just 2 of their last 18 trips away to English clubs, with the most recent of those victories coming against Stoke City in the Europa League in 2012.
To that end, Chelsea are the outright favourites to come away with all three points from this clash, while Valencia will be looking to better their woeful record away from home against English clubs in European competitions.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek is ruled out with a calf injury, while fellow academy products Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi are yet to regain match fitness after returning from a spell on the sidelines.
Emerson Palmieri missed the game against Wolves on Saturday due to a thigh injury and it remains to be seen whether he returns to action in the Champions League fixture.
N’Golo Kante too wasn’t in the matchday squad for the weekend game and is expected to miss the midweek clash, with Kovacic and Jorginho likely to continue in a central midfield role.
Antonio Rudiger, who made a return from injury on Saturday, was substituted against Wolves and Lampard is likely to go in with Andreas Christensen, Fikayo Tomori and Kurt Zouma as his three centre-backs if he opts to continue with a back-three system.
Willian played the full ninety minutes against Wolves and Christian Pulisic, who was an unused substitute on the day, could make his return to the eleven.
Kepa Arrizabalaga, Kurt Zouma, Andreas Christensen, Fikayo Tomori, Marcos Alonso, Cesar Azpilicueta, Mateo Kovacic, Jorginho, Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic, Tammy Abraham
Chelsea 2-1 Valencia
Given the history and the home advantage that the Blues are set to enjoy, expect Lampard’s men to come away with a 2-1 win against the La Liga side.
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