Jose Mourinho’s strategic substitutions in Chelsea’s game against Norwich on Sunday secured a crucial away win for the London team.
Demba Ba was fielded to replace Torres who is currently serving a suspension for the red card he bagged against Tottenham last week. Apart from the
Senegalese international the rest of the team was the same line-up that beat Steaua Bacharest 4-0 on Wednesday.
Nobody would really put their money on Norwich to win the match. Chelsea have won five of their previous six league encounters.
The decision to play Ba yielded dividends within four minutes of the match starting. He held up the ball on the left side of the Norwich ball before calmly passing to Oscar who arrowed the ball into the far corner of the Norwich goal post.
Ba had a chance in the 14th minute of the game but Ruddy, the Norwich goalkeeper, was forced to make a smart stop. The visitors should have been two up.
Scores remained 1-0 until the half-time whistle was blown.
It was nearly two again for Chelsea two minutes into the second half when Ba (again) could not connect a cross Ramires flicked towards him.
Chelsea was punished for the wasted chances they had when Norwich equalised with a Pilkington goal.
Mourinho swung into action by making two changes one after the other. Eto’o was brought in to replace Ba and Hazard replaced Cole.
Shortly after that Willian came in for Mata less than ten minutes to end of regulation time.
Mourinho’s substitutions paid off as Chelsea restored their lead when Hazard blasted a shot past Ruddy. The Norwich keeper succeeded in retrieving the ball before it hit the back of the net but not before it crossed the line.
Barely a minute after that goal Willian made it 3-1 in favour of Chelsea.
Chelsea earned the full three points for the match and sit comfortably in third position on the Premier league table with 14 points.