- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
No Romelu Lukaku? No problem. Chelsea’s demolition of wretched Norwich City may have been the least surprising outcome of the weekend in the Premier League, but in its own way, it was a pivotal moment in the European champions’ season.
As Gareth Southgate looked on, five of Chelsea’s seven goals were scored by English players nurtured at the club’s Cobham academy.
“The academy guys are humble guys who know what it is to play for Chelsea,” enthused head coach Thomas Tuchel afterwards. “They understand there is no problem in being a nice guy and playing hard. That makes things special.”
Beyond the glitter of the magnificent seven, this was a different Chelsea. With Lukaku on board, they get the ball to him as early as possible, confident of what will follow. It hasn’t worked of late.
Lukaku has scored just three league goals and before hobbling off during the midweek Champions League crushing of Malmo, hadn’t struck since early September.
Without Lukaku, Tuchel was forced to innovate and from necessity came sublimeness. As a result, Tuchal has found the managerial holy grail: options. Chelsea did not pivot around nominal sole striker Kai Havertz as they do with Lukaku.
None of the seven goals were scored inside the six-yard box, none were the work of poachers and in a game short on corners (five for Chelsea; none of course for threat-free Norwich) and high crosses, none were headed.
Instead, new Chelsea took advantage of the gaps behind wing backs Aarons and Dimitris Giannoulis. With Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic spraying daisy-cutting passes left and right from central midfield, all Chelsea’s goals utilised width and two involved the ball being elegantly shifted from touchline to touchline.
Goals come from everywhere. Hat-trick hero Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi notched their first league goals of the season, the 13th and 14th Chelsea players to do so, while sharp-shooting full-back Ben Chilwell scored for the third consecutive league game.
More fascinating still is Hudson-Odoi’s renaissance. The hand of Tuchel looms large. A player who allowed himself to drift is beginning to wake up after Tuchel explained what was required.
“He told me to keep putting in the intensity,” explained Hudson-Odoi. “It’s not that he’s hard to please, you have to prove to yourself you’re worthy of being in the team.”
Hudson-Odoi began poorly. In the very first minute Tuchel was incandescent when Hudson-Odoi lolloped rather than sprinted. After a heated, albeit one-way, discussion, the player blossomed, scoring when he expertly read the pass of the afternoon from Kovacic, providing for Aarons’ own goal and outwitting his theoretical chaperone Ozan Kabak at every turn. Tuchel wants more, but, as we already know, Tuchel always wants more.
“He needs that,” said Tuchel. “Guys who are so full of quality hear a little bit too often how good they are. We are tough on him, but we’ve found a way to push him to his limits.”
Outfought, out-thought and utterly outclassed, for Norwich there was nothing to take comfort from as they squandered the momentum spawned by draws with Burnley and Brighton.
“When you come to Chelsea you need to be resilient abd fight for your pride, but we didn’t show much of that,” admitted captain Grant Hanley. “Everyone in that dressing room has to look at themselves because everyone has got to do better.”
Nascent signs of supporter discontent notwithstanding, strugglers’ seasons are not defined by visits to the European Champions and Farke’s influence extends beyond the first team, but he has little to show for a summer outlay of circa £50 million.
In their next five fixtures, Norwich face Leeds, Brentford, Southampton, Wolves and Newcastle. After that, their season will be defined.
Match report: Mason Mount's hat-trick helps classy Chelsea put seven past sorry Norwich
Mason Mount, without a goal since Champions League semi-final in May, leads the way with a hat-trick
Six out of seven goals come from Chelsea's English players in front of watching Gareth Southgate
Winless Norwich reduced to 10 men after Ben Gibson sent off for two yellow cards
They say there are no easy games in the Premier League. This was. Table-topping European champions Chelsea were magnificent. Bottom of the table Norwich City were abysmal. Nature took its course and while Mason Mount scored a hat trick, three wasn’t even half of his team’s goals, six of which were scored by English players as Gareth Southgate looked on, the seventh being an own goal.
“I don’t want to get carried away,” said Thomas Tuchel, the Chelsea head coach, who barely missed the absences of injured Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner. “I like the way we approach like this. Our approach is humble, but when we play like this anything is possible. I’m happy with our intensity and our effort. We were all-in. Nothing was held back.”
