Norwich crashed out of the Carabao Cup earlier this month after a scintillating third round replay against 9-man Chelsea.
The Canaries had managed to clinch a second game after their hard-fought 0-0 draw at Carrow Road earlier this month- a game which at several points could’ve been won- but their high hopes were not lived up to upon their visit to Stamford Bridge.
In a game that was delayed 15 minutes due to travel issues, both sides came close in the first half, with Gunn managing to fingertip Danny Drinkwater’s shot onto the bar and Willy Caballero denying Norwich fans the lead they wanted so badly. Both sides’ defences seemed to be holding up well, and unlike the previous game, there was an abundance of chances, Chelsea fans were left fruitless after Cesar Azpilicueta failed to convert an early cross, and the collective gasp of the travelling Norwich supporters could be heard throughout London after the crossbar was the only thing to deny them an early lead.
Something had to give in the second half, and it wasn’t long before the Premier League champions took an early lead after Michy Batshuayi converted Kenedy’s low cross, securing his first goal for the club since October.
Chelsea are yet to lose a game from a winning position this season, and usually these ties are put to bed, however, the resilience of the Norwich players proved to test their resolve. Norwich star man, James Maddison tested Willy Caballero with a smartly taken free kick, a trademark which has seen Tottenham scouting his talents, and Josh Murphy’s strike was stopped only by the post.
Chelsea failed time and time again to see of the Norwich threat, and in the 94th minute James Maddison’s inch-perfect cross was found the back of the net thanks to a Jamal Lewis header, sending the game into extra time.
It was here in which the headlines were made, with Chelsea having 2 men sent off and multiple penalty appeals denied. Willian’s surge into the box was cut short when he was seemingly clipped on the ankle, resulting in an extremely animated Antonio Conte calling for the Video Assistant Referee to be used- a request which was denied. The same happened when Pedro waltzed past the tiring Norwich defence, only this time, the Chelsea man received a second yellow for diving and was sent off. To make matters worse for the blues, star striker Morata was sent off following two yellow cards in ten seconds, one for diving, one for protesting the decision. VAR was not used in any of the 3 events.
0-0 after extra time, the game progressed to penalties, and unluckily for the travelling Norwich fans, Chelsea converted all five of theirs, with Willy Caballero coming out on top out of the goalkeepers, saving two penalties and ensuring a Chelsea victory.