Chelsea played out a frustrating 0-0 draw against Norwich City at Carrow Road on Saturday as Blues’ striker department misfires again.
Chelsea’s embarrassing draw against Championship team Norwich means a replay of FA cup is scheduled to happen mid-January with Chelsea hosting Daniel Farke’s side. Chelsea take on Arsenal in 2 rounds of Carabao Cup with games against Leicester, Brighton and now Norwich sandwiched in between them.
Antonio Conte made as many as 9 changes to his starting lineup, with likes of Eden Hazard, Morata, Kante, Fabregas and Courtois given rest. Batshuayi was handed a rare start with Willian and Pedro on either side. Bakayoko and Drinkwater were given a chance in middle, with Caballero between the sticks. Luiz was the surprise entry in defensive lineup, after having missed action for more than a month.
Full-time: Norwich 0-0 Chelsea.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 6, 2018
It could have not been a worst start for Chelsea as they failed to muster a single shot on target in the first half, with Batshuayi failing to pose any threat up-front. Norwich instead looked the more lively of the two sides, with Murphy’s pace on the left posing problems for Antonio Rudiger.
David Luiz, understandably out of form, gave out possession a couple of times with Norwich striker Alex Pritchard almost putting his name on the score sheet. The Brazilian was then yellow carded after a late tackle on Maddison. Chances were quite little to come by for either teams with first-half finishing 0-0.
Second half saw Chelsea increase the intensity with Willian, in particular, looking dangerous. The Brazilian stung the hands of Norwich goal-keeper Gunn early in second-half and created few chances for teammates, albeit with no end-product.
Moratawas brought on for misfiring Batshuayi with quarter of an hour left, but couldn’t help anything past a rigid Norwich backline. Charly Musonda and Dujon Sterling were brought late in second-half, but Norwich held on and the game ended in a stalemate with Antonio Conte visibly depressed. Let’s scrutinize each Chelsea player’s performance:
WILLY CABALLERO: 6.5/10
The Argentinean had very little to do throughout the game but was a little shaky, specially on one occasion where he failed to punch the ball clearly from a Norwich corner, only to find Murphy who, to much delight of Caballero, fired wide off the post.
ANTONIO RUDIGER: 6.5/10
The ex-Roma player had a decent outing but was outpaced by Murphy on more than one occasion. Apart from that, the German international stood firm in the right-back position.
DAVID LUIZ: 5/10
The Brazilian was in off-colours and gave away ball possession easily on a couple of occasions, one of which was inside the penalty area with Norwich striker Alex Pritchard almost scoring from the defensive lapse. Conte could let the Brazilian go in the near future considering how easily Andreas Christensen has slotted in his place.
GARY CAHILL: 6.5/10
The Blues captain didn’t have much defending to do and held firm against Norwich front-line. Gave in a sturdy performance.
DAVIDE ZAPPACOSTA: 6.5/10
The Italian was largely anonymous during first-half but was more involved in second. An injury-time volley that fizzed just wide off the post was probably his only offensive contribution.
Playing on the left-hand side in place of Alonso, Kennedy was expected to do some lung-bursting runs and deliver in crosses for Batshuayi. The Brazilian did very little though, with some poor passing doing no good to the team. It won’t be a surprise if he leaves on loan this month.
DANNY DRINKWATER: 5.5/10
The Englishman did a whole lot of running in midfield but missed a glorious opportunity in second-half to give Chelsea the lead after some good play by Willian on the flanks.
TIEMOUE BAKAYOKO: 4.5/10
The Frenchman is certainly not the one who took Monaco to Ligue 1 glory last term. Much was expected from him against a lowly Norwich side, however Bakayoko lost possession a few times while offered zero threat going forward. Certainly has much to do to match Premier League pace.
The only shining light from Chelsea’s side, Willian was much more involved in the second-half compared to the first. He tested the Norwich goal-keeper a couple of times and one beautiful pass to Drinkwater, which he would agonizingly fluff wide, is a hallmark of what Conte can expect from him. Certainly he’s got enough in the tank to make it to Chelsea starting lineup.
MICHY BATSHUAYI: 5/10
It’s fair to say, the Belgian didn’t get good service from rest of his teammates, however it’s also fair to say that whatever he got, he didn’t make the most of it.
Some wayward passing along with no real shot on goal, sums up Pedro’s performance. It’s been some time since Chelsea fans have seen the Pedro who would take a twist, a turn and would strike a curling shot round a helpless Hugo Lloris.
Chelsea vs Norwich City – 1st Half analysis:
✅ Awful performance.
✅ Team Chemistry = 0
✅ Bakayoko and Batshuayi does not know how to pass properly
✅ David Luiz looks rusty…but he is sometimes very overconfident and does silly things in the process.#NORCHE #CFC #KTBFFH
— Chelsea Guy (@iChelseaGuy) January 6, 2018
Charly Musonda: 6/10
Musonda was desperate to show his value to the manager, however had just 15 minutes to his name. Still, the Belgian oozed some intensity and could be given some game-time in the near future.
Alvaro Morata: 5.5/10
The Spaniard was brought in for Batshuayi to provide some focal point to the attack, however couldn’t do much against a compact Norwich back-line.
Dujon Sterling: 6/10
The youngster was given just a few minutes on the pitch, however combined well with Musonda, adding a different dimension to attack. He’s definitely one for the future for the Blues!