In predictable contrast, Daniel Farke, the Norwich head coach, was unhappy.
“You can imagine how the spirit is in our dressing room. We will not speak of this game again after Tuesday. The players know how I feel and we need to look to our next home game with Leeds. Chelsea away is the toughest task in world football. We needed to be at our best and them not be. They were excellent and we were not.
“In possession we gave so much away, unnecessarily. We didn’t defend their quick movement. We didn’t pressure Jorginho and Kovacic and our decision making was poor. We are more than unhappy and we need to be self-critical about this embarrassing heavy defeat."
Norwich’s players warmed up in shirts paying tribute to their goalkeeper Dan Barden who was diagnosed with testicular cancer in midweek. In fact, they arrived in West London seemingly with something to build on: undefeated for two games during which they had not conceded a goal.
After just eight minutes, any talk of table-climbing looked to be the height of carelessness. Callum Hudson-Odoi scampered down the left and crossed. Ben Gibson’s weak clearing header fell to Jorginho, who gathered excellently and caressed the ball to Mount, who, with Southgate looking on, rattled home his first goal since Real Madrid were sent packing in last season’s Champions League semi-final.
Already Norwich were doomed and they were soon two adrift. Antonio Rudiger carried the ball out of defence and found Mateo Kovacic, whose fabulous through ball took out the entire Norwich defence but not Hudson-Odoi, who strolled boldly forwards before expertly placing his first goal since January beyond Tim Krul.
The die was cast. Chelsea were so strong, so effervescent and so innovative that better sides than Norwich would have collapsed but the visitors made things worse for themselves at every turn. As Chelsea buzzed around them and ran through them, Norwich settled on an uncomfortable combination of damage limitation by defending deeply but unconvincingly; the occasional Dimitris Giannoulis overlap and pointless roughhouse, as when Grant Hanley scythed through Mount.
For all of Tuchel’s touchline gymnastics, Chelsea were thoroughly enjoying themselves and this would be a performance of almost child-like glee. Jorginho was a string-pulling joy, Kovacic an imperious fulcrum and those with something to prove and places to fight for – Hudson-Odoi and Kai Havertz – toyed with Norwich at their considerable pleasure.
And it was three for Chelsea before-half time and three for Chelsea academy products. They moved the ball from right to left until Mount spotted the onrushing Reece James rather quicker than the back-pedalling Giannoulis and the defender deftly clipped his first Premier League goal at Stamford Bridge over Krul.
Farke made a couple of quixotic Canute-style changes at the break, with Milot Rashica deployed as an auxiliary forward. Indeed, the Kosovan was gifted Norwich’s first and last peek at goal after 53 minutes when he latched onto a wayward Ben Chilwell backpass. Rashica looked set to score until the hitherto and subsequently unemployed Edouard Mendy appeared from nowhere to block with his feet.
Chilwell enjoyed almost instant redemption. James, Jorginho and then Kovacic moved the ball from right to left, almost unimpeded, before the latter found Chilwell, who was given the time and space to fire his third goal in four league games across Krul.
Calamity piled upon calamity for Norwich. First Kovacic ambled forwards unchallenged before spotting the overlapping Hudson-Odoi, whose harmless cross-shot deflected off Max Aarons and squirmed through the unhappy, wrong-footed Krul. Moments later, the already booked Gibson clumsily clattered into James and Norwich were a man as well as five goals down.
Krul kept the scoreline down with fine saves from Ross Barkley and Hakim Zayich, but when Mathias Normann blocked Rudiger’s drive with his arm he did better still to save Mount’s penalty. Alas, Krul had stayed off his line and the Var which had initially awarded the penalty demanded a retake. Mount sent it straight down the middle as Krul dived to his right.
Even now Norwich’s humiliation was not complete and, already, next Sunday’’s visit of Leeds look to be season-defining. Ruben Loftus-Cheek charged down the right and squared, Mount had his hat trick.
“Mason’s a top guy and a top player,” purred Tuchel. “He feels a lot lighter after today. This was a big moment for him.”
