Sunday, May 4, 2014 6:47 pm
Chelsea all but waved goodbye to their chances of winning the Premier League title this season after being held to a goalless draw at home to relegation threatened Norwich City.
Major talking points ahead of the match was Brazilian midfielder Oscar not being named in the matchday squad and star man Eden Hazard starting from the bench after critical comments he made following Chelsea’s loss to Atletico Madrid in midweek.
The effect of the duo’s absence did not tell much early on as the Blues dominated play, although it was Norwich that felt they should have had a chance to take the lead when defender Martin Olsson’s shout for a penalty were waved aside by the referee.
The best goalscoring chance of the first half came in the 32nd minute to Chelsea when German attacker Andre Schürrle saw his effort come off the post after being freed by a Nemanja Matic pass.
Jose Mourinho introduced Eden Hazard for Frank Lampard at the start of the second half, and the Frenchman added more flair to Chelsea’s game but still there was no breakthrough for the home side.
Then Chelsea had two penalty calls in quick succession waved away by the referee, with Schürrle first ignored after a Tettey challenge in the 55th minute before Hazard too was not given a second look following a Ryan Bennett challenge.
The rest of the match played out with Chelsea dominating but having to settle for a goalless draw that leaves them in third place with 79 points from 37 matches, a point behind leaders Manchester City.
Second place Liverpool also have 80 points but have a game at Crystal Palace on Monday night, where a win for Liverpool would end Chelsea’s title aspirations.
In the day’s other Premier League match, fourth placed Arsenal defeated West Brom by a lone goal courtesy of Olivier Giroud with his 16th league goal of the season.