x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Introduction of Eden Hazard and Willian turns tie against Norwich, Artur Boruc keeps Swansea at bay as Southampton record third successive Premier League win.

Chelsea playmaker Oscar scored his side's first goal in their 3-1 win against Norwich City. Julian Finney / Getty Images
Chelsea playmaker Oscar scored his side's first goal in their 3-1 win against Norwich City. Julian Finney / Getty Images


Pilkington 68’


Oscar 04’, Hazard 85’, Willian 86’

LONDON // Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said he “smelled defeat” before making game-changing substitutions that sparked a 3-1 victory over Norwich City at Carrow Road.

Chelsea got off to a flying start when Oscar put the visitors into a fourth-minute lead. However, instead of taking command, Chelsea failed to make the most of their positive opening as Norwich, fighting for points at the other end of table, responded. After Ba scuffed a shot in front of an empty net, the hosts drew level through Anthony Pilkington.

After the introduction of Eden Hazard and Willian, Norwich saw their hard work undone when a poor back-header was seized by the Belgian, who squeezed the ball under goalkeeper John Ruddy before the Brazilian midfielder cracked in an angled drive to finally put the result beyond doubt.

“During the game, I am not nervous,” Mourinho said. “I have feelings. I smell things, and when that easy goal [from Ba] was missed, I had a smell that they would score a goal. That is why I had Eden warming up at 1-0 because I smelled that. We could have won or lost it at 1-1 because we, at that moment, we didn’t want a point.

“If they had scored a second goal, we would probably lose, but we are trying to be top.”

Chelsea left-back will have a scan on a rib injury suffered during the match, but is not expected to be ruled out of England’s World Cup qualifiers next week.


Lallana 19’, Rodriguez 83’


Mauricio Pochettino heaped praise on Artur Boruc after the goalkeeper starred in Southampton’s hard-fought win over Swansea City.

Saints emerged 2-0 winners, despite spending most of the match on the back foot.

Swansea dominated, but fell to strikes from captain Adam Lallana and substitute Jay Rodriguez as Southampton secured a third successive league win.

Southampton also picked up a fifth clean sheet of the season, with goalkeeper Boruc pulling off a string of fine saves.

“He was incredible,” Southampton manager Pochettino said of the Poland international.

Swansea counterpart Michael Laudrup, meanwhile, was left ruing missed chances.

“It’s true Southampton were the best team in the first 10 minutes, but since the goal, I think we dominated the whole game,” he said.

“The second half, we dominated from the first to last minute, but maybe not creating the same number of chances.”

* Press Association