Chelsea vs Norwich, as it happened:
Chelsea 7 Norwich 0
Reaction from Tuchel
We had a good performance, we were sharp and put in a lot of effort. The result was high pressing and many ball wins. We could create a lot of chances.
It was a well deserved win. Ok to score seven you need a bit of luck. But it was a good performance and a good win.
It's one game and fair enough, all the credit, but it's one game.
This will help him a lot. He waited long, too long, but it was good he got goals today.
I don't think it is a matter of now he is fresh and yesterday he was tired. It is a process. I agree that today he looked fresh and it was good to put him on the pitch. We need to be careful with these players, who play an important role with their national teams and have a lot of competitions.
Mount: 'We never dropped our standards'
We were on it throughout the whole game. Even though we were up going into the second half, we never dropped our standards.
I feel at it, ready to play and buzzing for today.
For me personally it's a big moment for me. To score three at home at Stamford Bridge is special.
It's been quite a long time since I did score and then three come around in the same game. It's a massive moment for me to get three and I'll remember this one for a long time.
You put pressure on yourself, I was always getting in the right positions but it wasn't coming off.
With the last goal, I thought it might be offside. I was praying.
FT Chelsea 7 Norwich 0
Emphatic from the Premier League leaders who absolutely thump basement bottom Norwich.
Mason Mount grabs himself the match ball with a hat-trick while there were also goals for Hudson-Odoi, James and Chilwell plus an own goal from Aarons.
As perfect a day as they get for Chelsea. For Norwich, meanwhile, an absolute horror show. A gaping gulf in class between the two teams.
90+3 mins Chelsea 7 Norwich 0
Chelsea still want more, as Ziyech tries his luck for a last-minute corner, which flies wide.
90+1 mins Chelsea 7 Norwich 0
Mason Mount rounds off a brilliant afternoon by completing his hat-trick - although he owes a debt of gratitude to Loftus-Cheek who unselfishly squared to his team-mate for an easy tap in rather than shoot himself.
Goal! Mount hat-trick
Chelsea 7 (Mount 90+1) Norwich 0
89 mins Chelsea 6 Norwich 0
Chelsea moving four points clear of second-placed Liverpool today, albeit having played a game more - and giving their goal difference a mighty boost in the process
85 mins Chelsea 6 Norwich 0
Mount opts for power over placement, blasting it straight down the middle. Krul gets a minor touch but there is no stopping that one.
Chelsea have their sixth goal of the game. And Norwich's suffering (in this game at least) is almost over.
Chelsea 6 (Mount 85 pen) Norwich 0
Penalty missed...but retake?
Mount steps up to take it, eyeing his second of the game. Krul gets down to his left to save it...but hang on, has Krul stepped off his line too early here?
Yes. We go again...
Var penalty check
Chelsea want a penalty.
Rudiger tries to scoop the ball goalwards on the turn from close range. It's saved by a Norwich man's arm. But crucially it's not Krul but instead Normann down low on the floor.
Andy Madley checks the monitor and gives the penalty
80 mins Chelsea 5 Norwich 0
It's the Krul show! A training ground move sees the ball come to Ziyech outside the box who wallops it towards goal but the Norwich keeper tips over.
79 mins Chelsea 5 Norwich 0
Loftus-Cheek makes a fool of McLean in midfield, steps forward and then brings a save out of Krul.
Seconds later and Barkley thinks he's bagged Chelsea's sixth, but somehow Krul gets a touch to deflect out for a corner...
78 mins Chelsea 5 Norwich 0
Chelsea engaging in a spot of keep ball - although to be fair, they've been doing that all game.
After taunting Norwich on the edge of the box for a couple of minutes, the ball eventually comes to Ziyech who tries to whip it into the top corner. It's wide.
Chilwell on a roll
4 - Ben Chilwell is the first English player to score in four consecutive Premier League games for Chelsea since Frank Lampard in February 2013. Footsteps. #CHENOR
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 23, 2021
70 mins Chelsea 5 Norwich 0
Still 20 minutes left and you really fear for where this is heading for Norwich....
They try and shore things up slightly following that red card by bringing on defender Omobamidele and sacrificing Sargent.
Chelsea meanwhile introduce Ziyech for Hudson-Odoi and Barkley for Havertz
Red card Norwich!
