Chelsea see off relegation threatened Norwich

Chelsea see off relegation threatened Norwich
Image credit: VAVEL (Jonny Walsh)
Norwich City
1 2
Norwich City: Ruddy; Pinto, Bennett (Mbokani, min. 60), Martin, Klose, Brady; Tettey (O'Neil, min. 36), Howson, Redmond, Hoolahan; Jerome
Chelsea: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Ivanovic, Kenedy (Baba, min. 69); Fabregas, Matic; Hazard, Oscar (Mikel, min. 60), Traore (Willian, min. 60); Diego Costa
SCORE: 0-1, min. 1', Kenedy. 0-2, min. 45'+1', Costa. 1-2, min. 68, Redmond.
REFEREE: Lee Mason (ENG). Howson (min. 12), Bennett (min. 38), Oscar (min. 43), Fabregas (min. 73), Klose (min. 76)

Thank you for following VAVEL UK's live coverage of Norwich City - Chelsea. We hope you enjoyed it, and return soon to follow more live coverage of the Premier League!

Chelsea move up to 8th place, unbeaten in 12 Premier League games, whilst Norwich fall into 18th on goal difference due to Sunderland drawing 2-2 with Crystal Palace to move onto 24 points.

Full-time: Norwich City 1-2 Chelsea

90'+4' Courtois produces a magnificent save from a last minute corner by Norwich. That might have been their last chance to find an equaliser.

Premier League update: Fabio Borini has equalised late on against Crystal Palace to make it 2-2.

90' Just as five minutes of additional time is shown, Costa is slipped in by Fabregas but his finish is wide of the goal.

88' Redmond skips past multiple challenges and his driven left-footed effort meets the side-netting. 

87' Nemanja Matic, despite being held, meets a corner with a left-footed flick that goes just over the bar.

Premier League update: Benik Afobe puts Bournemouth 2-0 up against Southampton.

80' Both men are now back on the pitch, receiving applause from the home crowd.

Premier League update: A consolation goal for Aston Villa as Rudy Gestede pulls one back to make it 3-1 to Everton.

79' Both men are now off receiving stitches for wounds gained from the miscued challenge.

77' Substitute O'Neil has another long-range effort which goes just wide of the goal with the slightest deflection. However, the corner leads to nothing and O'Neil collides face-to-face with teammate Brady after both men attempted to head the same loose ball.

76' Timm Klose takes down Costa, giving Chelsea a free-kick in a threatening position, whilst also earning himself a yellow card.

75' A far more lively performance by the hosts in the second half. Chelsea look set to be in for a tough final 15 minutes.

73' Fabregas is shown a yellow card for a poor challenge on Redmond. Norwich free-kick.

69' Redmond is picked out sprinting into the Chelsea penalty area and he meets the pass with a powerful strike past Courtois at the near post. Game on.

68' GOAL!! Norwich City 1-2 Chelsea - Nathan Redmond

Premier League update: Conor Wickham has completed another brace in back-to-back games to put Crystal Palace 2-1 up against his former side Sunderland.

63' Ivo Pinto is down receiving treatment. Alex Neil looks worried having just replaced a defender with a forward.

60' Chelsea substitutions: Bertrand Traore and Oscar are replaced by Willian and John Obi Mikel.                                                                                                                                                                   Norwich City Substitution: Ryan Bennett is replaced Dieumerci Mbokani.

53' An unmarked Jerome fires over on the edge of the six-yard box after a slick Norwich move. The striker just can't take any chances coming his way tonight.

Craig Gardner has equalised for West Brom against the league leaders with a sensational free-kick. A great game at the King Power Stadium.

50' O'Neil strikes just over the ball following a Jerome pass. Kenedy looks set to continue after going down from an unintentional Jerome challenge.

49' Jerome is found yet again by a deep cross into the area, but he is forced into a tame volley past the post, as he is unbalanced due to pressure from Cesar Azpilicueta.

47' Kenedy's first-half goal is in fact the fastest Premier League goal of this season so far at 39 seconds.

46' Chelsea kick the second half off, playing from left to right.

