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14 July 2020 Venue Stamford Bridge Attendance

Kick off 20:15 (UK)

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Match Previews

Emi Buendia: We have to play our best football

14 July 2020

Emi Buendia says that he and his teammates will have to play their best football to get anything from tonight’s Premier League game away to Chelsea.

“Chelsea is a big club with a big team and the best players,” he said. “It will be a difficult game because of their quality and because they’re fighting for the Champions League positions, but we are Norwich and have to play our best football, to keep trying everything for the club.

“Now is a difficult moment for everyone. Getting relegated is tough, but now we have to try to give everything in our last three games and do our best for the club and the fans.”

Asked to reflect on the season as a whole, Buendia cited injuries, small mistakes and a youthful team as factors in City’s relegation.

“It was a difficult season for everyone,” he said. “Since the beginning, we struggled with injuries in each position, mostly at centre-back. Some details made the difference on this level. Small mistakes make big differences.

“In many games, we were close to getting more points that we deserved, but the details made the difference.

“We have many young players but lots of quality in the team. A few of them are really experienced, but not many played in the Premier League before. That’s one of the reasons for our result in the end.”

Buendia is one of many young players given the opportunity to shine in the Premier League by Head Coach Daniel Farke, and the Argentine is grateful for his manager’s show of faith.

“He’s done a very good job with me,” he said. “He controlled myself and my mistakes during the season. On the pitch, he gives me the chance to feel freedom to try my football, creating chances for my teammates. I try to do my best in the final third.

“At first, I played on the right wing, but with the freedom I can move around. For most of my life, my position has been the number ten behind the striker, but with this system, it doesn’t matter for me if I’m there or on the left or right wing.”

emi v watford.jpg

A first Premier League goal for Buendia came at Vicarage Road against Watford in our 2-1 defeat last week, bringing about mixed emotions for the midfielder.

“It was a great feeling,” Buendia said. “It arrived very late in the season. I’d have liked to score before to help the team with my goals. I enjoyed the goal as it was my first one but we lost the game, so I couldn’t really enjoy that moment.

“It was good to get the experience of playing at this level with the best teams and the best players. It’s the hardest, most competitive league in the world. Sometimes, I had good moments, other times I didn’t feel good, but I think there were more positives for me.

“We were really good last year, the champions. Now, we have to focus on getting back to the Premier League as soon as possible.”

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Match Reports

City handed 1-0 defeat by Chelsea

14 July 2020

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
Cantwell (57), Buendia (88)

HT: 1-0
Stamford Bridge
Jonathan Moss

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