If you were playing a game of football bingo for Norwich's capitulation today, then you can red card to that recent own goal.
Gibson, already on a yellow card, hacks down James and receives his marching orders. He picked up two yellows in the space on nine minutes there. Madness.
63 mins Chelsea 5 Norwich 0
Everything going Chelsea's way now as they get a slice of luck for their fifth.
Hudson-Odoi attempts a cross from the left, it takes a deflection off Aarons and squirms under Krul at the near post.
Loftus-Cheek is on for Jorginho as Tuchel shuffles his pack.
Chelsea 5 (Aarons 63 mins) Norwich 0
61 mins Chelsea 4 Norwich 0
Stamford Bridge is in full voice, and quite rightly so. It's been a masterclass so far, and pleasingly for them, it is their homegrown players who have been taking centre stage.
If this was a boxing contest, you would throw in the towel if you were Norwich. Farke greeted that fourth goal by simply standing with his arms outstretched, perhaps asking for divine intervention.
57 mins Chelsea 4 Norwich 0
Chelsea full-back Chilwell just cannot stop scoring currently!
The hosts work the ball cleverly across the pitch, right to left with Kovacic rolling it into the path of the onrushing Chilwell. His technique is spot on, cutting deftly across the ball to steer it low into the far corner.
Gareth Southgate, watching on from the stands, must be delighted with all four goals coming from Englishmen.
Chelsea 4 (Chilwell 57 mins) Norwich 0
52 mins Chelsea 3 Norwich 0
The sign of a good goalkeeper is having nothing to do and then bursting into action. And Mendy has done just that there.
Chilwell is careless in possession in his half and the ball falls kindly, via a ricochet, to Rashica. The substitute's eyes light up with so much space in the box but, quick as a flash, Mendy is there to block with his leg.
50 mins Chelsea 3 Norwich 0
Loftus-Cheek and Ziyech are warming up on the touchlines, no doubt hoping to get in on the action this half.
Havertz continues his ongoing dual with Hanley, winning a corner when the Norwich centre back blocks his shot.
49 mins Chelsea 3 Norwich 0
A rare sight of Pukki touching the ball in attack for Norwich. It's not in the danger zone, though, instead closer to the corner. But Pukki clearly has been told to put himself about a bit more.
46 mins Chelsea 3 Norwich 0
Back underway at Stamford Bridge and two changes for Norwich to try and plug the gaps.
Williams on for Giannoulis (who had been their best attacking outlet...)
Rashica on for the previously booked Lees-Melou
Norwich mood right now
This finish from Reece James is ridiculous! 🥶
A lovely dink over the onrushing goalkeeper and Chelsea are cruising 🔵 pic.twitter.com/jGzAeQs59V
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) October 23, 2021
HT Chelsea 3 Norwich 0
And there is the half-time whistle. Men against boys-type stuff so far. Chelsea have been sharp, focused and professional. Norwich, put simply, are just not good enough.
Mount and Hudson-Odoi have both been able to open their accounts for the season with James also adding a classy third. Damage limitation for Norwich in the second half.
What a finish from Mason Mount! 🎯
Chelsea take the lead early on against Norwich and it's a lovely strike from one of their own 🌟 pic.twitter.com/1CwRob7mtI
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) October 23, 2021
45 mins Chelsea 3 Norwich 0
Lees-Melou goes into Andy Madley's book for a late challenge on Chilwell. Half-time cannot come quick enough for Daniel Farke's beleaguered team.
42 mins Chelsea 3 Norwich 0
Just as I was about to write that Chelsea were perhaps trying to over-play matters and the hosts deliver a third.
Mount is the orchestrator with a perfectly-weighted ball into the left of the box. James, not for the first time today, is galloping forward ahead of his marker. He takes one touch and then delightfully chips the ball into the net.
Chelsea 3 (James 42 mins) Norwich 0
37 mins Chelsea 2 Norwich 0
This is not drill, I repeat not a drill. Norwich have had their first effort on goal.
Kabak, on rare attacking duty, leaves Hudson-Odoi sprawled on the floor midway through the Chelsea half while robbing him of possession. But the excitement gets to him and his shot is wild and high. Still, it's an effort, of sorts.