Half-time Premier League scores:                                                                                                                                                                                 Aston Villa 0-2 Everton                                                                         Bournemouth 1-0 Southampton                                                         Leicester City 2-1 West Bromwich Albion                                       Sunderland 1-0 Crystal Palace

Half-time: Norwich City 0-2 Chelsea

45'+3' The referee blows his whistle concluding the three minutes of additional time.

45'+1' An offside Costa is played in one-on-one with Ruddy by Traore and dinks it over the former England international. The game's looking to be out of sight for the hosts now.

45' GOAL!! Norwich City 0-2 Chelsea - Diego Costa

44' Oscar receives the first Chelsea booking of the evening for a foul just past the halfway line.

41' Hazard is brought down by Ryan Bennett, who is booked for his troubles. The resulting free-kick is whipped in by Fabregas and Ruddy is forced to produce a brilliant save, as it is missed by everyone and looked set to find the top corner.

39' Controversy. A Gary Cahill backpass is picked up by Courtois following a few touches but referee Lee Mason lets play continue to the disappointment of the frustrated home fans.

38' A lot of action following that substitution. Chelsea find their way past the Norwich defence twice in the space of a minute, but Traore's touch is too strong and gathered by John Ruddy. Ruddy then plays the role of sweeper keeper to beat Costa to a through ball.

36' Norwich City substitution - Alexander Tetty is forced off through injury and is replaced by Gary O'Neil.

35' Fabregas meets an Eden Hazard cross with a poor header that loops well over the Norwich goal.

Plenty of goals in the other Premier League games tonight. Aaron Lennon makes it 2-0 to Everton at Aston Viilla, whilst Danny Drinkwater equalisers for Leicester to make it 1-1 against West Brom. Finally, Steve Cook has given Bournemouth the lead against Southampton following another Fraser Forster mistake.

30' Alexander Tetty takes an advancing touch and is urged by the crowd to shoot as no Chelsea defenders approach him, instead he hesitates and plays a through ball straight out of play for a Chelsea goal-kick. Epitomises his side's first half efforts so far.

26' Bertrand Traore plays a quick one-two with Cesc Fabregas, then cuts inside to only have his left-shooted blocked by two Norwich defenders throwing their bodies at the attempt.

23' A spell of Chelsea possession here is keeping the home crowd silent. The hosts are really struggling to get a touch of the ball after a promising response to the opening goal.

17' An early cross from Robbie Brady finds an unmarked Cameron Jerome, but it's no problem for Thibaut Courtois as he watches it loop over the bar.

Another goal in the Premier League, as leaders Leicester City fall 1-0 down to West Bromwich Albion via a goal from Salomón Rondón.

13' Howson is booked following a late challenge on Oscar. Needless challenge to the say the least by the midfielder.

8' Jonny Howson has Norwich's first threatening chance of the game as his long-range effort is deflected wide off of one of his teammates.

Elsewhere in the Premier League, Everton have also taken an early lead at Villa Park through Ramiro Funes Mori.

4' Diego Costa turns Russell Martin, but is pulled back by the defender. Chelsea free-kick just inside Norwich's half.

2' The young Brazilian cuts inside, only to cut back onto his stronger left foot. which he uses to drill a low shot into the back of the net from 20 yards out. Great start for Hiddink's side.

1' GOAL!! Norwich City 0-1 Chelsea - Kenedy

1' Referee Lee Mason blows his whistle and Norwich get us underway. 

Both teams are now walking out to an anticipated crowd at Carrow Road. Just a few minutes to go now till kick-off!

The players have returned from their warm-up to their respective dressing rooms now, with just 15 minutes to go till kick-off. Here are a list of the rest of the Premier League fixtures happening tonight:                                                                                                                                            - Aston Villa - Everton                                                                                      - Bournemouth - Southampton                                                                      - Leicester City - West Bromwich Albion                                                      - Sunderland - Crystal Palace                                                                                                                                                                                                          (All 19:45 GMT kick-offs)

However, it will be a tough ask as their opponents tonight have gone unbeaten since returning interim-manager Guus Hiddink took charge in mid-December. Following his first game in charge, Norwich were just one point off of last season's champions. Whereas now there's a 12 point gap between the two sides in Chelsea's favour, as they continue to creep up the table.

