Chelsea vs. Norwich City: Final score 0-0, little help for either side

Michael Regan

Norwich helped their chances of survival a tiny bit with a draw at Stamford Bridge, but they still need help and a win next Sunday to stay up. Chelsea, meanwhile, look nailed on for third place.

Chelsea appear to have dropped out of the title race, while Norwich City have only just barely kept themselves alive in the race to avoid relegation. The Canaries still need quite a bit of help, so at the end of the day, this 0-0 draw might be a very poor result for both teams.

The first half featured the teams feeling each other out, without much action. Norwich City, despite being in the drop zone, set out with a fairly defensive team, possibly with a view towards earning a draw in this match and fighting for all three points on the final day of the season. Chelsea made some changes from the side they played in Champions League midweek, but put out an extremely strong side.

A penalty shout was the biggest event of the first half, with Martin Olsson getting controversially denied a spot kick in the 10th minute. He was hacked down by John Terry in the box, but the contact occurred after Olsson had gotten a weak shot away. In the view of referee Neil Swarbrick, there was no penalty to give.

After a rather lifeless first half performance from his side, Jose Mourinho made two changes at the break, introducing Eden Hazard -- who he criticized in his press conference this week -- and David Luiz in place of Mohamed Salah and David Luiz. That move paid immediate dividends with a beautiful move that resulted in Luiz hitting the crossbar in the 48th minute, and for the rest of the half, Chelsea were in control.

The Blues had a penalty shot of their own in the 57th minute when Eden Hazard went down under a challenge by Ryan Bennett. But on replays, it was clear that Hazard had jumped into the challenge and that Swarbrick was correct not to point to the spot. Branislav Ivanovic was absolutely irate with the decision and was shown a yellow card for dissent.

Norwich's best chance of the second half came in the 71st minute, when Robert Snodgrass was played clean through on goal by substitute Nathan Redmond. However, he took one touch too many, allowing Gary Cahill to recover and block his eventual shot.

Eden Hazard had a shot from 12 yards saved by John Ruddy in the 79th minute, and unsurprisingly, almost the entire rest of the second half was played in the Norwich defensive half. But Norwich upped their game in stoppage time, found ways to relieve the pressure, and held on for a draw.

Chelsea: Schwarzer, Cole, Cahill, Terry, Ivanovic, Lampard (Luiz 46'), Matic (Torres 73'), Salah (Hazard 46'), Willian, Schürrle, Ba

Goals: None

Norwich: Ruddy, Whittaker, Turner, Bennett, Martin, Olsson, Johnson, Howson, Tettey, Snodgrass, Elmander (Redmond 69')

Goals: None

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