Two touches of Abra-cadabra

Chelsea's Tammy Abraham nets his second goal, the winner in the Blues' 3-2 win at Norwich.
Chelsea's Tammy Abraham nets his second goal, the winner in the Blues' 3-2 win at Norwich.PHOTOS: REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard (hugging Abraham) earns his first win in four competitive matches as Blues boss.
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard (hugging Abraham) earns his first win in four competitive matches as Blues boss. PHOTOS: REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Abraham gets off the mark for Chelsea with classy brace and delivers first win for Lampard

ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE

Norwich City 2 Chelsea 3

LONDON • Frank Lampard stood in his technical area until the bitter end, a picture of tension as he urged his players on and applauded every tackle. This is what the job has done to Chelsea's new manager.

He was a bag of nerves until the sweet sound of the referee's final whistle in yesterday's 3-2 Premier League win at Norwich, before he smiled and marched across the pitch to milk the applause of the travelling support.

After four games Lampard finally got off the mark for his first competitive win. Yet he will know that better sides than promoted Norwich will have taken note of the Blues' defensive frailties.

"It was a tough test and Norwich will get a lot of points here because they are a good side," he said on the BBC after the match.

"The two goals we gave away, I didn't like but there were lots of good elements to our play and I'm really pleased."

  • 3rd

  • Tammy Abraham, at 21 years 326 days, is the third-youngest player to score twice in a Premier League game for Chelsea, after 20-year-olds Mark Nicholls against Coventry in January 1998 and Eddie Newton against Tottenham in December 1992.

Tammy Abraham, 21, was the hero for Chelsea, notching his first goals for the club with two classy finishes after failing to score in his three previous appearances this term. And there was also another outstanding midfield performance from 20-year-old Mason Mount.

Lampard said: "I'm particularly pleased for Tammy, but I want to talk about all the players as we controlled the game on a hot day.

"Our performances haven't given us what we deserved so far - but today it did."

The chaos of the opening period summed up Chelsea's erratic start to the season.

While there were bursts of electrifying attacking play, they were undermined by a lack of ruthlessness in front of goal and the absence of the injured N'Golo Kante which left a one-paced midfield unable to stop a vulnerable defence from being pulled apart.

Potential in attack means nothing without substance in defence, and the Blues were ahead for only three minutes before Todd Cantwell's equaliser to Abraham's third-minute opener.

Carrow Road roared, sensing that Chelsea were there for the taking, but the hosts were behind again in the 17th minute.

Released by Ross Barkley, a clever touch took Mount inside the box and there was never any sense that he would waste the chance as he scored his second goal this term.

In previous years that would have been it. There would have been no prospect of Norwich equalising again. But the class of 2019 are a slightly softer touch.

Abraham, Andreas Christensen and Jorginho all wasted chances to pull Chelsea clear and, in the absence of a killer blow, the hosts equalised again through the in-form Teemu Pukki's fifth goal of the campaign.

The second half was quieter, more controlled, though both sides continued to chase a winning goal.

Just when it seemed that Norwich had the edge, however, Chelsea countered, and Abraham's predatory finish from 20m eluded the unsighted Tim Krul's late dive.

Still, Chelsea struggled to close the game out. Much to Lampard's relief, however, Ben Godfrey's late header bounced back off the bar and he finally had something of substance to celebrate.

THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 25, 2019, with the headline 'Two touches of Abra-cadabra'. Print Edition | Subscribe