Chelsea rout Norwich 6-0 to reach EFL Cup quarterfinals

Written by Staff Writer at CNN London, Matthew Bird It was anything but a Premier League relegation battle on Saturday afternoon as Chelsea put Norwich to the sword with a six-goal footballing rout at…

Chelsea rout Norwich 6-0 to reach EFL Cup quarterfinals

Written by Staff Writer at CNN London, Matthew Bird

It was anything but a Premier League relegation battle on Saturday afternoon as Chelsea put Norwich to the sword with a six-goal footballing rout at Stamford Bridge.

The Canaries are bottom of the table but “may struggle even to survive, let alone beat the drop,” according to the Sports Desk, as the game between the two sides commenced.

Those prognostications certainly appeared to be accurate, with Chris Hughton’s side capitulating to a woeful nine goals, the eighth highest score for the club since the formation of the Premier League.

Antonio Conte’s side went 1-0 up after seven minutes but it quickly turned into a rout, with the game turning in Chelsea’s favor after the impressive Eden Hazard doubled the hosts’ lead.

Hazard worked a brilliant one-two with Pedro Rodriguez and slotted past the hapless Alex Riggott to give the visitors hope.

Kurt Zouma opened the scoring for Chelsea with a magnificent volley from a corner after nine minutes before John Obi Mikel doubled the visitors’ advantage with a stunning curling finish on 19 minutes.

Norwich were clueless in their goalless second half, with the last shot on target coming from Chelsea defender David Luiz in the 85th minute, although it still ended 6-0.

“I don’t know what the explanation is,” said an exasperated Hughton. “It’s not good enough. The scoreboard says it’s 6-0, but I haven’t read it – I’ve seen the ball go in, but they had two fantastic goals.

“The overall performance was poor, I don’t think we’ve ever come away here and scored two goals and I don’t think we’ll be disappointed with the outcome.”

‘The best defensive performance in weeks’

It was another easy day in footballing paradise for the Blues, who rested several first-team regulars but still outclassed the Canaries.

“I am very pleased because we had a lot of players who weren’t involved today, that’s a big challenge because of the amount of games we have coming up and the demand of the games,” said Conte.

“My intention was to rest people today and prepare for the next game, but the players deserve a lot of credit because they showed they deserve to play.

“I repeat, I am pleased because in my view the most important thing about football is for a team to be compact, solid and to create chances.”

Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who was recalled to the side after a short spell on the sidelines, added: “The team had a really good game from start to finish, we played very well. It was a very important day for us and to put six goals past Norwich is really difficult to do.

“We had a lot of chances but I think today was the best defensive performance in a long time for Chelsea.

“I think we showed a great attitude. We did our best, didn’t make too many mistakes, did really well to give seven goals away — that’s what we do. But we still have a lot of work to do.”

Chelsea are back in action against newly promoted Huddersfield in the third round of the EFL Cup on August 21.

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