35 mins Chelsea 2 Norwich 0
Buoyed by his earlier goal, Mount goes on another powerful run through midfield. His short pass to Havertz, however, rebounds off the German's heel. Havertz would dearly love a goal today playing in the false nine position.
32 mins Chelsea 2 Norwich 0
Rudiger fancies a goal here today. He picks up the ball outside the box and unleashes his shot. Fortunately for Norwich, a combination of first Kabak's back and then Krul stops the danger. But Rudiger had followed in and was lurking for any leftovers.
30 mins Chelsea 2 Norwich 0
A spectator for pretty much all of this match so far, Chelsea keeper Mendy gets in a spot of catching practice as Lees-Melou floats in deep cross from the right.
Chelsea break immediately, the ball falls to the impressive Hudson-Odoi on the left who charges forward and rolls the ball across the box to Mount. Krul is equal to the task, batting away the England man's fierce shot.
28 mins Chelsea 2 Norwich 0
Better from Norwich. Giannoulis makes inroads down the left wing and manages to float the ball into the box. Sadly for the visitors, Chilwell is expertly placed to head clear. And the ball goes back to Chelsea.
27 mins Chelsea 2 Norwich 0
I can't remember the last time Norwich managed to string together two or three passes. This could get very ugly.
James again involved down the right, trying to flick the ball into the path of Mount.
25 mins Chelsea 2 Norwich 0
Flair and skill aplenty as Jorginho scoops the ball over the Norwich defence and James hustles his way to a corner on the right side.
It goes short to Mount with Gibson heading clear. But the blue wave starts again.
23 mins Chelsea 2 Norwich 0
You know things are bad for you when even Rudiger is impersonating the skills of a right winger when trying to get his cross in.
Very professional so far from Chelsea but you have to say Norwich have not helped themselves with the amount of times they have given the ball straight back to the men in blue.
18 mins Chelsea 2 Norwich 0
All very easy for Chelsea so far. And now Hudson-Odoi has got in on the act with opening his scoring account for the season.
Norwich look to have a little sniff when dispossing Thiago Silva but the Chelsea defender recovers deep in his own half. He plays the ball to Jorginho who lays it off to Kovacic on the half-way line. There is far, far too much space in the Norwich half and Kovacic picks out Hudson-Odoi down the left channel, with the England attacker running in and coolly finding the far corner.
After Mount's opener, that means all 10 outfit players have scored for Chelsea this season.
Chelsea 2 (Hudson-Odoi 18 mins) Norwich 0
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 23, 2021
14 mins Chelsea 1 Norwich 0
Bit of a worry here as Hanley hobbles for a moment after sliding in to nudge the ball back to Krul under pressure from Havertz. The Norwich captain looks okay to continue though.
12 mins Chelsea 1 Norwich 0
Mount rolls the ball along the ground towards Chilwell (think Alexander-Arnold's corner against Barcelona) but Norwich finally wake up and clear the danger.
11 mins Chelsea 1 Norwich 0
A tough afternoon for Norwich got even tougher with that goal...in 18 Premier League games under Tuchel in which they have gone ahead first, Chelsea have lost just once.
Havertz wins a corner off Kabak...
8 mins Chelsea 1 Norwich 0
Stamford Bridge erupts! Chelsea are ahead and Mason Mount is the one to get the goal, breaking his long drought in front of goal.
Hudson-Odoi, charged with taking his chance today by Tuchel, crosses from the left. Gibson heads clear but it only goes as far as the lurking Mount on the edge of the box. The England man controls the ball and then picks his spot, drilling sweetly into the bottom right corner.
That's his first goal from club or country since the Champions League semi-final in May.
Chelsea 1 (Mason Mount) Norwich 0
5 mins Chelsea 0 Norwich 0
First sight of goal for either of the sides as Rudiger find himself in space on the left edge of the box. Amid low rumblings from the crowd to shoooooot, he duly does, trying to curl one in low to the left corner. Krul gets down to gather.
4 mins Chelsea 0 Norwich 0
It's been more than ten years since the Premier League's bottom side beat the top side...
But here's Norwich moving forward down the right, Aarons looks to play ball across the edge of the box but its just behind Giannoulis who then coughs up possession on the left and Chelsea look to break. It comes to nothing. This time.
