Chelsea continued their resurgence and maintained their unbeaten run under manager Guus Hiddink after they put up an effective display to see off Norwich City at Carrow Road.
The game started with the Blues pressing and they needed only 40 seconds for Kenedy to drive forward, work it on to his left foot and thrash it into the bottom corner. 1-0! And the champions were on their way.
Norwich, despite conceding that early goal, pushed forward to find an immediate response but Gary Cahill was on hand to get across Cameron Jerome to prevent the striker reaching a right-wing cross. The defender then headed another cross away as Chelsea sought to preserve their lead.
And with Norwich looking to get back on level footing, with the pressure piling on the Chelsea defence, Diego Costa eased the pressure with a fine turn inside his own half before Martin fouled him for a free-kick.
With Chelsea also trying to pile some pressure of their own, Hazard drives at the Norwich backline, eases past Martin but can’t quite pick out Traore in the middle, but it was a close opportunity for the Blues.
But Norwich were not just sitting and letting the champions dominate them, as they created a scare as Jerome raced clear and tried to pick out Hoolahan but luckily for the Chelsea defence, the pass was overhit.
The Canaries continued to fight to level things up as Howson has a shot deflected behind off his man for a goalkick, much to the relief of Guus Hiddink on the byline.
Eden Hazard and Betrand Traore then linked up delightfully on the edge of the Norwich box but the Belgian can’t make space for a shot.
With three minutes of extra time added on, a quick play from a throw-in down the right, Traore slipped Diego in behind and he chipped his finish over Ruddy to make it. 2-0 just before the half time break.
The second half resumed with Diego Costa having an early sight of goal but was eventually crowded out by retreating Norwich defenders.
Jerome then gets on the end of O’Neil’s deep cross but off balance steers his volley wide. Traore acrobatically volleys the corner away. The ball is helped back in and Jerome volleys against the bar and over.
Meanwhile, at the other end, Matic’s deflected shot nearly falls for both Oscar and Hazard but the Brazilian misses his kick. Norwich however, remain unrelenting as they keep pushing and Brady’s left-sided cross finds the head of Jerome but his header goes well over the bar.
Norwich’s consistent pressure would pay off as Hoolahan slipped a pass through the Chelsea defence in the inside right channel and Redmond raced on to it and smashed it in. 2-1 Chelsea.
The Canaries’ push for an equalizer almost bore fruit but Courtois saved an effort from Jerome which he diverted goalwards from a shot further out.
But it was Chelsea he would run home winners and continue their smooth run under Hiddink.