In the late Sunday game, Norwich managed to hold Chelsea to a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge. The result leaves Chelsea dependent on upcoming results from Liverpool, who play Crystal Palace on Monday, and Manchester City, who play Aston Villa on Wednesday. Only if both sides drop points will the Blues remain in the race for the Premier League title.
Norwich, who recorded just six shots, three of which were on target, surprised many who watched the match. Despite having one of the league’s worst defenses, with 60 goals conceded, the Canaries focused on making sure Chelsea couldn’t break through – which leaves Norwich still in trouble, sitting two points behind Sunderland, who have a game in hand.
The approach employed by Neil Adams surprised José Mourinho as well. The Chelsea boss spoke about it after the match:
It was quite a day. We had one team that needed three points to have a chance to survive – but didn’t play to win and a team that needed a point to finish third and guarantee a Champions League group stage place that played to win. Norwich’s gameplan surprised me. We were waiting for a crazy game, especially in the second half, where they would gamble everything, but it didn’t happen. But we don’t have a right to criticise.
Mourinho, perhaps unsurprisingly, felt the Blues should have taken all three points. He referenced a better second half, after a double substitution introduced David Luiz and Eden Hazard: “During the first 45 minutes, our players were very slow. There was no intensity. In the second half it was different – the players wanted it much much more.David gave us more intensity as did Eden Hazard. We should have won, but football is about goals.”
Unfortunately for Chelsea, “should have won” doesn’t give them a boost in the title race. Barring major mistakes from Liverpool and Manchester City, the Blues will be left ruing the way that Norwich were able to catch them off guard at home.