2 mins Chelsea 0 Norwich 0
Chelsea gets us underway and immediately go on the attack down the right. Norwich get a boot in but possession immediately goes back to the hosts. Could be a recurring theme here today. Norwich forward Sargent has got to do better with holding up the play if his team are to have any chance.
Teams are out....
Stamford Bridge is looking pretty full for this lunchtime kick-off. Those home fans will be expecting goals...
38 - Excluding MD1 matches, Norwich’s game against Chelsea will be their 38th consecutive Premier League game in which they've started the day in the relegation zone. Only Swindon (40 in 1993-94) have ever had a longer such run in the competition. Basement. #CHENOR
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 23, 2021
Support for Dan
Earlier this week, it was revealed Norwich keeper Dan Barden, on loan at Scottish Premiership side Livingston, will spend time away from the game having been diagnosed with testicular cancer.
His Norwich team-mates are showing their support for him at Stamford Bridge today, warming up in special t-shirts adorning his name and messages of support. All the best. Dan.
'Farke is a nice guy... but I don't want to help him today'
The managers have been in front of the (BT Sport) mic...
Thomas Tuchel: "It has been the same (being the favourites) the last three matches and we coped well, it has not affected our attitude.
"When we wear the shirt we want to meet the standards. We don't care about being favourites.
"The message is clear - the guys have been waiting a long time for their chance, we have a strong squad. It is a team effort and we have a lot of trust in the quality.
"The way for them to stay in the league is to not concede. Daniel Farke is a very nice guy but I don't want to help him today."
Norwich boss Daniel Farke: "That is why we love the game so much, nothing is guaranteed. We want to give a top performance and give ourselves a chance.
"The first objective is to be rock solid at the back. Today it won't be that easy but we have a chance."
Teams in full
And for those that like their teams in black and white...
Chelsea: Mendy, Chalobah, Thiago Silva, Rudiger, James, Jorginho, Kovacic, Chilwell, Hudson-Odoi, Mount, Havertz.
Subs: Arrizabalaga, Alonso, Christensen, Loftus-Cheek, Saul, Barkley, Ziyech, Azpilicueta, Sarr.
Norwich: Krul, Kabak, Gibson, Hanley, Aarons, Lees-Melou, Normann, McLean, Giannoulis, Sargent, Pukki.
Subs: Rupp, Dowell, Rashica, Tzolis, Sorensen, Williams, Gunn, Idah, Omobamidele.
Referee: Andrew Madley (West Yorkshire)
Norwich XI unchanged
— Norwich City FC (@NorwichCityFC) October 23, 2021
Five changes for Chelsea
'Toughest task in world football'
Norwich head coach Daniel Farke feels his side will face "the toughest task in world football" when they take on Chelsea today against "one of the greatest coaches on this planet" in good friend Thomas Tuchel.
Farke's winless team continue to prop up the rest of the Premier League table but have at least now got points on the board following back-to-back goalless draws against Burnley and Brighton.
Farke, though, accepts his side's recent defensive consolidation, based around a five-man backline, will face the acid test at Stamford Bridge.
"We know that we face the toughest task in world football - a world-class coach, world-class players and a world-class club," said Farke.
"They are the reigning Champions League winners and they are top of the league, in the best league in the world. It couldn't be harder, but we are looking forward to this game. We want to play this game and are not fearful - we have worked so hard to be able to play on this level for these games.
"If we don't trust ourselves to play these games, then after each promotion we should say 'no, thanks a lot, but we don't take part in the Premier League' and rather stay in the Championship or perhaps League One where we will win many games.
"If we go there with a top performance, then in football there is always a chance to have one of those days."
Norwich will be without on-loan Chelsea midfielder Billy Gilmour at Stamford Bridge as he cannot face his parent club. Their main problem is they just cannot score goals - they have only managed two in their first eight games - and they are up against the joint-meanest defence in the division.
At the other end of the pitch, meanwhile, Chelsea will be shorn of Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner after they were injured during the 4-0 Champions League win over Malmo.
But that means opportunities for others with Tuchel urging Kai Havertz and Callum Hudson-Odoi to "prove a point" in their absence.
Full team news to follow.