Chelsea 1-0 Norwich: Olivier Giroud scores as Blues transfer clear in Champions League race

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Olivier Giroud scored his first header within the league since 24 November 2018, when he scored in a 3-1 defeat at Tottenham

Chelsea put themselves within the driving seat to safe a Champions League spot with an unspectacular victory over relegated Norwich at Stamford Bridge.

Striker Olivier Giroud guided a header previous Tim Krul on the stroke of half-time after Christian Pulisic created house for the cross on the fitting.

The Chelsea pair nearly mixed once more within the second half however Pulisic couldn’t information Giroud’s chipped ball previous Krul.

Victory strengthens Chelsea’s maintain on third place, the place they sit 4 factors above Leicester and Manchester United, who each play on Thursday.

Norwich, who have been relegated following a 4-Zero thrashing by West Ham on Saturday, didn’t report a shot heading in the right direction in the course of the match.

Frustrated Chelsea get the job performed

Chelsea sit 4 factors above Leicester City and Manchester United with two video games remaining

The first half was missing in motion as Norwich sat again and squeezed out any house out there for Chelsea. The hosts simply couldn’t appear to get issues clicking.

Following Saturday’s 3-Zero defeat at Sheffield United, Chelsea would have needed to start out brightly and so they confirmed indicators with Ruben Loftus-Cheek heading broad and Marcos Alonso firing a harmful cross in from the left inside 5 minutes.

But because the half wore on, Chelsea struggled to create any clear-cut alternatives – Giroud, who admitted the workforce was “beneath a little bit of stress” to win, reacted to a 3rd scuffed shot with a roar of frustration within the field after 40 minutes.

“I missed some issues that I would not miss normally however perhaps I misplaced a little bit of confidence,” Giroud instructed Sky Sports afterwards. “My want to attain was larger although so I attempted to remain centered.”

Pulisic had supplied the very best likelihood of the half – controlling Antonio Rudiger’s cross, turning sharply and firing it in the direction of the roof of the online, forcing a save from Krul – earlier than he finally set-up Giroud’s header with a swinging cross from the fitting.

The objective ought to have been a catalyst for Chelsea to launch the shackles however the fluidity by no means actually materialised, regardless of them nonetheless having the ability to create additional possibilities.

Giroud and Pulisic have been busy however not scientific, although it did not show expensive as Norwich by no means offered any actual risk.

In the tip, it was a snug victory for Chelsea regardless of a scarcity of ruthlessness. Manager Frank Lampard will hope that scientific edge returns for a big run of matches – they face Manchester United in an FA Cup semi-final on Sunday, go to champions Liverpool within the league subsequent Wednesday after which end the top-flight marketing campaign at house to sixth-placed Wolves 4 days later.

Norwich fail to encourage

Chelsea (common place map on the left) had 69% possession within the first half and 11 photographs from contained in the field however solely three have been heading in the right direction. Norwich (common place map on the fitting) didn’t have a single shot or nook within the first half

Norwich boss Daniel Farke mentioned earlier than the match he needed his workforce to indicate a response to their relegation, have “delight” in sporting the shirt and “create good reminiscences”.

But they didn’t present any spark till the second half and solely 15% of the match was performed in Chelsea’s third.

When they did put stress on the ball and pushed excessive up the pitch, Chelsea confirmed nerves in a match essential to their pursuit of Champions League qualification.

Jamal Lewis and Todd Cantwell gained possession in Chelsea’s half and tempted Chelsea duo Mateo Kovacic and Kurt Zouma into rash challenges which introduced them yellow playing cards.

Farke additionally launched Adam Idah, Teemu Pukki and Emiliano Buendia as attacking substitutions within the second half however none had any influence on the sport.

In the tip, Norwich managed simply two photographs, neither heading in the right direction, and one nook – and set a brand new membership report of eight consecutive league defeats.

Man of the match – Olivier Giroud (Chelsea)

Giroud missed possibilities within the first half however he stored entering into harmful positions and finally scored the successful objective. A partnership with Pulisic is beginning to blossom too

The better of the stats

  • Chelsea have gained 5 consecutive house Premier League video games for the primary time since December 2017.
  • Norwich have now misplaced 25 Premier League video games this season – essentially the most defeats they’ve ever suffered in a league marketing campaign.
  • Chelsea stopped their opponents from mustering a single first-half shot for the fourth time within the Premier League this season, greater than another facet.
  • Norwich have now misplaced eight consecutive league video games for the primary time of their historical past.
  • Since his Premier League debut in August 2012, Chelsea striker Giroud has scored 31 headed targets within the competitors, 5 greater than another participant in that point.
  • Giroud has scored in three successive Premier League begins for the primary time since January 2017 when netting six in a row for Arsenal.
  • Pulisic has registered 11 targets involvements within the Premier League this season (eight targets, three assists), essentially the most by a USA participant since Clint Dempsey in 2012-13 (additionally 11).
  • Alexander Tettey grew to become the ninth participant to make 100 or extra Premier League appearances for Norwich City.

What’s subsequent?

Chelsea tackle Manchester United within the FA Cup semi-final on Sunday, 19 July at Wembley (18:00 BST kick-off) earlier than travelling to Anfield for his or her subsequent Premier League sport towards champions Liverpool on Wednesday, 22 July (20:15 BST).

Norwich host Burnley on Saturday, 18 July (17:30 BST) of their subsequent league sport.

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Muhammad Younus

Salam, I am Muhammad Younus Owner of Usama Younus Inc. I am Retired from the Pak Army and love to write about politics and current affairs I am also passionate about religious affairs.

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