Chelsea recorded a routine 1-0 win over Norwich City to boost their hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.
The already-relegated Canaries did offer stubborn resistance and almost made it to the break with the score goalless, but Olivier Giroud broke the deadlock in added time, heading home a Christian Pulisic cross to finally make the Blues’ pressure count.
'He gave everything' - Tuchel delighted with Lukaku
The Frenchman had Chelsea’s best chances but couldn’t add to his tally, missing the target on numerous occasions, while Pulisic had an effort tipped onto the crossbar before the goal.
Norwich kept their shape well but offered very little going forward, not mustering a single shot on target as Chelsea's beleaguered backline enjoyed a quiet evening.
Chelsea remain third and are now four points ahead of Manchester United and Leicester City, who both have a game in hand but will face off on the final day of the season. Norwich's loss means they will definitely finish bottom.
Chelsea get the job done. Frank Lampard’s men have a tough run-in coming up, with Liverpool and Wolverhampton Wanderers left in the league and an FA Cup semi-final versus United before that. Tonight was all about getting an expected three points and moving on. They have done just that. It wasn’t massively pretty or impressive, but a drama-free evening will be welcomed after the horror show in Sheffield last time out.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea). He was a productive outlet going forward for Chelsea, while also shutting down Norwich’s left flank.
30’ - CHANCE! Azpilicueta finds space down the right and then crosses low for Giroud, who is also in space, but the Frenchman kicks the ball into his standing leg and wide.
36’ - OFF THE BAR! Pulisic hits the bar! He takes down a cross nicely, swivels and shoots, forcing Krul to tip onto the bar.
45+3’ - GOAL! Chelsea 1-0 Norwich (Giroud). The goal comes right on the stroke of the interval! With the ball on the Chelsea left, Pulisic cuts inside onto his right foot and floats a cross towards Giroud, who holds off Klose and heads in.
73’ - CHANCE! A searching Azpilicueta cross lands on the head of Giroud, only eight yards out, but the Frenchman can't keep his effort down.
75’ - SAVE! Giroud drops deep and clips a lovely ball over the top for Pulisic, but his tame volley is kept out by Krul.
Chelsea: Kepa 6, Azpilicueta 7, Rudiger 7, Zouma 6, Alonso 6, Kovacic 6, Jorginho 6, Loftus-Cheek 5, Willian 5, Giroud 7, Pulisic 6. Subs: Barkley 6, James 6, Hudson-Odoi 5, Abraham n/a.
Norwich: Krul 6, Aarons 6, Godfrey 5, Klose 5, Lewis 5, Tettey 5, McLean 5, Rupp 5, Cantwell 7, Hernandez 6, Drmic 4. Subs: Buendia 5, Stiepermann 5, Pukki 5, Idah 5, Martin n/a.
- Chelsea are 17 games unbeaten against Norwich, last losing to them in 1994.
- Giroud has scored five goals in his last eight Premier League games.
- Norwich have lost eight consecutive league matches for the first time.
- Chelsea have won five Premier League home games on the bounce.
- The Blues have kept a clean sheet in four of their last five home matches in all competitions.
- The Canaries are the only club in Europe's top five leagues not to gain a single point from a losing position so far this campaign.
Ziyech scores screamer as Chelsea beat Tottenham again
West Ham weigh up move for £60m Calvert-Lewin - Paper Round