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Norwich City 0-1 Chelsea

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Mata: On target

Mata: On target

Chelsea made it three wins in a week since returning from Japan as Juan Mata's strike proved crucial at Norwich City.

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After losing to Corinthians in the Club World Cup, Rafa Benitez's side had beaten Leeds United 5-1 in the Capital One Cup and thrashed Aston Villa 8-0 three days ago, but their display at a sodden Carrow Road was more prosaic.

Clear-cut chances were few and far between in a tight match that was settled in the 38th minute when Mata's low shot beat Mark Bunn before nestling in the bottom corner of the net.

Both sides had spells of dominance in the first 45 minutes but neither Bunn nor Petr Cech were really troubled.

The second half followed a similar pattern to the first as the rain intensified with Chelsea seemingly content to hold on to their slender advantage.

Oscar's corner was almost deflected into the Norwich goal in the 50th minute, only for Bunn to make an unorthodox stop as he did well to keep the ball out while, at the other end, Grant Holt fired a rasping drive narrowly wide.

Sebastien Bassong went close for Chris Hughton's side with a downward header that bounced over the bar late on but Norwich never really looked like grabbing an equaliser while Chelsea substitute Eden Hazard almost doubled Chelsea's lead with three minutes left only to be denied by Bunn.

Posted: 26/12/12 16:24

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