Norwich City were beaten 1-0 by Chelsea in the Premier League on Tuesday, a late first-half Olivier Giroud header the decisive goal.
Daniel Farke made four changes from the 4-0 loss to West Ham at the weekend, Kenny McLean and Todd Cantwell returning from injury, whilst Lukas Rupp and Josip Drmic found themselves some more game time in the places of Emi Buendia and Teemu Pukki.
Giroud was the recipient of Chelsea’s first real chance of the game, scuffing a half-volley whipped into the box just after the 20-minute mark. It looked like a big chance for the hosts, but Timm Klose did well to get his body across the French international, forcing a poorly struck shot to find the gloves of Krul.
The next big chance for Chelsea came in the 29th minute, when a squared ball found the striker in the box, his balance off-centre as he deflected the chance wide off his own boot.
30-minutes in with just two real chances, City defended well as the Blues tried their luck in front of goal, frustrated at the compact nature of the Canaries backline.
Chelsea continued looking lively into the latter half of the first 45, Willian delivering a corner into the box to the back post for Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who did well to nod the ball back into play before it fell out. Despite the stretch from the winger, no teammate was there to receive the ball as it was cleared from danger by City.
Tim Krul was forced into action once more close to the end of the first-half, as on-form Christian Pulisic struck a volley straight for the roof of the net. The effort had power on it, but an incredible reflex save from Krul kept it out nicely.
Just as the first-half was wrapping up and all looked level before the break, Chelsea found the goal they had been chasing. A textbook cross from Cesar Azpilicueta finding the head of Giroud, who’s efforts finally paid off in dividends for the hosts as the first-half concluded.
The Canaries came out swinging in the second-half and looked threatening on the counter-attack. Whilst chances were there to be made, Chelsea’s experienced defence were forced into fouls early on, accepting bookings as compensation for free-kicks. Despite City’s misfortune not to convert these free-kicks, the attack was looking a lot livelier.
A lot less chances for Chelsea in the second-half didn't make them any less dangerous, a subtle lofted ball over the top of City's backline from Giroud found Pulisic, but his flick on goal was swiftly stopped once more from Krul.
An 80th minute effort from Giroud looking to wrap up game for the hosts was disrupted by Ben Godfrey, who sunk a well-timed tackle in to see the ball clear of danger.
Despite late attempts to find a goal from both sides, the game ended 1-0 in the hosts favour as they took all three points over the Canaries.
Chelsea: Kepa, Azpilicueta, Zouma, Rudiger, Alonso (James, 79), Kovacic, Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek (Barkley, 66) Willian, Giroud (Abraham, 85), Pulisic (Hudson-Odoi, 80)
Subs not used: Christensen, Pedro, Caballero, Mount, Tomori
Goals: Giroud (45+3)
Bookings: Zouma (59) Kovacic (62)
Norwich City: Krul, Aarons, Godfrey, Klose, Lewis, Tettey (c) (Stiepermann, 78), McLean, Rupp (Martin, 88), Cantwell (Buendia, 71), Hernandez (Idah, 78), Drmic (Pukki, 78)
Subs not used: Vrancic, Trybull, McGovern, Thomas
Bookings: Cantwell (57), Buendia (88)
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Referee: Jonathan Moss