In a run that stretches almost over two months, Norwich have gone seven Premier League games without a win. This disastrous run has seem them drop to just one place above the relegation zone on goal difference. 18th-placed Newcastle United are also on 24 points, with a game in hand, therefore it is crucial that Norwich get something out of tonight's game.

The Brazilian is yet to make an appearance for Chelsea having arrived at the club in January following a one-month break from competitive football. This was due to the Brazilian first division finishing their season in late November.

For Chelsea John Obi Mikel, Baba Rahman and Willian are all rested and replaced by Nemanja Matic, Kenedy and Bertrand Traore. On the bench there is also a new face in loanee Alexandre Pato.

One change for Norwich, in comes Wes Hoolahan for Steven Naismith, who is left out of the matchday squad.

Chelsea subs: Begovic, Baba Rahman, Mikel, Loftus-Cheek, Willian, Pato, Remy.

Chelsea starting XI: (4-2-3-1) Courtois; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Ivanovic, Kenedy; Fabregas, Matic; Hazard, Oscar, Traore; Diego Costa.

Norwich City subs: Rudd, Olsson, O’Neil, Mulumbu, Dorrans, Jarvis, Mbokani.

Norwich City starting XI: (5-4-1) Ruddy; Brady, Bennett, Martin, Klose, Pinto; Tettey, Howson, Redmond, Hoolahan; Jerome.

Stay tuned in as we'll have the team news with you shortly just as we approach the hour mark before kick-off.

Chelsea predicted line-up: (4-2-3-1) Courtois; Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Kenedy; Mikel, Fabregas; Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Diego Costa.

Norwich City predicted line-up: (3-5-2) Ruddy; Martin, Bassong, Klose; Pinto, Redmond, Howson, Tettey, Brady; Jerome, Naismith.

The Canaries have failed to win any of their last six meetings with Chelsea, drawing just twice. The Blues claimed a narrow 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season, with Diego Costa netting the crucial goal. Tonight's hosts held Chelsea to two nil-all draws previously, though have netted just twice in the same period. Those came in heavy defeats, losing 3-1 at home and 4-1 in West London.

Chelsea are still without January signing Alexandre Pato due to fitness concerns, though he should become available later in the month with his fitness program continuing. Falcao is seemingly no closer to a return as his rotten luck is prolonged, and John Terry may not be risked in order to have him fit for the PSG game. Kurt Zouma will be targeting a return to action next season due to his ACL injury, while Pedro is doubtful with a hamstring problem.

Norwich have relatively few injury problems coming this game compared to Chelsea, with Andre Wisdom the only notable absentee. He seems set to be the be the only player that will miss out, though Sebastian Bassong and Wes Hoolahan are doubtful and may have to settle for a place on the bench. Neil is likely to name the same side that lost so narrowly to Leicester City at the weekend, which would see a very defensive five-at-the-back formation utilised.

Deigo Costa's goal sperated the sides the last time they met. | Image source: The Telegraph.
Deigo Costa's goal sperated the sides the last time they met. | Image source: The Telegraph.

Despite Chelsea's own rotten run to start the season, the calming presence of Hiddink has brought them back up the league table. The Blues could climb as high as 8th with a win, and suddenly the seemingly impossible mission of making Europe is a realistic prospect once more. The goals have returned to Stamford Bridge, and so has a nitty, gritty defensive attitude. A good run between now and the end of the season could see Chelsea clinging onto the top four's coat-tails.

The Carrow Road outfit currently sit 17th, just one place and one goal differential point above the drop zone and Newcastle United. It has been a tough season for the newly promoted side, and a mere one point from the last 18 available has done their survival hopes no favours. They are also in possession of the league's joint-worst defence along with Sunderland (51), making this look like a mammoth task to take anything off the reigning champions.

Hello and welcome to VAVEL UK's live coverage of the mid-week clash between Norwich City and Chelsea. Guus Hiddink's side travel to the struggling Canaries in a good run of form, and only seem to be getting better under the Dutchman's tutelage. However, Alex Neil and Norwich are hovering in-and-around the bottom three, and a win would do them the world of good in the battle to beat the drop.