Chelsea beat Norwich, stay top

BOUNCING BACK::The Blues went behind before Fernando Torres, Frank Lampard, Eden Hazard and Branislav Ivanovic scored to clip the Canaries wings


Mon, Oct 08, 2012 - Page 18

Chelsea extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to four points with a 4-1 win against Norwich on Saturday.

Roberto Di Matteo’s unbeaten Chelsea have made a flying start to their title challenge and this was the European champions’ sixth win in seven league matches.

The Blues recovered from the shock of Norwich striker Grant Holt’s 11th-minute opener at Stamford Bridge to take complete control before half-time.

Fernando Torres equalized with his fifth goal of the season, the Spaniard heading home from a Branislav Ivanovic cross in the 14th minute.

Frank Lampard put Chelsea in front in the 22nd minute with a drive from the edge of the area and Belgian playmaker Eden Hazard, netting a cool 31st-minute strike from Juan Mata’s pass, shattered Norwich’s resistance.

Ivanovic rubbed salt into Norwich’s wounds when he bagged the fourth goal with 14 minutes left.

“Norwich scored a good goal and it was important to equalize quickly. From there on it was a lot of Chelsea pressure,” Di Matteo said.

“The players just controlled the game. We can be happy about the performance. We are slowly evolving and don’t concede too many goals,” he said.

Theo Walcott came off the bench to inspire Arsenal as the Gunners won 3-1 at London rivals West Ham.

Senegal midfielder Mohamed Diame gave West Ham the lead in the 21st minute with a superb individual effort.

However, the Gunners drew level four minutes before half-time when France forward Olivier Giroud volleyed home Lukas Podolski’s cross from close range for his first Premier League goal since his pre-season move from Montpellier.

Walcott scored the crucial second in the 77th minute with a clinical finish and Santi Cazorla completed the win with a long-range effort from Walcott’s pass.

Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger said: “We started the season with many questions about us, but of course we need to build up belief and convince people around us we have a chance.”

“Apart from the Chelsea game [a 2-1 home defeat], we have been convincing and we have belief we can do something special,” he said.

Third-placed Everton salvaged a 2-2 draw at Wigan thanks to a late penalty from former Latics man Leighton Baines.

Wigan went ahead in controversial circumstances when Arouna Kone finished off a fine run from Shaun Maloney, even though the Ivory Coast striker was clearly offside.

Everton hit back a minute later through Nikica Jelavic and, although Franco Di Santo put Wigan back in front in the 23rd minute, Baines fired home from the spot with three minutes to go.

West Bromwich Albion continued their surprising start to the season by climbing to fourth place with a 3-2 victory over bottom-of-the-table QPR at the Hawthorns.

Reading blew a chance to secure their first league victory of the season as Swansea recovered from two goals down to draw 2-2 at the Liberty Stadium.

In Saturday’s early game, Manchester City beat Sunderland 3-0 at Eastlands.